Isaiah 12:2
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. For the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and He also has become my salvation."
Sermons
A Definition of FaithIsaiah 12:2
Faith and FearR. Tuck Isaiah 12:2
Full Assurance of SalvationIsaiah 12:2
God Our SalvationJ. Monte Gibson, D. D.Isaiah 12:2
God the Soul's SalvationIsaiah 12:2
Holy Joy in GodR. Tuck Isaiah 12:2
Jehovah His People's SongGates of ImageryIsaiah 12:2
Jehovah the Strength of His PeopleR. Macculloch.Isaiah 12:2
Man's Saviour DivineIsaiah 12:2
My Strength and Song'Alexander MaclarenIsaiah 12:2
Our Liability to Fear, and the Power of Faith to Overcome ItA. Raleigh, D. D.Isaiah 12:2
Rejoicing in GodJ. Walker, D. D.Isaiah 12:2
Rejoicing in GodGreat ThoughtsIsaiah 12:2
SalvationJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 12:2
Salvation of the LordR. Macculloch.Isaiah 12:2
Salvation, the Possession of GodA. Maclaren, D. D.Isaiah 12:2
The Greatness of God's GoodnessW. Clarkson Isaiah 12:2
The Joy of the GospelGreat ThoughtsIsaiah 12:2
The Old Testament Interpreted by the NewJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 12:2
Trust in GodProf. Laidlaw, D. D.Isaiah 12:2
Trust in Relation to the WillMrs. H. W. Smith.Isaiah 12:2
TrustingT. L. Cuyler, D. D.Isaiah 12:2
A New Song for New HeartsIsaiah 12:1-3
A Song in the NightJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 12:1-3
Assurance of SalvationJohn Bate.Isaiah 12:1-3
Did Isaiah Write This SongJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 12:1-3
Grace Upon GraceR. Macculloch.Isaiah 12:1-3
Praise for RedemptionF. Delitzsch.Isaiah 12:1-3
Praise for Redemption by the Individual and by the ChurchIsaiah 12:1-3
The Heart's DiapasonIsaiah 12:1-3
The Joy of SalvationMethodist TimesIsaiah 12:1-3
The Present Happiness of God's People Set Before the UnconvertedB. W. Noel, M. A.Isaiah 12:1-3
The Song of the RansomedAnon.Isaiah 12:1-3
A Hymn of PraiseE. Johnson Isaiah 12:1-6
We have in these words the very exuberance of holy feeling. They refer us to -

I. THE SUPREME ACT OF GOD'S GOODNESS. "God is my Salvation." He has been wonderfully gracious to us in bestowal - in the gifts of our being, of our spiritual nature with its varied capacities, of our physical nature with all its organs of activity and enjoyment, of our human relationships, of a rich and beautiful dwelling-place, etc. But his greatest kindness is felt by us to be in deliverance, in that which is called "salvation." Here, again, there is an ascent in the scale of Divine goodness; for higher than salvation from trouble, from sickness, from death, from personal captivity or political servitude, stands salvation from sin; and in the Messianic era this spiritual deliverance reaches its highest point; for it includes not only the negative side of rescue from present evil, but also the positive side of enrichment with corresponding good. It embraces:

1. Redemption from sin - its penalty and its power (its thraldom and its defilement).

2. Restoration to God - to his favor and to his likeness.

3. The hope of a higher and endless life in another world.

II. THE CONTINUANCE OF HIS GREATEST GIFT IN IMPARTING SPIRITUAL STRENGTH. He "forsakes not the work of his own hands." Having redeemed us from the power and condemnation of sin, and lifted us up into the state of sonship and heirship, he sustains us in our new and blessed life. "The Lord Jehovah is our Strength." He imparts the needful strength for maintenance in our course by

(1) the privileges of the gospel;

(2) the discipline of his holy providence;

(3) the direct influences of his own Spirit.

III. THE RESPONSE OF OUR HEARTS TO THE DIVINE LOVE.

1. The gratitude which finds utterance in sacred song. "The Lord... is my Song" (see Psalm 119:54). The Christian man should carry in his heart such a sense of God's redeeming love that he should be always ready to break forth into praise; his life should be a song of gratitude for the salvation of the Lord.

2. The confidence which excludes anxiety. "I will trust, and not be afraid."

(1) Many are the occasions of human fear and anxiety - the honorable maintenance of the family; the preservation of our personal integrity, both moral and spiritual; the faithful discharge of duty in the post we have undertaken to fill; the adorning of our Christian profession; our passage through the gateway of death, etc.

(2) We are wholly insufficient of ourselves to meet these, and to triumph over them (2 Corinthians 3:5).

(3) But, confiding in God, we may go forth without anxiety, assured of his Divine help (Psalm 27:1; Psalm 56:11-13; Psalm 118:6-8; Hebrews 13:5, 6). - C.







Behold, God is my salvation.
These words are used by the prophet, in the name of the Church, to set forth the happiness and salvation of the Jews when they shall be gathered in with the fulness of the Gentiles. They also express the experience of a believer —

I. WITH RESPECT TO HIS MORAL STATE. "God is my salvation." Some would have the aid, the consolation, and the favour of God, but refuse His salvation, and remain in sin. This, however, is vain and impossible. The privileges of a believer are unspeakably great, but they all are founded on that change which the grace of God makes in his nature, here called salvation. Salvation is deliverance, and how does this show itself in a believer? He is delivered from darkness (2 Corinthians 4:6). From insensibility (Ezekiel 36:26). From pride. From creaturely dependence. From a sense of condemnation (Romans 8:1). From slavery (John 8:36; Romans 6:22). He is delivered from misery, into union with God, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost; no longer a stranger and foreigner, but a fellow heir, rejoicing in Christ Jesus, and in the hope of His glory. Observe, to whom the believer refers us as the Author of this salvation — "God."

II. WITH RESPECT TO HIS AID. "The Lord Jehovah is my strength." If we have not yet learned that our own strength is weakness, and that we shall never be sufficiently strong until the Lord Jehovah Himself strengthens with 'all might in our inner man, we have learnt little of Christianity. But he who knows that God is his salvation, knows also that God is his strength. Dost thou fall? "Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me." Art thou faint? "He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might He increaseth strength." Art thou wounded? A touch of the Divine hand shall heal thee. Art thou buffeted by Satan? God shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. In one word, behold a Divine and almighty power everywhere, and always surrounding you, sufficient for all purposes to bless, support, deliver.

III. WITH RESPECT TO HIS CONSOLATIONS. "And my song." Here is an allusion to the ancient custom of composing and singing sacred odes or songs upon occasions of any signal deliverance, or the communication of any peculiar blessing. Such were the songs of Moses and Miriam, when Pharaoh and his host were swallowed up in the Red Sea; of Moses, after he had brought the Israelites to the borders of the promised land; of many of the Psalms of David, etc. Observe, the subject of his song, "the Lord Jehovah." His nature; His dispensations.

IV. WITH RESPECT TO HIS CONFIDENCE. "I will trust, and not be afraid."

(J. Walker, D. D.)

The physician may be the means of restoring to health, but it is God who performs the cure. The counsellor may give good advice, but it is God who guides by His counsel and conducts to glory. Soldiers may fight our battles, but it is God who crowns them with victory. Friends may try to assist, relieve, and comfort us, but their success depends entirely upon God. From providences and ordinances we may derive much benefit, but for this purpose it is absolutely requisite that they be accompanied with the Divine blessing. In this manner we are taught that salvation is of the Lord.

(R. Macculloch.)

The word "salvation" is too narrowly defined in many instances. People suppose that it means a kind of spiritual selfishness which, being expressed in more words, would run in some such fashion as this: Thank God I am safe, whatever may become of anybody else! Any man who can say that, or mean that, or be in any way under such a delusion, simply knows nothing whatever about the spirit of the Gospel. "Salvation" is one of the largest terms in human speech. Emancipation does not mean — you are now no longer under obligation to serve your old tyrant or your old master. That is but a negative aspect of emancipation. The true meaning is — you are invested with all the responsibilities of organised liberty; you have conferred upon you an opportunity of developing your whole manhood; you may now show the very best aspect of your character, and unless you do it, then slavery were for you better than freedom. It is so with the fullest meaning of this word salvation. Saved people are generous people, beneficent, charitable, anxious about others; nay, the only explanation of their anxiety about others is that they themselves are conscious of having been saved — not saved from fear only, but saved into life, liberty, and conscious possibility of doing great and small things.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

"Behold, God is my salvation." translates this, "Behold, God is my Jesus." Jerome was right in going back to the Old Testament with the key of the New. In fact, we are entitled to begin at Genesis after we have perused the whole Gospel story with the profoundest interest and have received its spirit into our heart. The Gospels explain the Pentateuch. There are arithmetics which are awful in their initial hardness. They are all questions. Arithmetic is the most audacious interrogator I ever knew. But at the end of the arithmetic, in some cases, there is a key. What different reading! There is not a question in the whole key unless it be at the beginning of an answer, and who, having read the answer, does not feel how easy it was to have worked out the sum after all if one had only taken pains enough at the beginning? At the same time there is a strong disposition just to appropriate what the key says, and then, perhaps, to appear before the spectacled master as if we had never heard of such a thing as a key. That would be illegitimate in arithmetic. There have been young arithmeticians who have been guilty of that meanness. But we are called to look at the key in open day; we are referred to the key; we are invited and challenged to peruse it, and then to go back with the key in our hand to work out all the mystery of the lock. This is what Jerome did; so he did not hesitate to take out the word "salvation" in the second, verse and put in the word "Jesus," and say with unction and thankfulness, Behold, God is my Jesus." "His name shall be called Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins."

(J. Parker, D. D.)

If there is a man or a woman that thinks of salvation as if it were merely a shutting up of some material hell, or the dodging round a corner, so as to escape some external consequence of transgression, let him or her learn this the possession of God is salvation; that and nothing else.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

The prophet has been looking forward through times of darkness and captivity to the coming day of light and freedom; and in the hymn of which our text is the keynote he shows what will be the spirit of the new age, what the prevailing thoughts and emotions of the time. It is an exultant song, but without a word of self-congratulation. It is the keynote of the kingdom of heaven; and the regeneration of society for which ardent spirits long will not be reached until this old song become again a voice of the time.

1. We are far enough from it now. We have the song in our Bibles, we quote it in our pulpits, we sing it in our church services, but it is not in our modern life. There is nothing of it in the current literature. It is the function of the poet to give voice to the nobler thoughts and emotions of his time. Now can you imagine a poet of our times bursting out into a song like that; and if he did, would the editors of our first-class reviews be eager to glorify their pages with it? Instead of exultation in the name of God, there is all eagerness to avoid it. It is not that the age is indifferent: there is much real earnestness. The word "salvation" is not much in vogue; but the thing meant is by no means despised. If the spirit of earnestness now abroad had been foreseen fifty years ago, men would have thought that the kingdom of heaven was verily at hand at last. But now, here all around us, is the earnestness — philanthropic, moral, even spiritual, earnestness to a considerable extent; but where is the kingdom? Alas, it still seems very far away!

2. We are better than we were. Year by year there is some improvement. But not nearly enough. The end will not be brought within sight till the spirit of this old song comes back to us; till the nation as a nation, not one here and there among the people, but the people as a people, look upwards to the hills from whence cometh their aid; till the inhabitant on every side cries out, "Behold, God is my salvation."

3. Let it be remembered that trust in God does not mean neglect of ordinary means. We who believe in God are thoroughly with the humanitarians so far as they go. We believe with them in heredity and in its power for evil and for good; only we do not believe that there is any inheritance of evil so terrible that the grace of God cannot reach and save its victim, nor any inheritance of ancestral nobleness so excellent that the grace of God is not needed to make and keep pure, and to raise to still higher things. We believe in education, in refinement, in progress of all kinds, in all processes of evolution which are moving in the right direction, onwards and upwards; only we recognise that none of these, nor all of them together, quite meet the case, or mean salvation. There remain with us mystery, unsolved; sin, crying for forgiveness and cleansing; sorrow, scarce abated or diminished; death, with all its victory — mystery, sin, sorrow, death: all present, patent facts, not to be disputed, not to be conquered by the freest education, or the highest culture; and then there is judgment to come, to which the con. science is a witness not in any case to be forever silenced, though it may be hushed and quieted for a time; and there is the great eternity, the thought of which God has put into our hearts. When we look at these things we see our need, not of education merely, but of salvation, and heart and flesh cry out for God.

4. But is not this the watchword of the Churches? Do not they sufficiently represent the Divine factor in the world's salvation? Would that they did. Look, first, at the national Church. What is its great message? Is it, "Behold, God is thy salvation"? What we all want is to be so filled with the Spirit of God, and so thoroughly saved ourselves, that the keynote of every minister's sermon, and of every Christian's life shall be, "Behold, God is my salvation."

5. There is, indeed, a human side of Divine truth which is of very great importance. If God is to be my salvation, He must be in touch with me. If He show Himself to me, it must be in my likeness; if He speak to me, it must be in my language; if He act on me, it must be through my faculties and in accordance with the laws of my being. He is the God of nature as well as of grace. But important as it is to show the Gospel natural, it is far more important to hold fast to the supernatural.

(J. Monte Gibson, D. D.)

A character in a modern book says, "I said I would leave the saving of my soul to Him that made my soul; it was in right good keeping there I'd warrant."

Dr. Mason of America said — "I need such a Saviour; for I would not trust my soul to the hands or heart of the brightest seraph that burns before the eternal throne."

Mrs. Edwards, wife of President Edwards, says, "In 1742 I sought and obtained the full assurance of faith. I cannot find language to express how certain the everlasting love of God appeared; the everlasting mountains and hills were but shadows to it. My safety and happiness and eternal enjoyment of God's immutable love, seemed as durable and unchangeable as God Himself. Melted and overcome by the sweetness of this assurance, I fell into a great flood of tears, and could not forbear weeping aloud. The presence of God was so near and so real that I seemed scarcely conscious of anything else. My soul was filled and overwhelmed with light and love and joy in the Holy Ghost, and seemed just ready to go away from the body. This exaltation of soul subsided into a heavenly calm and rest of soul in God, which was even sweeter than what preceded it."

I will trust, and not be afraid.
Naturally any creature must be liable to fear. The finite nature, however exalted, must always feel itself transcended and surrounded by the infinite Unknown. There can be only one Being in the universe absolutely and forever free from that liability — He who knows everything, and who controls everything — who knows all beings, agents, facts, possibilities, and rules them. We are manifestly far more liable to the inroads of this fear than those creatures who have never fallen.

I. THE GREAT MYSTERIES OF EXISTENCE HAVE A TENDENCY TO PRODUCE FEAR. Something depends, of course, on the susceptibility of the individual; a strong practical nature is not so much affected by mysteries; but there are few thoughtful persons who do not sometimes feel the shadow of them on the path; and the continual contemplation of them does not irradiate or dissolve them; they become only more impenetrable and more densely dark, and then comes the fear lest this aspect of them should never be relieved, lest they should be unfathomable and unconquerable forever.

1. Has not every thoughtful mind bowed and almost trembled before the great mystery into which so many others may be resolved — the existence of evil in the universe, under the government of an infinitely powerful and infinitely benevolent Being? We have, indeed, to consider that along with sin was introduced the Gospel — the glorious, all-sufficient remedy, by which sin is to be taken away and purity restored; but they exist together. The remedy, although we have the utmost confidence in its perfect sufficiency, does not destroy the disease in a moment; it struggles with it, and overcomes it only by slow degrees, and in some instances the disease seems to return with increasing virulence, and to reassert its supremacy after the cure has been more than half effected; while, in a multitude of other instances, the remedy never takes effect; at all, and whole generations of human beings are swept away by death, in a moral condition that augurs ill for any future happiness. He who can say that he has had no difficulties with such a subject, only shows that he has had no thoughts about it. And yet it is not at all desirable to be under the influence of this oppression of evil; it is very desirable, and quite possible, to rise superior to it. But how? "I will trust, and not be afraid." Many have tried to reach the ground of satisfaction by knowledge. They have said, "I will know, and not be afraid"; but they have had no success.

2. There is great mystery also about the plan of Divine providence in this world. We see glimpses of Divine meaning shining out of the plan at intervals, and we make our way with certainty to some of the leading principles of that providence. We are sure, e.g., that God is the friend and protector of the righteous man, and yet, see how some righteous men are tried! And see, on the other hand, how ungodly men rise into influence sometimes. If we gaze upon God's great providence in the hope of being able to scan its parts and explain all its movements, we shall be sadly disappointed. But if we cease from the vain attempt to understand the complexities of providence and, looking above all its visible movements, rest our faith on Him who conducts them all, we shall begin to have peace. It would be easy to mention many other providential mysteries which are very appalling and perplexing to the natural understanding. Do you say, It is all according to law? But are you not afraid as you see how stern and unrelenting law is? Where is your relief? Will you try to vanquish nature and providence by thought? Will you resist and seek deliverance by strength? Will you be wiser and trust? Ah, that is relief!

II. THERE ARE CERTAIN POSSIBILITIES, THE THOUGHT OF WHICH HAS A TENDENCY TO DARKEN THE SPIRIT WITH FEAR. Unsatisfied with past and present, we cast our hopes always within the veil of the great tomorrow; but our fears go with our hopes. And it is not merely that there are such bare possibilities in every man's future, but these are always shaping themselves into probabilities. Perhaps there is no one person who cannot fancy, and who is not sometimes almost compelled to expect, some particular form of ill, something which he shrinks from. What is the remedy? "I will trust, and not be afraid." There is yet one dread possibility, the contemplation of which is more appalling than the very worst of earthly calamities — the possibility of spiritual failure, ending in a final exclusion from the presence of God and the joys of the blessed. There is but one way of grappling with and overcoming this great fear.

(A. Raleigh, D. D.)

A Christian lady of my acquaintance was at one time in her life an apparently hopeless victim of doubts and fears. She knew she ought to trust the Lord, and longed to do it, but she seemed utterly unable. After a long period of suffering from this cause, she finally con. tided her difficulties to a friend, who, as it mercifully happened, understood this secret concerning the will, and who told her that if in her will she would decide to trust, and, putting all her will power into trusting, would utterly ignore her feelings, she would sooner or later get the victory over all her doubts. The poor doubter listened in silence for a few minutes, and then, drawing a long breath, said with emphasis, "Yes, I see it. If I choose in my will to trust, I really am trusting, even though all my feelings say contrary. I do choose to trust now. I will trust; I will not be afraid again." As she came to this decision, and thus deliberately put her will on the side of God's will, all the darkness vanished, and her soul was brought out into the glorious light of the Gospel; a light which was never dimmed again, until her eyes were opened in the presence of the King.

(Mrs. H. W. Smith.)

"How do you know that you are ready to appear before God?" was once asked of one dying; and the answer was, ' Sir, God knows that I have taken Him at His word."

(Prof. Laidlaw, D. D.)

I once illustrated the act of faith by the experience of a friend who was in an upper room of a hotel at night when the building took fire. He seized the escape rope that was in his room, swung out of the window, and lowered himself in safety to the sidewalk. He had a good opinion of that rope during the day when he saw it coiled up by his bedside, but it was only an opinion; when he believed on the rope, and trusted himself to the rope, it saved his life.

(T. L. Cuyler, D. D.)

An intensely interesting incident was related lately by Dr. J.G. Paten of a discovery of a term in the language of Aniwa for "Faith." It seems that for a long time no equivalent could be found, and the work of Bible translation was paralysed for want of so fundamental and oft. recurring a term. The natives apparently regarded the verb "to hear" as equivalent to belief. For instance, suppose a native were asked whether he heard a certain statement. Should he credit the statement he would reply, "Yes, I heard it," but should he disbelieve it, he would answer, "No, I did not hear it," meaning not that his ears had failed to catch the words, but that he did not regard them as true. This definition of faith was obviously insufficient — many passages, such as "faith cometh by hearing," would be impossible of translation through so meagre a channel; and prayer was made continually that God would supply the missing link. No effort had been spared in interrogating the most intelligent native pundits, but all in vain; none caught the hidden meaning of the word sought by the missionary. One day Dr. Paten was sitting in his room anxiously pondering. He sat on an ordinary chair, his feet resting on the floor; just then an intelligent native entered the room, and the thought flashed to the missionary to ask the all-absorbing question yet once again in a new light. Was he not resting on that chair? Would that attitude lend itself to the discovery? "Taea," said Dr. Paten, "what am I doing now?" "Koihae ana, Misi" ("You're sitting down. Misi"), the native replied. Then the missionary drew up his feet and placed them upon the bar of the chair just above the floor, and, leaning back upon the chair in an attitude of repose, asked, "What am I doing now? Fakarongrongo, Misi" ("You are leaning wholly," or, "You have lifted yourself from every other support"). "That's it," shouted the missionary, with an exultant cry; and a sense of holy joy awed him as he realised that his prayer had been so fully answered. To lean on Jesus wholly and only is surely the true meaning of appropriating or saving faith. And now, "Fakarongrongo Iesu ea anea moure" ("Leaning on Jesus unto eternal life," or, "for all the things of eternal life"), is the happy experience of those Christian islanders, as it is of all who thus cast themselves unreservedly on the Saviour of the world for salvation.

The Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song.
1. He is the strength of my understanding, whereby I discern and acknowledge the great mysteries of salvation, and am enabled to perceive the way in which I ought to go.

2. He is the strength of my heart, of which He takes the direction, working in me to will and to do of His good pleasure; giving the willing mind, which makes His work go forward with alacrity and cheerfulness.

3. He is the strength of my affections, which tie preserves from becoming languid and feeble, and fixes them upon the proper objects on which they ought to terminate.

4. He is the strength of my graces, who establisheth my faith, enliveneth my love, animateth my hope and patience; who enableth me to resist my spiritual enemies, to vanquish temptations, to mortify corruptions, to perform duties, to sustain afflictions, and to surmount all the obstacles that lie in the way to the kingdom of God.

(R. Macculloch.)

Great Thoughts.
At least twenty-one times in his letter to the Philippians, written in prison, does St. Paul use such words as joy, rejoice, gladness, while the whole letter is charged with the spirit of joy. This is the real spirit of the Gospel.

(Great Thoughts.)

Great Thoughts.
When the poet Carpani asked his friend Haydn how it happened that his church music was so cheerful, the beautiful answer was: "I cannot make it otherwise; I write according to the thoughts I feel. When I think upon God, my heart is so full of joy that the notes dance and leap, as it were, from my pen; and since God has given me a cheerful heart, it will be pardoned me that I serve Him with a cheerful spirit."

(Great Thoughts.)

Gates of Imagery.
The wife of Hawthorne, the American writer, said in a letter to her mother: "Sunday afternoon the birds were sweetly mad, and the lovely rage of song drove them hither and thither, and swelled their breasts amain. I kept saying, 'Yes, yes, I know it, dear little maniacs, I know it! There never was such an air, such a day, such a God! I know it! I know it.' But they would not be pacified. Their throats must have been made of fine gold, or they would have been rent with such rapture quakes." Human beings are compelled to declare in song the ecstasy which is at times in their souls because of the goodness of God. They cannot help being tunefully demonstrative when the Infinite Being comes into their souls, and makes Himself known as a gracious visitant by the plenitude of blessing He bestows. If the great visitation be to them on the week day, they give praise for it in the music which attested their jubilant enthusiasm on the Sabbath. If the great visitation comes to them on the Sabbath, they can scarcely tell whether they belong to earth or to the paradise never darkened by evening shadows, and in their singing they endeavour to emulate "the voice of harpers, harping with their harps."

(Gates of Imagery.)

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