“The Wells of Salvation - A Canticle of Joy”
Isaiah 12 is a chapter of joy, praise, and rejoicing in response to the prophecy of the Messiah in Isaiah 11. It is a canticle, a song of praise to God. What is a canticle? A canticle is defined as a song text to the Lord that occurs outside the book of Psalms. There are several canticles in the scriptures. This particular canticle has been set to music by many composers over time, and I have sung many choral arrangements of these verses. How fitting it is to follow the prophecy of Christ’s birth with a chapter solely dedicated to giving God praise and glory!
One of my most favorite musical settings of this scripture is “Cry Out and Shout” by Knut Nystedt. Go to this link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAGFRL96ACs) and you can hear a great recording of it. The lines that grab me in this chapter are verses 2 and 3. “The Lord, the Lord is my strength and song; He has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” With all of the rain this past summer it can be easy to forget the devastation of the drought of 2016. In writing this devotion I checked out many photos online of drought damage in Alabama last year. The stunning photos reveal dry, parched,and cracked lake beds, and desolate river beds and streams which no longer flowed. I do remember when it did rain last year at the beginning of December. I remember how happy I was and how refreshing it felt to see the earth come to life and look fresher even in the beginning of the dormant winter season.
I think of spiritual drought when I read verse 3, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”So often our spiritual lives become “drought-stricken” and we long for the water of the well of salvation.The good news for the believer is that Jesus is our well of salvation. He told the woman at the well in John 4:13-14, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”Once we receive His living water, we cannot help but respond with joy and gratitude before God. We will follow the pattern of verse 5 in our reading today, “Sing to the Lord, for He has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world.” Pray to the Lord today thanking Him for His living water and as verse 4 reminds us, “Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done, and proclaim that His name is exalted.”
Isaiah 12:1-6 (ESV):
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.
2 “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.”
3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4 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.
5 “Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be made known in all the earth.
6 Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”