Friday, June 7, 2013

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary

For Sunday June 9, 2013
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GIVE THANKS
(GOD is my salvation. I will praise and thank HIM)
(Isaiah 12)

The biblical names “Isaiah”, “Joshua”, “Hosea”, and of course, “JESUS”, are all associated with “Salvation” by definition. Words such as “save”, “salvation”, and “victory” all derive from the same Hebrew root word, and are among the most common theological terms in the Old Testament. Salvation, or victory, is something that can only come from the only Wise GOD, our SAVIOR through JESUS CHRIST. No human entity, or idol god, can claim “saving power”.
Isaiah chapter 12 rounds off the first section of the book by using two short “songs of thanksgiving” to draw together its two themes, which are, “GOD’s wrath kindled against Israel”. and “GOD’s triumphant victory that set them free”. The words of these poems provides a “continuity” between what goes on before GOD’s anger turned away, and, when the singing, rejoicing, and shouting of victory comes in later chapters.
The two songs have much in common with the Hallel Psalms (113-118 & 136), and Psalms 105-106, and probably even have a liturgical origin also. They also allude to Exodus (Exodus 15), Moses’ Song of the Sea. Some scholars even suggest that these songs were originally composed for the Jewish Passover, even though they are not used in the Holy ritual as we now know it.
This chapter emphasizes the joyful return and gathering of the remnant that survived the Assyrian invasion and captivity of 722 B.C. The phrase, “In that day” refers to the time of deliverance that is further described in chapter 11 of this book. The people who return will thank GOD and encourage each other to tell the world what GOD has done for Israel. GOD’s name, or, revealed character, is to be exalted, or, vindicated before the whole world, and all mankind will come to know that GOD always fulfills HIS promises. People will praise GOD for HIS wonderful and glorious deeds forever (Vs 1-3).
Isaiah chapter 12 also highlights the contrast between the eventual fall of the Assyrian Empire, and the sudden rise of GOD’s glorious future kingdom, where JESUS CHRIST, our LORD will be in power forever. People will then live according to GOD’s glorious standards, which will allow us to participate in the joy and blessings that HE will surely provide. And people will sing to GOD, and thank and praise HIM for HIS wonderful deeds (Vs. 4-6).
The phrase, “The wells of salvation” that is alluded to in verse 3 of this chapter, serve to remind us of the water that sprang up out of the rock in the wilderness some time following Israel’s exodus from Egypt. It also reminds us of “The cup of salvation” that is mentioned in the Hallel Psalms, and the occasion in John chapter 4 when JESUS speaks of “a spring of water welling up to eternal life”. The joy of drawing from that well is also the idea presented here by Isaiah 12.
As Christians (saved people), we need to praise GOD for salvation, strength, and joy, and we need to praise HIM until the whole world hears us. We need to speak loudly and boldly about the Good News concerning JESUS CHRIST and the greatest of GOD. GOD does not just give us added strength, HE is our “strength and song”, and without HIM, all living things cease to exist, period.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander  





                                 
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