II. THE SALVATION ENJOYED
BY JEHOVAH’S BELOVED PEOPLE
Chapter twelve of Isaiah describes the salvation enjoyed by God’s beloved people. The way to enjoy God’s salvation as described here exactly matches the way revealed in the New Testament.
A. What Israel Will Say in That Day
Verse 1 tells us what Israel will say in that day. Israel will say, "I will praise You, O Jehovah. You were angry with me;/But Your anger has turned and You have consoled me." The Hebrew word rendered praise here can also be translated give thanks to.
B. God Being Israel’s Salvation
Verse 2 continues, "God is now my salvation;/I will trust and not dread;/For Jah Jehovah is my strength and song,/ And He has become my salvation." This verse clearly reveals that salvation is the Lord Himself. We should never think that the salvation which we receive and enjoy is anything other than the Lord Himself.
C. Drawing Water with Rejoicing
from the Springs of Salvation
Verses 3 and 4a go on to say, "Therefore you will draw water with rejoicing/From the springs of salvation,/And you will say in that day,/Praise Jehovah; call upon His name!" To receive the Lord as our salvation is to draw water from the springs of salvation. As our salvation the Lord is water to us. This is emphasized strongly in the New Testament, especially in John 4 and 7. In John 4:14 the Lord Jesus says, "The water that I shall give him shall become in him a spring of water welling up into eternal life." In John 7 this spring becomes rivers of living water (vv. 37-39). This indicates that for the Lord to be our salvation means that He is living water.
In Revelation 22:1 and 2 there is the river of water of life and the tree of life. These verses portray the flowing out of the Triune God. God and the Lamb are on the throne, and the river of water of life, a symbol of the Spirit, proceeds out of the throne. The tree of life, signifying Christ, lives and grows in the river of water of life. If the river does not reach us, neither will the tree of life reach us. Since the tree of life is in the water of life, the way to enjoy the tree is to drink the water. When we drink the water of life, we enjoy the Triune God. Today we should not only speak of Christ and teach Christ—we also need to drink of Christ as the life-giving Spirit.
In a recent message on Ephesians 4, I pointed out that Christ is the element of the Body and the Spirit is the essence of the Body. If we have only the element without the essence, what we have will be something merely objective, having nothing to do with us in our experience. No matter how much we may know about Christ as the element, if we do not have the essence, this element will not be related to us subjectively and experientially. But when we have the Spirit as the essence, we will also have Christ as the element. The essence of the tree of life is in the water of life. If we would enjoy Christ as the tree of life, as the element of life, we must drink Him as the water of life, as the essence of life.
Even in the Old Testament time, Isaiah revealed to us that the way to take the Lord as our salvation is to call on His name with rejoicing and praising. Calling on His name is like deep breathing. If we call, "O Lord Jesus! Lord Jesus!" we will be refreshed and revived, and we will become very living. In order to enjoy salvation, we need to realize that the Lord Himself is our salvation, strength, and song and that by calling on His name we may draw water with rejoicing out of the springs of salvation.
Isaiah 12:4b says, "Make His deeds known among the peoples;/Remind them that His name is exalted." This is a matter of preaching the gospel, of letting others know what we have enjoyed by speaking to them concerning Christ and what He has done for us. In our speaking, we need to tell the people that Christ’s name has been exalted, that He has ascended and is now in the heavens.
D. Crying Out and Giving a Ringing Shout
Verses 5 and 6 conclude, "Sing to Jehovah, for He has done something majestic!/Let it be made known in all the earth!/Cry out and give a ringing shout, O inhabitant of Zion,/For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel." Verse 3 speaks of rejoicing, and verse 6, of giving a "ringing shout." A ringing shout is a shout that continues to sound. Joy is inward, but rejoicing involves some activity to express the joy that is within. This rejoicing is related to giving a ringing shout, that is, to rejoicing in a continuing way.
(Life-Study of Isaiah, Chapter 11, by Witness Lee)