Isaiah 12:1 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.

2 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.

3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

4 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.

5 Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.

MEMORY VERSE: Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee. —Isaiah 12:6

CENTRAL THOUGHT: A song of praise, applicable to the victory God gave His people at that time over the invasion of Sennacherib, but pointing forward to the time of the Messiah, when He would redeem His people and the Gentiles from their sins and bring them together into one united, holy church of God.


Isaiah 12:1 “In that day”: the gospel day; the day of the Messiah.

Isaiah 12:2 “The LORD Jehovah”: In this place and in Isaiah 26:4, the repetition of the name seems to be used to denote “emphasis”—or perhaps to indicate that Yahweh is the same always—an unchangeable God” (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible). “My strength”: “strength in various applications (force, security, majesty, praise)—boldness, loud, might, power, strength, strong” (Strong’s Concordance). The same expression as in Moses’ song in Exodus 15:2.

Isaiah 12:3 “With joy shall ye draw water”: a phrase chanted by the Jews at the Feast of Tabernacles, when it was customary for the priests to draw water out of the spring of Siloam with golden pitchers and pour it out with wine on the west side of the altar as a libation. On the last day of that feast, Jesus stood and cried, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). Jesus applied the entire meaning of the feast, which celebrated the Rock supplying water in the desert, to Himself, who was the giver of the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 12:4 “Call upon his name”: some translations have “Proclaim his name.” “Make mention”: record; cause it to be remembered. “Among the people”: among the peoples (plural).

Isaiah 12:5 “For he hath done excellent things”: an echo from Moses’ song, “He hath triumphed gloriously.” “ He has wrought a stupendous work” (Bishop Lowth, quoted in Benson’s Commentary). “This is known”: let it be known; publish it!

Isaiah 12:6 “Thou inhabitant of Zion”: “The word translated “inhabitant” is feminine, and designates the entire community or Church that dwells on the holy hill” (Pulpit Commentary).


The 10th chapter of Isaiah describes God’s judgments against Assyria, foretelling the invasion of Sennacherib and the destruction of his army. He compares the Assyrian host to a great forest, which is cut down, as was also described in Ezekiel 31. In contrast, Isaiah 11 describes a slender branch, a twig, growing out of ancient roots, a direct prophecy of Jesus Christ and what He would accomplish in His kingdom. Isaiah, as did other prophets, took occasion of the great temporal deliverance Jehovah gave His people over the Assyrians, to extoll the spiritual deliverance the Messiah would bring; he does the same thing later in his prophecies of the deliverance of Judah from its Babylonian captivity.

Assyria, an ancient powerful nation, had its beginnings from Assur, the second son of Shem, who settled in the fertile region east of the Tigris River. The ancient kingdom included Babylonia and Mesopotamia and extended to the Euphrates River; its capital was Nineveh. The Assyrians came against Israel in the period of the Judges. King Menahem of Israel and later King Hoshea were invaded by Assyrian kings “until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets” (II Kings 17:23). Thus, God used Assyria as His rod, an instrument to accomplish His judgments upon apostate Israel, but then comforted Hezekiah, king of Judah and intervened for him against Sennacherib. Sennacherib’s son ravaged Judah in the days of Mannaseh, Hezekiah’s son, but afterward the power and glory of Assyria was diminished, until its monarchy was divided between the Medes and Babylonians, was further destroyed by the Greeks and then by the Romans. That great city, Nineveh, was destroyed, never again to be inhabited.

Isaiah 11 alludes strongly to the deliverance at the Red Sea; the praises in Isaiah 12 very strongly resemble the song in Exodus 15, which Moses sang at that deliverance. The spiritual significance, we know, is the greatest, as it applies to the “new Exodus,” salvation and deliverance from sin.

“The religious literature of the Babylonians and Assyrians culminated in a great series of hymns to the gods. These have come down to us from almost all periods of the religious history of the people…The greatest number of those that have come down to us are dedicated to Shamash, the Sun-god, but many of the finest, as we have already seen, were composed in honor of Sin, the Moon-god” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia). An example of one of these hymns was also given in this resource. I couldn’t help but contrast the empty incantations and appeals to what they called powerful deities—but who had no power to deliver from the strong demons which afflicted them—with the jubilant praise of God’s people in Isaiah 12. No wonder we can cry out and shout, “Great is the Holy One in the midst of thee!”

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. What “day” is referred to in Isaiah 12:1?
  2. Against what is the anger of the Lord directed? What appeases that anger?
  3. What verse uses the same expression as Moses’ song in Exodus 15?
  4. Verse 3 points forward to what event in the days of the Messiah, and how did Jesus apply it?
  5. Describe some of the “excellent things” God has done in salvation.


The religion of Jehovah has always been a religion of joy. But again, it is the deliverance which brings the great joy to His people. In this song, we see the golden thread of victory over God’s enemies and the deliverance of His holiness in the hearts and lives of God’s children.

This song is a missionary song, an evangelistic song; a natural response to what God has accomplished in our lives: “I must tell it!” Verses 4, 5, and 6 tell us to praise Him and call upon His name, proclaim His name, put on record what He has done, let it be known, publish it, and cry out and shout about it!

Who is Zion? The beloved bride of the Lamb, the new Jerusalem, the habitation of God. Ephesians 2 and Hebrews 12 both let us know that we have been redeemed, brought together, and made into His habitation (Zion) through the indwelling of His Spirit. Ephesians 5 tells us that the bride of Christ is His church; those people who have been purchased and redeemed by His own blood. That’s you and me! So this song, written by Isaiah so many years ago, is about us in 2020. That’s enough to shout about!

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


Many Christians are quite familiar with the writings of Frances Jane van Alstyne, more commonly known as Fanny J. Crosby, who during her lifetime wrote the texts to over 8,000 hymns and gospel songs. So prolific was her writing, in fact, she used nearly 200 separate pseudonyms to address the concerns of publishers of her day that their hymnals not appear to contain so many contributions from one person. Blind nearly from birth, she lived her almost 95 years with joy, and the imagery expressed in her poetry rivals that of any others blessed with full sight.

A number of Fanny’s hymns, such as “Safe In the Arms of Jesus,” “Blessed Assurance,” “Pass Me Not,” and “Rescue the Perishing,” written in collaboration with noted hymn composers of the day, including William J. Kirkpatrick and William Howard Doane, quickly became favorites during her lifetime. They were often sung during the gospel crusades of the late 19th century, particularly those used by her good friend Ira Sankey during his travels with the American evangelist, Dwight L. Moody.

“To God Be the Glory,” written in the early 1870’s in collaboration with Doane, took a more circuitous route to familiarity. Originally, it did not catch on in America, but was taken to England by Moody and Sankey and used extensively in their revivals there, eventually being published in a number of hymnals overseas. Over 75 years later, in the early 1950’s, evangelist Billy Graham and his song leader, Cliff Barrows, added the hymn to their London Crusade songbook, and the hymn was so well received that they began to include it in their crusades back in the United States. What was once a nearly forgotten hymn became a classic and is well-known today.

The hymn is somewhat unique among late 19th century hymns in that, instead of primarily focusing on personal testimony or Christian experience, it expresses and encourages congregational praise to God for His greatness, His wonderful plan of salvation, and the realization of eternal life for every believer. As we enter this season of thanksgiving, may we truly shout the praises of Jehovah for all that He has done for His Church!

To God Be the Glory

“To God be the glory, great things He hath done!

So loved He the world that He gave us His Son

Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,

And opened the life-gate that all may go in.

Chorus: Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the earth hear His voice!

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice!

O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,

And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood

To every believer the promise of God

The vilest offender who truly believes

That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,

And great our rejoicing through Jesus, God’s Son;

But purer and higher and greater will be

Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.”

—Bro. Fari Matthews

To hear some saints in Pacoima, California sing this beautiful song, click here: