International Sunday School Lesson for June 9, 2013
Scripture Text: Isaiah 12
Purpose: To affirm gratitude, trust, and comfort during worship, remembering God's blessings
Isaiah 16 (CEB)
1 You will say on that day:
"I thank you, Lord.
Though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away and you comforted me.
2 God is indeed my salvation;
I will trust and won’t be afraid.
Yah, the Lord, is my strength and my shield;
he has become my salvation."
3 You will draw water with joy from the springs of salvation.
4 And you will say on that day:
"Thank the Lord; call on God’s name;
proclaim God’s deeds among the peoples;
declare that God’s name is exalted.
5 Sing to the Lord, who has done glorious things;
proclaim this throughout all the earth."
6 Shout and sing for joy, city of Zion,
because the holy one of Israel is great among you.
My Thoughts by Burgess Walter
In last week's lesson we found Isaiah entering into a worship experience where he was challenged, cleansed, and put to work. In that setting Isaiah felt small and overwhelmed by God's glory. Isaiah received harsh, but comforting words.
Now it is Isaiah's turn to share, as instructed by God in last week's lesson. Isaiah tells his listeners to be thankful. Thankful that God's anger, unlike His love, is short lived. God's anger disappears with our repentance. God's love last forever, but His anger is limited to our time out of His will and control. Because we can choose to obey or disobey according to our own desires, God has a right and chooses to use that right to bring us back to him through repentance. I think it is unique that our repentance causes God to repent of his anger against us.
I have found through my own experience that the God I need is always the God I get. Sometimes that means I am subject to his judgment, and other times I am comforted by his love, and grace. Notice I said the God I need, not the God I would like all the time.
God is always working for our salvation, as it says in verse 2. God interacts with us according to our need, sometimes we need scolding, sometimes laid aside, sometimes comfort, but regardless of what we think we need, our salvation is always what God has in mind, for our own good.
There are times when we just need to reflect on all the things that God has done for us in our lifetime. Times when we needed to be brought low, times when a job was provided out of the blue for us, times of healing, both spiritual healing and physical healing.
Then like Isaiah, we are called to proclaim that to the whole world, and especially to those that are our family and friends. God's goodness and glory needs to be proclaimed throughout the world so everyone receives a glimpse of the workings of a great and glorious God.
There is a prayer that John Wesley used during the early years as he established classes where God's word was taught. I have had this copied and laminated for some of my grandchildren that are going through rough spots in their lives. I think it is a good reminder of the way God works in our lives.
A Covenant Prayer
I am no longer my own,
Put me to what thou wilt,
rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing,
put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee
or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things,
let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things
to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it. And the covenant which I have
made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.