Great Reasons to Praise the Lord

Reasons to Praise the LordIsaiah 12:1-6Sermon by Rick CrandallGrayson Baptist Church – March 10, 2013(Revised from sermon preached at McClendon Baptist Church Jan. 22, 2006)BACKGROUND:This morning please open your Bibles to Isaiah 12, thinking about great reasons to praise the Lord. This chapter of praise mainly applies to the coming Kingdom, when Jesus returns to rule on the earth for a thousand years. But this Scripture also surely applies to us today.Matthew Henry explained: “The song of praise in this chapter is suitable for the return of the outcasts of Israel from their long captivity. But it is especially suitable to a sinner, when he first finds peace and joy in believing, to a believer, when his peace is renewed after corrections for backslidings, and to the whole company of the redeemed, when they meet before the throne of God in heaven.” (1)With that background in mind, let’s read Isaiah 12:1-6.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: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.INTRODUCTION:MacNeil Jordan was born in Barbados on Christmas Day in 1902. On his 100th birthday, he could still recite pages of scripture and poetry. He could tell you the name of the ship that brought him to Ellis Island, the street where he got his first job as a garment worker, and the name of the cafeteria where he ate 70 years ago.A month before MacNeil’s 100th birthday, his family made a CD on everything he wanted to say. His 8 children, 23 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-children all got copies. Here is MacNeil’s recipe for long life: “I eat well. I sleep well. I walk quite a bit.” — And every week there’s church, where “I praise my God.” MacNeil said that’s what is most important: “Give God praise every day. That’s all. That’s my life.” (2)That’s great advice Church. And we know that praising the Lord is important to God, because He talks about it in His Word at least 225 times!King David was a champion for praise to the Lord.-In Psalm 7:17, David said: “I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, And will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.”-In Psalm 9:1-2I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.-In Psalm 21:13, “Be exalted, O Lord, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power.”-In Psalm 28:7, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.”-In Psalm 40:3, “He has put a new song in my mouth Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord.”Psalm 106:1 says: “Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”And Psalm 107 cries out 4 times: “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”There’s no doubt about it: We really should praise the Lord! — Isaiah shows us why.First of all Church: Praise the Lord, because He is our salvation.Isaiah mentions our salvation three times in vs. 1-3: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: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.We can see an extremely important part of our salvation here in vs. 1: “O Lord, I will praise You; though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away…” He is talking about God’s righteous anger against our sin. And if you are saved, God’s anger is turned away from you.King David helps us understand this in Psalm 103:8-12, where he said:The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever.He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.If you are saved, God’s anger is turned away, but He has a right to be angry with us. Part of salvation is admitting this truth. In Proverbs 20:9, King Solomon asked a wise question: “Who can say, ‘I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin.’?” — The obvious answer is: No one can say that.Paul put it this way in Romans 3:. . “There is none righteous, no, not one;there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God.They have all gone out of the way; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.”for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:10-12 & 23)The Holy God has a right to be angry with all of us. How was His anger turned away?-There was only one place where it could have been turned.-There was only one place where it was turned.-And that was the cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!As Isaiah 53:5&6 says:. . He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.Stop and think about what Jesus really did for us on the cross.In May of 1915, the British passenger ship Lusitania was torpedoed by a German submarine. When the Lusitania was hit, there were 1,962 people on board. In a matter of minutes, the huge ship began to come apart. In the next few hours, 1,201 passengers and crew died.One of those who went down with the ship was American millionaire Alfred Vanderbilt. Survivors reported that Vanderbilt spent his last moments helping others to safety. He rounded up as many children as he could and got them into lifeboats. And just before the ship went down, Vanderbilt handed his life jacket to a young mother with a baby in her arms. (1)That was a brave and noble sacrifice. But Jesus Christ did so much more! — Jesus didn’t just take our physical death, He took our spiritual death, He took our eternal death. Without Jesus, we were all going down, and not just into the depths of the sea. Without Jesus we were all going down to everlasting torment and death in Hell.There was nothing we could do to save ourselves. But Jesus took all of our guilt and punishment on the cross. Jesus Christ took our death, so that we could have His eternal life by placing our trust in Him. And the Apostle Paul could say these wonderful words to Christians in Romans 5:6-9:For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.Praise the Lord![1] Verse 3 here in Isaiah 12 reminds us that we can praise the Lord with joy: “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”This word “salvation” carries the idea of deliverance, prosperity, health, help, freedom, safety, defense, rescue, and victory. That’s all good! And it feels good to be forgiven!But what if you are not feeling the joy?-Maybe someone has hurt you or betrayed you.-Maybe you are grieving over your own faults.-Maybe someone you love is going through a terrible illness.-Maybe a loved one has died.The hurt is real, and the joy seems to have disappeared from your life. Christian, let me urge you to praise the Lord anyway. We may be hurting, but God is always good. He has blessed us in countless ways. And we always have great reasons to praise the Lord.On top of that, you will find that your praise has the tendency to raise your spirits. I have found this to be true many times. Try it and see. Praise the Lord for the joy He has given you, and for the joy He will give you in praise.[2] Verse 4 reminds us that we can praise Him in our prayers: “And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name…”I don’t suppose we should ever call on the Lord without praising Him somehow, some way. Praise Him in your prayers.[3] But vs. 4 also reminds us that we should praise Him to other people: “Declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.”Praise Him with joy…-Praise Him in your prayers…-Praise Him to other people.-Praise the Lord, because He is our salvation…But Church, also praise Him, because He is our strength.As vs. 2 says, “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength. . .” We surely need strength to live in this world, but where are we going to find it?[1] Will you find strength in money? — Not really.It’s nice to have money. But ask any wise person who has it, and they will tell you: “Money is not enough.”[2] Will you find your strength in your muscles? — Don’t try that.Hey, someday you may have a body like mine! And even Arnold Schwarzenegger’s not looking too good these days. It’s good to have muscles. But your muscles will fade away.[3] Will you find your strength in your mind? — Disease, fatigue, stress and time can all take their toll.[4] The best place to find your strength is in Jesus Christ!That’s why the Lord says: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:9)Years ago, Pastor S.D. Gordon told about an elderly Christian lady whose age began to take a terrible toll on her memory. She once knew much of the Bible by heart, but eventually only one part of one precious verse stayed with her. It was part of 2 Timothy 1:12, where Paul said: “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.”As time went on, even that brief portion of Scripture began to slip away. In her last days here, as she hovered near death, her loved ones noticed her lips moving. They bent down to see if she needed anything. And they heard her saying over and over the one word she remembered from the Bible: “Him, Him, Him.” (4)She had lost most of her mental abilities. But she never lost Him. And that dear, Christian lady still had all the strength she needed, because she had Him.Jesus Christ wants to be your strength too. Join us in proclaiming these words from Isaiah 12:2: “I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength…” Praise the Lord, because He is our strength!But Church, also praise Him because He is our song!Again in vs. 2: “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song…”Jesus Christ is our song, because He is our salvation and our strength. And Jesus Christ puts a song in our heart!-In vs. 5, we can sing with praise because our Lord has done so many excellent things: “Sing unto the Lord; for He hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.”-Verse 6 reminds us that we can sing about the Lord’s greatness: “Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel . . .”I don’t think anybody ever described God’s greatness better than Pastor Shadrach Meshach Lockeridge. Here’s just a little part of his praise for Jesus Christ:-“No means of measure can define his limitless love. . .-No barrier can hinder him from pouring out his blessing.-He’s enduringly strong and he’s entirely sincere.-He’s eternally steadfast and he’s immortally graceful.-He’s imperially powerful and he’s impartially merciful.He’s God’s Son.-He’s the sinner’s Savior; He’s the centerpiece of civilization.-He supplies strength for the weak. . .-He’s available for the tempted and the tried.-He sympathizes and he sees.-He guards and he guides. . .-He’s the key to knowledge.-He’s the wellspring of wisdom.-He’s the doorway of deliverance.-He’s the pathway of peace,-He’s the roadway of righteousness,-He’s the highway of holiness,-He’s the gateway to glory. . .-He’s the master of the mighty,-He’s the captain of the conquerors,-He’s the head of heroes, He’s the leader of the legislators,-He’s the governor of the governors,-He’s the Prince of princes, He’s the King of kings, He’s the Lord of lords.His promise is sure.-His life is matchless.-His goodness is limitless.-His mercy is everlasting.-His love never changes.-His word is enough.-His grace is sufficient.-His reign is righteous.-His yoke is easy and his burden is light. (5)We can sing with great praise, because our great God has done so many excellent things. And He’s not through yet!Verse 6 also reminds us that the Lord is here with us right now! “Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.” Let the Lord put a joyful song of praise in your heart today!Dr. James C. Brown told the story of a 5-year-old girl named Mary. As they rolled little Mary into the MRI room one day, Dr. Brown tried to imagine what she was feeling. Mary had suffered a stroke that left half of her body paralyzed. She had been hospitalized for treatment of a brain tumor. She had also recently lost her home and both of her parents.They all wondered how Mary would react to the test, but she went into the MRI machine without the slightest protest and they started the test. Each imaging sequence required the patient to remain perfectly still for about 5 minutes. It is difficult for anyone, and certainly for a 5-year-old, especially one who had suffered so much.Dr. Brown said: “About 2 minutes into the first sequence, we noticed on the video monitor that Mary’s mouth was moving. We even heard a muted voice over the intercom. We halted the exam and gently reminded Mary not to talk. She was smiling and promised not to talk.We reset the machine and started over. Once again we saw her facial movement and faintly heard her voice. What she was saying wasn’t clear. Everyone was becoming a little impatient, with a busy schedule that had been put on hold to perform an emergency MRI on Mary.We went back in and slid Mary out of the machine. Once again, she looked at us with her crooked smile and wasn’t upset in the least. The technologist, perhaps a bit gruffly, said, ‘Mary, you were talking again, and that causes blurry pictures.’ But Mary’s smile remained as she replied, ‘I wasn’t talking. I was singing. You said no talking.’”Dr. Brown said: “We looked at each other, feeling a little silly. ‘What were you singing?’ someone asked. ‘Jesus Loves Me,’ came the soft reply. ‘I always sing “Jesus Loves Me” when I’m happy.’The adults in the room were speechless, and had to hide their tears. That little girl could sing with joy in spite of it all, because the Lord was her song. (6)May God give us that kind of jubilant, child-like faith.Praise the Lord!-Praise Him because He is our salvation, our strength, and our song.And if you have never been saved, I urge you to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.-Jesus loves you.-He died on the cross for you.-He rose again from the dead.-And He will save you, if you will put your faith in Him.*Call on the name of the Lord Jesus, as we go to God in prayer.(1) Adapted from Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary – Isaiah 12:1-6(2) Adapted from KERUX ILLUSTRATION COLLECTION – ID Number: 10215 – SOURCE: America Online, Copyright By The Associated Press – TITLE: A One-hundred-year-old’s Simple Recipe For Life – AUTHOR: Amy Westfeldt – DATE: 112302(3) email illustration – 09072003 – Source: “Torpedoed!” by Diana Preston – SMITHSONIAN, May 2002, p. 64-65(4) American Holiness Journal(5) Adapted from KERUX ILLUSTRATION COLLECTION – ID Number: 5078 – SOURCE: Rev. Glenn Gunderson (Best Illustrations) – TITLE: You Can Trust Him! – AUTHOR: S. M. Lockeridge, Late Pastor In Los Angeles – DATE:(6) Adapted from KERUX ILLUSTRATION COLLECTION – ID Number: 5582 – SOURCE: Internet: Chicken Soup Of The Day – TITLE: The Crooked Smile – AUTHOR: James C. Brown, M. D. – DATE: 9799


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