The Prophet Isaiah Predicts a Time of Thanks
A day of thanks is coming. But it will be more than a day in which we can ‘count our blessings.’ It will be more than a time to think back upon a year of ups and downs in order to reflect on the abundance of good that hopefully outweighed the bad. It is always better to look back on past years and focus on the blessings we received and leave the unfortunate things in the past.
America Celebrates Thanksgiving Day
A time of thanks is coming to the entire world. It will stretch far past a 24 hour. Years upon years of continuous thanksgiving is in our future. So says the Prophet Isaiah.
In America we celebrate Thanksgiving. We invite family members to join together to remember the past things we can rejoice in. Footballs are thrown in front yards, or soccer balls are kicked back and forth. Professional football games play on television sets. Cooks fuss over final preparations. Kids pick at cookies or pies when the cooks aren’t looking. Eager dads pull off chunks of meat before the meal gets placed on the table.
All this is part of the ‘fun’ of the one day of the year in which America tries to remember things to give thanks for. Sometimes those things are hard to remember.
A better day of thanksgiving is coming
Not just for America.
In that coming day of thanksgiving, many will give thanks. Isaiah chapter twelve gives us a glimpse. There is a day coming when the Lord will turn His anger away from Israel. The Jewish Nation has received a harsh, but just, judgment from God. When that time of judgment ends, Israel will rejoice, and the whole world will join in the celebration. I don’t expect there will be any football on television then but there will be parties in the streets. Great shouts of joy will ring out on streets around the world.
It will be a day of victory that will be celebrated for a thousand years. And that’s not hyperbole. That’s a fancy word meaning…it’s going to be a real thousand years.
Praise and thanks to the LORD when his anger has passed.
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.
And in that day you will say: In Isaiah chapter eleven, the prophet wrote about the eventual reign of the Messiah as king over all the earth. This brief chapter describes the emotional outbursts of praise that will take place at the beginning of His reign. God was angry with Israel because of their rebellion. To this day that rebellion remains. The anger will turn to comfort when they repent. He will restore Israel, and the world will benefit. The peace we all long for will arrive; finally.
God is my salvation; The LORD God is my strength
“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.”
God offers salvation to those who want it, but it comes at a cost. We must relinquish our will for His. And there is the problem that keeps most from the free gift. It is a free gift and we only need to grab it, but oh that cost. It will seem so trivial a matter in the end, but now, most aren’t willing to pay it. The fun and freedom of our own free will is too high a price to pay. So says the man or woman who refuses the gift.
The Lord says trust and don’t be afraid.
“Hearken, O unbeliever, you have said, ‘I cannot believe,’ but it would be more honest if you had said, ‘I will not believe.’ The mischief lies there. Your unbelief is your fault, not your misfortune. It is a disease, but it is also a crime: it is a terrible source of misery to you, but it is justly so, for it is an atrocious offense against the God of truth.” (quote from Charles Spurgeon)
“The talk about trying to believe is a mere pretense. But whether pretense or no, let me remind you that there is no text in the Bible which says, ‘Try and believe,’ but it says ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.’ He is the Son of God, he has proved it by his miracles, he died to save sinners, therefore trust him; he deserves implicit trust and child-like confidence. Will you refuse him these? Then you have maligned his character and given him the lie.” (Spurgeon)
The cleansing water of salvation from the LORD.
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
Jesus made a promise to those who came to Him for salvation.
Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:14)
In the time of the Messiah’s reign we will drink long from fresh waters. Those fresh waters will be like none we have ever tasted. We will drink the clean waters, and rejoice that humanity’s salvation has finally come. Man foolishly thinks he can cleanse the waters of the world by implementing recycling programs. Governments try to get more citizens to ride bikes and leave their cars and tucks at home. This will never clean our air and waters. Those attempts are fleeting and won’t work.
Give Thanks to the Lord
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.
Give thanks to the Lord. We should learn to thank God now. It will be a daily shout in the thousand-year reign of Christ.
The Lord has done Great Things
The whole world knows it.
“Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously;
let this be made known in all the earth.
Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”
God is good. The world knows this but fights against the notion of God. We instinctively fight against God because we enjoy our freedom. Our freedoms are threatened by a God who says, “thou shalt not.” The same way a child is frustrated when unable to run blindly across a busy street. We know why the child can’t run across the street, but still we fight against God when he tells us things we shouldn’t do.
When the final victory is won it won’t be necessary to convince anyone that God is good. Those who are dancing in the streets at that time, will be giving thanks for the times they listened to God.
Are you listening?
More from Isaiah