Suggested Scripture reading – Isaiah 12
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.”
It was a clear beautiful day. The sky was a cool spring time blue with white fleecy clouds and a warm sun beaming down on the field where the kids liked to play baseball. The trouble in this idyllic scene was that dad had given instructions that they not play on that field any more. The new houses built were just too close and a hard line drive could end in disaster. But, dad was away from home this particular afternoon and the call of the diamond was just too strong. Surely, a few innings wouldn’t hurt. In the first inning that slow floater that crossed the plate low and just inside was the perfect target for the boy’s bat. He made contact. That sweet crack was musical. It was poetry in motion as the ball rose into the clear air. Its trajectory peaked and with horror he began to see where it was going to land. Rather, where it was going to crash through the window of the new house; right through the front window! For a long second he stood as if he was rooted to the ground, then he ran. He ran away to hide from his dad. He had disobeyed and now he did not want to face his father. He was afraid. He knew he would be punished.
Evening soon came and, indeed, the dad was angry with his son. The boy had disobeyed and now there must come the reckoning. He faced his father, took his punishment bravely and resolved to never disobey again. Then, to his astonishment, his father put his arms around him and hugged him. The boy looked questioningly at his dad as the father explained. “Son, I know you will make mistakes and I may need to punish you at times. But, no matter what, you will always be my son. I love you.” As the boy grew up he often revisited that scene in his memory. His dad had infused strength and character into him because of his expectations and love. The father had given him strength and that saved him from so much pain through his life.
Isaiah’s sweet psalm in chapter 12 mirrors the same type of situation. Israel, God’s people, had sinned. Their rebellion brought God’s anger and judgment. When God’s judgment had been satisfied, as the good Father, He restored His fellowship with His children. This psalm grew out of this situation. “And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid.” (Isaiah 12:1-2a)
Child of God, when we sin we fail the Father and He must chasten us. “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” (Hebrews 12:6) We need not be afraid. As a good Father He turns His anger away and comforts us. He comforts His children. Are you His child? Then fear not;
For His anger is turned away.
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
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