The Song of Salvation in a Pandemic Situation

Bible Book: Isaiah  12 : 1-6
Subject: Singing to the Lord; Worship; Salvation in Christ; Wells of Water; Praise

The Song of Salvation in a Pandemic Situation

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor,

There are many songs written and sung in this world, some of which are happy songs and some which are sad. Some songs are terrestrial in nature and others are celestial. We turn today to a happy, celestial, heavenly song. We need to consider this today, for God desires to bless us even as we are passing through a world-wide pandemic that threatens millions of lives. In Isaiah's day the people were facing an uncertain future - with enemies ready to destroy them. In the midst of it, God called for a song to be sung. That is what we need now - God's song sung by God's people in a time of hardship and crisis.

 Here is our text:

Isaiah 12:1-6

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.

2 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.’ ”

3 Therefore with joy you will draw water
From the wells of salvation.

4 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.

5 Sing to the Lord,
For He has done excellent things;
This is known in all the earth.

6 Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion,
For great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!” NKJV

Several years ago a pastor stayed overnight at the home of a young couple and.was awakened the next morning by a soprano voice singing, "Nearer, My God to Thee." At breakfast he mentioned to his hostess how pleased he was to hear that lovely old hymn, but that it seemed to go much faster than he had ever heard it sung before. "Oh," the hostess said, "I guess that's because I wasn't paying too much attention to the words. You see, it's a good song my mother used to sing, and I've found that it's a good one to boil eggs by. Just repeat the first verse five times rapidly for soft‑boiled, and eight times for hard.”

It is a sad thing when a truly celestial, spiritual, heavenly song is taken for granted – its words disregarded and taken too lightly.

The words in our text today are actually written as poetry – as a song. It is a song of rejoicing and praise and filled with melody and meaning, so let’s not rush over the words and lose their significance, value and worth.

Note the contents of this great song, for in these verses we find three victorious truths for God's people. Heaven knows that we need some uplifting songs right now, with the terrible pandemic of the Coronavirus in our midst. We are facing a hidden enemy, at least unseen to the naked eye, lurking about seeking to invade our bodies and use them for its own purposes - which often results in death to the host. But, we need to know as Christians that we have an unseen hand, an unseen heart, and blessings that are unseen by the world - our Lord is with us, His love is for us, and His promise is to bless us. In this text we see three triumphant truths.

In Psalm 137:4 we find the question, "How can we sing the Lord's song in a strange land like this?"

The believer can always sing - for we have the victory in our Lord. So, no matter the circumstances, we will praise Him and wait for all He plans to do in us, to us, and through us.

Note with me several things about the song Isaiah called for - he mentioned ...

I. The Wells of Salvation

Isaiah 12:1-3

We find in this Old Testament song the truth regarding the wells of salvation.

A. The Wells of Salvation Speak of a Personal Savior

How wonderful that the Lord does not stay angry with us but comes to save us from ourselves – from our sins. He has wells of water to cleanse the heart and soul. Without question this passage speaks to us of Christ. This is a prophetic passage that looks toward Christ though it was written some 700 years before Christ came to earth.

Now, you will immediately ask how one can ascertain that this passage speaks of our Savior, Jesus Christ. This is discernible by understanding the reason for this passage and its later use.

Many years before this passage was written, the Jews were not in Israel but were in bondage down in Egypt. God sent Moses to lead them out of Egypt and toward Canaan, the Promised Land. As they journeyed through the desert, they found themselves without water. They complained to Moses who took their grievance to God. The Lord ordered Moses to proceed to a particular rock and to speak to the rock. God promised to be at the rock and to provide water from it, which He did. This incident is recorded in Exodus 17. Interestingly, we find this incident spoken on again in 1 Corinthians 10:4, where the Lord tells us that the Rock of Exodus 17 was none other than Christ.

But you may still ask how the verse in Isaiah 12:3 is linked to all of this. I'm coming to that - hang with me. Turn to John 7:37. Here we read:

37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.”

Jesus spoke this passage on the last, great day of the Feast of Tabernacles. This particular feast was celebrated annually and recalled the time of the wandering of the people in the desert after they left Egypt. This feast lasted seven days and involved the people moving outside their homes to live in brush arbor type dwellings as a way of recalling the goodness of God in protecting their forbearers in the wilderness. Each day of the feast a priest would go down from Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount, to the pool of Siloam bearing a golden pitcher. Hundreds of worshippers would line the streets, some of them following the priest and his entourage. The priest would dip the pitcher in the water and draw out water. He would then bear it back up the hillside to the Temple where he would pour it out upon the alter. As he poured it out, trumpets would begin to blast, cymbals would clash, and the people would shout a Bible verse. Now what verse do you think they shouted? That's right, Isaiah 12:3.

One day, when all of this was taking place, Jesus was in Jerusalem. It was no coincidence that He was there. It was the last day of the feast and the priest poured out the water on the altar. Someone has estimated that the water was about 2 pints in volume. As the shouting was dying down, Jesus stood (when teaching He always sat, so this is not a teaching incident) and He cried in a loud voice (not just talking, as he did when teaching) the words recorded in John 7:37. He was identifying Himself as the source of the Living Water. This is the same thing He told the woman at the well in John 4:4.

Isaiah surely could not have fully understood what he penned that day long before Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, but he actually was writing a prophecy concerning a person and that individual was none other than Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of all who come to Him. These verses form a song of salvation about our precious Lord Jesus.

Now listen closely, God knows what is going on even when we don't. He has plans that we cannot see. He is working in history when to the human mind it appears that He has forgotten us. The pandemic we are facing today did not catch God unaware. We need to remember that the people in Isaiah's day were going through some rough times, but God had a plan - and God wanted His people to sing in victory no matter what the circumstances might be.

Note also ...

B. The Wells of Salvation Speak of a Plentiful Supply

The word for “wells” in this passage actually means “springs”. A well is something which a man digs, but a spring comes forth under great pressure by its own force. A well may dry up, but a spring has life and power.

An interesting photo appeared on November 5, 1993 in Newsweek Magazine. The picture was taken during awful fires which raged in California, as they have done recently also. A fireman was in the backyard of a home and the savage fire could be seen just beyond the house in the photo. The fireman had bent down by the swimming pool of that home and was drenching his head with water from the pool.

As believers you and I are in a world that is on fire with sin. The water of this world will not put out that flame, we must keep ourselves drenched in the plentiful supply of divine Water – the life and love of Christ. We must refresh ourselves in the Lord daily.

Those who are without the Lord need to know that there is a plentiful supply of the Water of Life. During the recent fires out in California, I noticed that several giant helicopters with huge buckets slung under their bellies were dropping the buckets in the ocean, pulling up hundreds of gallons of water and moving out over the fire to drop the water upon it. One thing never happened during the blazing inferno, no one ever raised a question about the possibility of depleting the water supply. The only question was in getting the water to the fire. Friend, Christ has water for the thirst of every person. Whosoever will may come. The supply will never run out.

We see the wells of salvation, but also look with me at ...

II. The Witness through Salvation

Isaiah 12:4-5:

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.
5 Sing to the Lord,
For He has done excellent things;
This is known in all the earth.”

The problem is not the supply, the problem rests in our getting the supply of the Water of Life to the world. That was also a concern in this Song of Salvation. Look at verses 4 and 5. Isaiah writes, "Make known among the nations what He has done, and proclaim that His name is exalted." Again he writes, "Let this be known to all the world." There are two things we can proclaim regarding our Savior, and we ought to be doing that in these days - days when so many are troubled and are ready to faint.

First, note ...

A. The Greatness of His Performance (what God has done)

We must publish His deeds:

  • He made all things
  • He gave us His Word - perfect and pure
  • He sent His Son - Jesus Christ
  • He poured out His Spirit upon all who believe
  • He established His Church - and the gates of hell cannot overcome it
  • He has delivered His children through the flood and the fire - and He always will

 The songwriter penned,

"Some through the waters

Some through the flood

Some through the fire

But all through the blood

Some through great trials

But God gives a song

 In the night season and all the day long."

The greatness of His deeds are to be proclaimed by His people to the world in every generation and every situation. Are we doing that? Are we using every situation to make known the greatness and goodness of our God?

But, there is something else we must proclaim …

B. The Greatness of His Person (who God is)

We must make known the greatness of the personhood of God. His deeds flow out of His nature. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised.

We praise Him for …

  • Truth
  • Love
  • Mercy
  • Grace
  • Compassion
  • Salvation
  • All of it wrapped up in Jesus!

We are to make this known to the world. The world needs a Savior and there is only one for them to whom we can run. We are to publish, to make known, the performance and person of our Savior and God.

We can look at circumstances and scratch our heads trying to figure out how they fit into any meaningful plan; however, if we read the Bible we discover that God always has a plan. Those who trust Him are victorious no matter how undiscernible the divine purpose may be. Faith brings victory, even when we may appear to be victims.

Now, thirdly, take note of ...

III. The Worship In Salvation

Isaiah 12:6

“Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion,

For great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!”

Those that are saved are to worship like saved people, by crying out gladly with shouting. That means that worship is not a show for the entertainment of those who attend but is to be the open, public, victorious worship of the Lord by all the saved people who are present. Honestly, I must say, I am troubled when I see people in worship shifting from one foot to the other without singing a word while others are open throated in their lifting up of their voices to God. Yes, I know some can’t sing, but the Lord told us to make a joyful noise – and I know you can make a noise. Some of you have no problem making a noise at a sports event. You can shout to the top of your lungs to support your team. What about lifting up the Lord? We are told to “cry out” in our joy of His presence.

A Sunday School teacher had a room filled with little girls. She asked, "Does anyone know why we need to be quiet when we are in the worship service at our church?" One little girl lifted her hand and answered, "We have to be quiet in worship because some people are sleeping!"

It is sad, but many people are sleeping in worship. Even if their eyes are open their minds are somewhere else. isaiah reminds us that victory is found when we truly worship the One who can deliver us from every enemy.

Now, I'm not given to outbursts that draw attention to myself, but I can tell you that it is wrong when God's Spirit is moving within us and we stifle the joy He is providing. We are to let go self and rejoice before Him. The Lord inhabits the praises of His people, and we must never be ashamed of His presence.

Just note two final things regarding how we are to worship …

A. What we are Told to Do

We are to make a noise – to cry out – to do something openly. Worship is not a private affair. Never fear to say an “amen” or to shed some tears in worship. In fact, I’m troubled today by the fact that few tears are shed in worship any more. Some people look like that might shed a tear when they are about to let go of the offering they are placing in the offering plate, but few are moved to tears of repentance for sin or tears for the joy of what God has done.

The words “cry out” come from a single Hebrew word, a word which means to rejoice, shine, bellow, and lift up. Literally it speaks of being so cheerful and happy that you can’t contain it. The joy of the Lord is our strength and we must express that jot for the full strength to be released in and through us.

Do you need more victory in your Christian life? Sure you do! Then make worship and an open expressive love for your God a part of your experience. Do not hold back, but let your spirit rise up to meet Him in worship.

But, you may ask why we are to do this. So, let's look at ...

B. Why we are Told to Do It

We are to rejoice and worship, and we are to leave here to go make known His nature and love to those around us. Why? We do this because He is WITH US. He is here. He is present with His people. Where two or more are gathered in His name, there He is present with them. Dear friends, what is your problem today? What is your hurt today? What thing is bothering you? The King is here. Make your request to Him.

What has God delivered you from? What harm and hurt has He kept you from? What promises has He made to you? Praise Him. Honor Him. Worship Him. Make it known that you are blessed and you are in His presence.

Many people complain about what they lack or what difficult things happened to them, but few place their attention on what God has done for them. Few believers lift up a voice to thank God for things that have never happened to them. What petulant children some of us are! We will never have victory by thinking like the world - by thinking of all we want, of all the hardships we've been through and all the people who are hurt us. No, we must think on all God has done for us, all the good folks He has placed in our lives and all the promises He has laid out for us in the future.


Salvation belongs to those who belong to the Savior. Those who belong to the Savior are to worship Him. In our text we note a word – in Hebrew it is “tsahal” – it can mean to “shine”. We have no spiritual light of our own, it all comes from the Lord. But, we are told that we are in His presence, thus to shine is merely to reflect what He has given. My witness to the world is not about me – it is about HIM. Worship is not based on how I feel on a given day or a given Sunday – it is based on HIM.

The songwriter wrote:

"He is here, Hallelujah!

He is here, Amen!

He is here, Holy, Holy

I will bless His name again.

He is here, Listen closely,

Hear Him calling out your name.

Here is here, you can touch Him

You will never be the same.” (Written by L. Kirk Talley)

You can touch Him – He can touch you. Whatever the need – He is bigger – and He is ready to meet it with His power and presence today.