In that day you will say: “I will praise you, Lord . Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord , the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense ; he has become my salvation.” With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. In that day you will say: “Give praise to the Lord , proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the Lord , for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.” – Isaiah 12:1-6
This passage is a refreshing change. The imagery is deep and refreshing, just like the well to which the passage alludes. The passage begins with “in that day”. The implication is that this is a time after God’s wrath has been lifted. On one level this could refer to any number of times in Israel’s past or future, but I wonder if it does not equally apply to all who turn and embrace God after running away from Him.
All those who acknowledge that God is their salvation are comforted, even when we feel as though God’s judgement is upon us. We need only “trust and not be afraid”. This sounds relatively straightforward, but in practice, it is not so easy. Why do we find it difficult to trust God and why do we fear Him? Perhaps it is because we are from a foreign land in relation to God. Our souls inhabit imperfect and emotional bodies here in the Land of Oblivion, while God exists beyond all lands in the undiscovered country.
We are to “draw water from the wells of salvation” with joy. God himself is the well of salvation and we are to draw our strength and satisfy our thirst from Him. A well is an interesting choice of metaphors for salvation. Water wells tap water that is unseen and usually quite pure and good. Water in a well is distinct from spring water in that it takes work and planning to access the water. It also requires some level of trust that when you start to dig your well you will, in fact, hit water. You have to start digging before you have water, and you may have to dig for some time before it becomes clear whether you will obtain water.
Seeking salvation is both similar and distinct from a water well. God in this passage promises that if we seek we will find. He does not promise that it will not be hard or difficult, only that we will be successful in obtaining the water we need if we do not give up. When we finally “hit water” we are to “proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted”.
We are not supposed to keep the amazing water we have found in the well of salvation a secret. We are supposed to share it with the world: “Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you”. I am not sure who the passage is referring to as the “Holy One of Israel among you”. It sounds a bit like the reference to Immanuel from a few passages ago. Perhaps it is a reference to the coming Messiah I do not know. Either way, the take home message seems clear: 1) seek salvation from the well of water that is God no matter how hard you have to search and dig; 2) Be joyful and thankful when you find salvation; 3) share what you have found with the world.
Prayer: God thank You for providing a well of salvation from which we can drink and be refreshed.