Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Wells of Salvation

"Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation." Isaiah 12:3
Snow-light warmed my face this morning.  In the night Creator God opened His “treasure-house of snow” and “caused the dawn to know its place,” glowing on an earth that reflects back a new radiance.  "At rest" aptly describes the demeanor of this new world.  Laid by, set apart, covered, white, made new.  The Spirit's life ever growing in us by the grace of God, bears the same fruit. In the past weeks I have been reading passages of Isaiah at every day’s end; drinking in at once fitting wrath, beauty of justice and imminence of redemption that gives fullness of joy.  The Word can carve marks ages deep on human hearts.
“Bind up the testimony,
Seal the law among my disciples,
And I will wait on the Lord,
Who hides His face from the house of Jacob;
And I will hope in Him.
Here am I and the children whom the Lord has given me!
We are for signs and wonders in Israel
From the Lord of hosts,
Who dwells in Mount Zion.”
~Isaiah 8:16-18~
Isaiah knew what it was to know the hand of the Lord laid upon him...the mystery and pain and wonder and humbling of divine intervention and upheaval displacing the finite world of a man.  For His pleasure and glory, He makes what He made to live again, and kills what must die.  In Him frail flesh is at once sustained and mortified to the end that on that Day it will be nearly unrecognizable to all but Himself.  Then we shall know fully as we are fully known.  Growing less and less familiar to this waiting-place, we become the signs and wonders of Almighty God.  The mingling of enrichment and abasement is staggering.  Therefore the children of God fall on their faces before the throne and worship and therefrom is the zeal of their labor born.
Isaiah 12 expresses the jubilant rapture of a people freed from the chains of sin and death and captives in God, their salvation:
And in that day you will say:
“O Lord, I will praise You; though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me.  Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; 
For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.
Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 
And in that day you will say: “Praise the Lord, call upon His name;
Declare His deeds among the peoples,
Make mention that His name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord, for He has done excellent things; this is known in all the earth.
Cry our and shout, O inhabitant of Zion,
For great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!”
The wonder is not so much in the words of joyful thanksgiving alone, as in the fact that they can follow closely upon those of just judgement.  The incarnation of God on earth, Jesus Christ, is most wonderful because it is a divine act of justice on the grandest scale. Isaiah’s words concerning the Messiah can only rightly follow upon the tale of a people in dire need.  Destitution and misery of spirit, imprisonment of the soul, bend in agony before the fire of impartiality from the throne and are miraculously lifted by the power of atoning sacrifice.  What wonder and glory to the name of God that this divine provision searches us out of the wasteland and gathers us up into lasting fellowship.  
In this knowledge, days of home and quiet industry are made to establish a newness of deep joy in the Spirit.  Here where self-satisfaction and pride, a painted mask of happiness, and profusion of words empty of meaning are wiped away.  Understanding of an eternal debt paid in full is an everlasting well of joy indeed.

“Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading... 
Hail, hail the Word made flesh...”

Daughter of Robert E. Lee arrested for refusing to obey Washington D.C. segregation laws...