Something to Think About – #6

And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted.” Isaiah 12:4

It is the seventh century B.C., and Isaiah is telling the people that God has promised a Messiah who will rescue the people from captivity, that the rescuer will be their king and sit on David’s throne forever, and that he will be God himself. This one will be called is “Immanuel” which literally means “God with us.” Whoever this Messiah is, he will be both human and divine.

Following on the heals of all this comes a a short song of praise in two parts (Chapter 12: 1-3, 4-6). Both parts begin with the exact same phrase “You will say in that day…”

First to the word “you.” This is a plural pronoun which means all of you together will do whatever the verb calls for. Not one of you; not some of you. All of you as an assembly.

Next we have the verb “say.” Now what makes this verb special is that in the Hebrew form it means that once you start the action, you will continuously do it. So Isaiah is telling us that these people will say and continue to say…

Finally the timestamp which is the phrase “in that day.” This means that from that day forward, which we have learned means the time when the Messiah rescues them, the community will start saying and never quit saying the song of praise.

Now we get to our verse which is the first sentence of the second part of the song of praise by the community. It calls them to continuously give thanks to Yahweh (whenever you see the word LORD in all caps in the Old Testament it is the sacred name YWH).

They are also to call upon or praise his name and make known his marvelous deeds. Now the Hebrew culture of the time believed you should not utter God’s name so they substituted words like Adonai and Elohim instead of speaking YWH. That makes this an even more powerful statement because they, in that time and going forward, will be able to proclaim his name.

But the last part is the show stopper. The community is to do all of this among all the nations (rendered here as people, but is the Hebrew the word is goyim or gentile in English). They are to continuously proclaim the name and the deeds of Yahweh to all the nations.

So what does rescue look like? God will turn from anger to comfort his people (verse 1-3). God will someday look away from the peoples covenant breaking behaviors and provide one (the Messiah) who will bring shalom or completeness to the relationship.

Triumphant Entry

Now we turn to us. Does the picture above represent our community? Do we proclaim God’s name and deeds continuously in the world with such joy? Do we share with vigor the coming of the Messiah into our lives now and forevermore?

Maybe Paul can help us get fired up with this early hymn that actually gives us something to say and do continuously in our lives together:

…though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-11

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s