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June 9, 2022 - Isaiah 12-19

First verses, this morning: “You will say in that day: ‘I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation’” (12:1-2). I’m just thinking, this is our great hope! This is what gives us such great joy! This is what enables us to live today without fear! Though God was angry with us because of our sin, his anger has turned away from us! Oh, my!

That’s the exclamation and joy of Israel, but Isaiah also speaks to the nations in the following chapters. One by one – Babylon, Assyria, Philistia, Moab, Damascus, Ethiopia, Egypt – the prophet pronounces God’s judgment against the nations who refuse him. But even that announcement is not the last word for, even toward nations that have rejected him, the Lord will be gracious: “And the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the Lord . . . the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed” (19:21, 23-25). Israel’s enemies will be one with her in knowing and worshipping the Lord! Wow! The nations can join Israel in singing:

God is our strength and song,

and His salvation ours;

then be His love in Christ proclaimed

with all our ransomed pow’rs.

Stand up and bless the Lord,

the Lord your God adore;

stand up, and bless His glorious Name

henceforth for evermore. --James Montgomery (1824)

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