Isaiah 12:1-6 4th Sunday in Lent March 14th, 2010 Pastor Joel T. Sauer Year C In that Day…. I. Rejoice in Your Deliverance! (1-3) II. Declare His Marvelous Deeds! (4-6) In the name of the Father, and of the Son † and of the Holy Spirit! Amen. Dear Christian Friends, Do you know what the initials A.D. stand for? You often see it after a year –2010 A.D. When we understand that B.C. stands for “before Christ”, the logical conclusion would be, “after death” - Christ’s death. But this is not the case. The letters A.D. are Latin for “Anno Domini”. Translated, this means, “The year of our Lord.” With these simple letters, we see that our Savior did not die and stay dead, but rose from the dead to reign forever. We are now living in the years of His rule, His salvation. This is what Isaiah speaks about in the lesson before us this morning. Isaiah writes, “In that Day…” In that day refers to the time when the Savior descended from on high to this earth. But it not only refers to Jesus’ time spent on this earth, but also from the time of His resurrection to all eternity. And so as we look at this lesson, may we take to heart the first three words of our lesson words, “In that Day…” Yes, “In that Day” let us Rejoice in our Deliverance, won for us by Christ. And second of all, “In that Day…” let us Declare His Marvelous Deeds! With that in mind, may the Holy Spirit bless our study of His Word and lead us to treasure the time in which we live, for truly we are living in the year of our Lord. Our lesson for today is taken from the Book of Isaiah chapter 12, beginning at the 1st verse. We read: In that day you will say: “I will praise you, O LORD. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. 2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” 3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4 In that day you will say: “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. 5 Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. 6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.” This is the Word of our Lord! Have you ever waited for a special day to come? Maybe it was your birthday or anniversary. Maybe you couldn’t wait until summer vacation or the weekend when you could relax. The Israelites were also waiting for a special day. In chapter eleven of this book, Isaiah writes, “A shoot will rise up from the stump of Jesse…” The Israelites were waiting for the special day when the Messiah, the Savior, would come. And what would this coming Messiah do? He would bring peace and salvation. It is with that background that Isaiah begins the lesson before us this morning. In the first verse of our lesson, Isaiah says that when that day comes, the Israelites will rejoice and will praise God! Why? Because God has turned away His anger, has turned His anger away from the Israelites, has turned His anger away from us. But why would God have been angry with the Israelites? Because they had sinned against Him. They had worshipped idols instead of God. They lived according to their sinful nature. They had trusted not in God, but in themselves. But can God be angry with us as well? We know the answer. For we have at times acted like the Israelites of old, haven’t we? Has your love for God been evident in your daily life? Do you expect only good from God in every situation that you encounter or do you doubt, complain or feel unfairly treated when things go wrong? Have we treated God like that wayward son in the Gospel this morning – demanding God give us what we want, when we want it, and how we want it – as if our will, not His, should be done? Have we always spoken well of our friends, neighbors or family members? Or have we gossiped, cut people down, not focusing at their good qualities, but their weaknesses? We have sinned. And because of our sin, God has every right to be angry with us. Because of our sin, God has every right to punish us, has every right to abandon us, every right to ignore our prayers. Do we understand that? He hates sin, for it is the very opposite of who He is – holy. And so, when God looks at us and sees that we are sinners, how could He not be angry with us? But look at what Isaiah says here – “although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you comforted me.” Oh, the grace of God! How incredible is His love to us who are undeserving! He has turned His anger away from us and toward another. Another who would and has taken our place, another who would and has taken the punishment for our sin, another who would receive the full brunt of God’s wrath over sin. Yes, God’s love toward us is seen this Lenten Season on Good Friday in the words “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me!” With those words, Jesus, on that day, experienced the wrath of God. Jesus took our place – He became the wayward son, so that you and I may be seen as true children of God! When God should have abandoned us, He abandoned Jesus instead. When God should have punished us for our many sins, He punished Jesus in our place. That’s is why it is called “Good” Friday. When we think back to that day, we see that Jesus’ sacrifice extends to today and all time. We are living, “In that day.” For we are living in the day of salvation, the time of His comfort through Christ, as Isaiah says in verse 2, “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” Notice what Isaiah says here in verse 2 – “The Lord, the Lord.” The word that Isaiah uses here is the name used for the Lord of the covenant, the One who has promised to save. This is our comfort. For the Lord has promised salvation to us through His Son. It is upon this promise that we trust. It is upon this promise which the Lord delivers us. It is upon this promise that we have nothing to fear and it is this promise of which we drink deeply, for it is the spring of life! Throughout the Bible, we have pictures of water giving life. Jesus spoke of drinking from the waters of life, from which we will never thirst again. We have the same picture here for us now. As you came into church this morning, did you come knowing that you would draw water from the springs of salvation? For here you hear God’s marvelous Word, which quenches your thirst, your thirst for forgiveness. Here in Word and Sacrament, there is life. Here are the waters of life, the springs of salvation – offered to you. “In that day…” – what a day it is! We are truly living in the year of our Lord. Oh, let us rejoice in our deliverance. But also let us declare His marvelous deeds. That is what we want to take a look at in the next verses. Isaiah continues his song of praise, the song that would be uttered by those who would live to see that day, the day of salvation. He writes that they will say, “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.” “Proclaim that His name is exalted.” In other words, give glory to God by proclaiming what He has done; exalting the Name of the One who has delivered us, who has come to save all people of all time. Why are you here on this earth? Why do you and I exist? Isn’t the reason we are here on this earth is to exalt God’s name? Isn’t that the reason for Abiding Savior –to glorify God by proclaiming His great deeds, what He has done through Christ? But how often we get caught up in other things – how often we get caught up in little arguments, easily getting distracted from our purpose and focusing on material things or problems. Let us go back to what God has done for us, and remembering that sacrifice for our sins, we can’t help but to “Sing to the Lord” for His marvelous deeds and proclaim His name to the entire world. Drinking from the springs of salvation, we then glorify God’s name in praising Him and bringing others to the springs of life! This is how we glorify the Lord in our homes, at Abiding Savior, at our workplaces. Isn’t this what it is all about? Isaiah sums it all up in this last verse. “Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.” Shout aloud and give praise to God! Yes, praise God that He has delivered you and given you life everlasting! Yes, Praise God by declaring His marvelous deeds. Yes, praise God who is among us in Word and Sacrament. In that day, today, Praise God! In the name of Jesus! Amen. This sermon was prepared and delivered by Pastor Joel T. Sauer. Feel free to copy it and pass it around to your friends and family. No copyright has been claimed, it’s free just like our salvation. If you have any questions concerning this sermon or about Christ, please feel free to contact Pastor Sauer. It is our prayer that your study of God’s Word brings peace to your life.