Worship With Thanksgiving
SS Lesson for 06/09/2013
Devotional Scripture: Ps 92:1-8
The lesson examines two areas of Worship with Thanksgiving. The study's aim is to learn to how to fill our daily lives with a spirit of praise, song, and thankfulness to God for His work on our behalf. The study's application is to praise God and offer thanksgiving for His great character and His 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.
[And in that day] (see Isa 12:1). The day referred to in the previous chapter, the time of the Messiah, when the effects of his reign shall be seen everywhere. The duty of praise, however, is couched in such language as to make it applicable to the event predicted in the former part of the prophecy (Isa 10) - the delivering of the nation from the invasion of Sennacherib, as well as the more glorious event on which the prophet fixed his eye (Isa 11) - the coming and reign of the Messiah. The language of this song of praise would be appropriate to both these events.
[Call upon his name] Margin, 'Proclaim.' It denotes to call upon him in the way of celebrating his praise. The whole hymn is one of praise, and not of prayer.
[Declare among the people] Among all people, that they may be brought to see his glory, and join in the celebration of his praise.
[His doings] Particularly in regard to the great events which are the subject of the previous predictions—his interposition in saving people by the Messiah from eternal death.
[Make mention] Hebrew, 'Cause it to be remembered' (see Isa 62:6). The word means properly those bringing to remembrance, or causing to remember. It is a word frequently applied to the praise of God, or to the celebration of his worship (Ps 20:7; 38:1; 45:17; 70:1; 102:12). In such instances the word means that they would keep up his remembrance among the people, or that they proclaimed his name in order that he might not be forgotten.
[That his name is exalted] That it is worthy of adoration and praise. It is worthy to be exalted, or lifted up in view of the nations of the earth (2 Sam 22:47; Ps 21:13; 46:10).
This verse begins as verse 1 does, only this time with the plural pronoun you (as in v. 3). It pictures the community of the saved joining in a tribute of praise to the Lord. There is, however, another important ingredient in this call to praise: those who voice their praise are to make known among the nations what he has done. The blessing of salvation is not to be hoarded; salvation is a message for everyone, not just the nation of Israel. This too points to the impact of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection and to the worldwide declaration of those events. The apostle John was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings” (Revelation 10:11; compare 17:15). Thus Isaiah’s experience of a personal call (Isaiah 6:1-8, last week’s lesson) is to be reproduced, in a sense, in the lives of all faithful servants of the Lord. Isaiah is eager to go forth in response to God’s call for workers (6:8). But the message Isaiah is to bring, as found in 6:9-13, is primarily one of judgment and devastation. How much more should we be willing to proclaim that his name is exalted as we take the gospel of Christ to the world!
Praise is something that just about everyone looks for. At the beginning of life we seek praise from our parents. Later we seek it from our teachers in school and then in our place of employment. Praise is the motivation for our best actions as we seek to please those who are important to us. We worship God when we praise Him, for when we do so, we are acknowledging Him in all His greatness. David was a man who loved God and continually praised Him in all things. "I will call on the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies" (II Sam. 22:4). If we fail to recognize the greatness of God, we will fail to honor Him. And if we do not give Him His honor, then whom will we honor? After every..battle there are winners and losers; the losers mourn their loss, but true winners celebrate their victory with shouts of joy and singing. Their heroes are honored with public declarations of their deeds. As followers of Christ, we share in His victory in the battle of life over our great enemy, Satan. As our great Commander, God has won the victory, and our souls have been set free. We now praise Him as we declare His greatness to the entire world. God's people know, without a doubt, that God watches over them. As the Apostle Paul wrote, "In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us" (Rom. 8:37). We are admonished to "call upon his name." In the Old Testament, names were an important part of one's identity. A person's name would show his character and make some revelation regarding him. For instance, Jacob means "heel-catcher" (supplanter). When he was born, he came from the womb holding Esau's heel. Indeed, his name was not honorable but one of shame. However, God later changed his name to Israel, which means "prevailed with God." In calling upon the name of the Lord, we call upon Him in all 1hat He is. Whether we say "Lord of Hosts," "Saviour," "Yahweh," or any other of His many names, we honor Him in our petitions. We hear the same encourage-ment as God spoke through His prophet: "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not" (Jer. 33:3). Prayer is one of the ways we praise God because we look to Him as One who will meet our need no matter what may confront us. Have you ever had a close friend who was going through a most difficult time and sought someone other than you for help? You asked him, "Why didn't you call me?" It hurt to think that your friend did not see you as one who could and would have made every effort to help. We should never view the Lord that way. We should seek Him as the solution to all our needs and problems. Jesus called us His friends when He said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you" (John 15:13-14). Could we have a better friend than that? Is He not more than worthy of our praise?
The outline of the lesson was adapted from the NIV Standard Lesson Commentary and from the points revealed by the study of the Scriptural text.
And in that day you will say: "O Lord, I will praise You
Worship Through Personal Praise
Praise the Lord, call upon His name; Declare His deeds among the peoples
Worship Through Public Praise
Gratitude to our heavenly Father should be one of the distinctives of the Christian life. Paul encourages his readers to be “always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20). In addition to “always,” some days may provide special opportunities to reflect on and remember our Father’s goodness and faithfulness to us. In today’s passage, the prophet Isaiah speaks of a day when praise will be the common language of God’s people—a message so strong and clear that the world will not be able to ignore it. Isaiah’s words remind us that our praise is not meant to be hoarded, but to be proclaimed to the world. Today’s text, Isaiah 12, reads like a psalm. With only six verses, Isaiah 12 is rather brief, as are many of the psalms. It concludes a series of messages by the prophet that have been characterized by both judgment and hope. Last week’s lesson text recorded Isaiah’s eager response to the Lord’s call for someone to go on his behalf (Isaiah 6:1-8). However, when we read Isaiah’s “job description” that follows in 6:9-13, it seems that he was in for an extremely discouraging ministry! Essentially Isaiah was called by God to confirm his judgment upon his people (vv. 9, 10). When Isaiah inquired, “For how long?” the response was, “Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined” (v. 11). A remnant, however, would be preserved, indicating that the “holy seed” would not be destroyed completely (v. 13). If Isaiah entertained any reservations about having been so eager to answer the Lord’s call, we are not told. The Scriptures indicate that he proceeded to carry out his commission, starting with an encounter with obstinate, rebellious King Ahaz of the southern kingdom of Judah. Faced with an invasion from the combined forces of the northern kingdom of Israel and Syria (Aram), Ahaz refused to heed Isaiah’s plea to trust the Lord. That king’s lack of faith was just one illustration of why both northern and southern kingdoms were in such a low spiritual condition. Isaiah 9 and 10 include a series of indictments against the people, punctuated with this repeated refrain: “Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised” (Isaiah 9:12, 17, 21; 10:4). But these chapters are not limited to proclamations of gloom and doom. Within them we find some of the most stunning prophecies of Jesus in the Old Testament. Isaiah 7:14 prophesies Jesus’ virgin birth. Isaiah 9:6 begins, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,” and declares some of the magnificent titles that this child will wear. Isaiah 11:1 predicts that “a shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse” and “from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” On this special individual will rest the Spirit of the Lord, empowering him in all of the areas necessary for godly and competent leadership (11:1-5). The impact of this coming one is described in language that portrays natural enemies living at peace with one another (11:6-9). Verse 10 then labels the one to come as “a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him.” This verse is quoted in Romans 15:12 as fulfilled in Jesus. The last six verses of Isaiah 11, just before today’s lesson text, describe an event reminiscent of the exodus from Egypt. This wording might be understood to depict God’s people returning from captivity in Babylon (which Isaiah later predicts to happen; see 39:5-7). But the scope of the return (involving even “the islands of the Mediterranean,” 11:11) appears to point to something far more significant. The New Testament, particularly the previously mentioned quotation in Romans 15:12, leads one to consider Isaiah’s language as pointing forward to the worldwide impact of Jesus’ Great Commission. No wonder the prophet burst forth in the words of praise in today’s text!
One of the greatest hindrances to true worship is a lack of thankfulness, and the greatest hindrance to thankfulness is the illusion of self-sufficiency. The self-made businessman reasons that he owes God no worship because he has worked his way up the ladder by his own labor and wits. In any endeavor we undertake, it is tempting to attribute our successes to purely natural factors, our strength and ingenuity. God rarely gets the praise He deserves unless we have come through the deep waters of failure. As much as we dread failure, disgrace, and humiliation, they often are necessary ingredients in God's recipe for mature, sincere worshippers. This truth was painfully apparent in the history of Israel. Though warned repeatedly by their prophets, this people too often took credit for their own successes, forsook true worship, and served other gods. Only after they had passed through the disciplines of defeat and dispersion did Isaiah portray them as singing and shouting for joy because the Lord had redeemed and transformed them. That is the scene we will observe in this week's lesson. God's prophecies have been and will continue to be fulfilled. Isaiah 12 looks ahead to that day when the millennial kingdom, with Jesus Christ as its Head, will be established. There will be singing for joy and shouting of praise to God for all that He has done. This is so sure that Isaiah wrote, "In that day thou shall say, O Lord, I will praise thee" (vs. 1). God's promise of salvation to all who trust in Him and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, is so sure that we can sing and shout now in worship and praise of His marvelous grace for saving us. By His grace, we are as surely children of God now as we will be in heaven. Therefore, praise is just as appropriate and called for now as it will be then. When we are in heaven, we will certainly praise Him for His marvelous grace in saving us and keeping us through all the trials of life. Let us also praise Him now, even in the midst of trials.
1 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.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
76 May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.
13 Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.
12 "I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mortal men, the sons of men, who are but grass, 13 that you forget the Lord your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, that you live in constant terror every day because of the wrath of the oppressor, who is bent on destruction? For where is the wrath of the oppressor?
16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!
40 For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."
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!"
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
17 pray continually;
13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him.
17 I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.
7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.
6 Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy.
48 Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain.
92 It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High,
2 Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits —
2 Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Among the thoughts drawn from today’s study is that worship is to be both “alone or with someone.” Some pronouns used by Isaiah in today’s passage are singular, while others are plural. There is certainly a place for “closet praise,” where one can give thanks in private (Matthew 6:6). When someone has gone through an especially dark, difficult “valley” and has emerged from it with God’s help, then his or her praise may be far too personal to share in public. The tears that can erupt in the midst of such praise may be something best shared between only the worshipper and God. On the other hand, public (corporate) worship also has a vital role in the Christian’s life. Hebrews 10:25 is frequently quoted in this regard: we are not to give up meeting together. This bears repeating (and memorizing). Faithful and meaningful personal worship should drive us to seek worship with others. Meaningful corporate worship should result in a renewed commitment to maintaining our private fellowship with the Lord between Sundays. The encouragement that comes from worship with others makes us realize that no one is ever alone in his or her walk with God. This gives the worshipper a renewed perspective for encountering a lost world. It is a world where many voices clamor to be heard—some worthwhile and others completely worthless. We have been placed in the midst of that noisy din to bear witness to the Holy One of Israel—to “give praise to the Lord” and make known the “glorious things” that he has done. The verbalizing of one’s faith pictured by Isaiah in today’s text is hard to miss. Within verses 4-6 is a cluster of such words: give praise, proclaim, make known, sing, and shout aloud. In a world where it is easy to become intimidated into silence about our faith, let us remember that there are many in our world who desperately need some good news, a witness from someone of God’s love and grace. Each of us has a particular sphere of influence where we can offer a word of encouragement. We never know the impact our words may have.
1. What God promises will surely come to pass; you can count on it (Isa. 12:1)
2. Our faith is only as sure as the object of that faith (Isa. 12:2; cf. Ps. 20:7)
3. Spiritual thirst can be quenched only by spiritual water (Isa. 12:3; cf. John 4:10; 7:37-38)
4. True praise always includes heartfelt thanksgiving (Isa. 12:4; cf. Ps. 100:4; I Thess. 5:18)
5. Christian praise should be a testimony from our hearts to the world around us (Isa. 12:5)
6. Real joy comes from knowing and focusing on our great God's character (vs. 6)