“With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” – Isaiah 12.3From David King:
When I see a movie set in the past, especially a western, on occasion there is a moment when someone goes to the water pump. They start pumping the handle up and down and water starts to flow into their bucket. Or an even older setting and there is a handle around a winch with a bucket at the end. They lower the bucket into the well, then wind it back up full of water. If it’s a western, the cowboy has normally come to the well hot, grimy and desperately thirsty. As the bucket comes up, he cups his hands lift the water to his face and drenches himself. Then he scoops another handful and starts drinking long draughts of refreshing water.
And my thought is, ‘That looks like fun!’
The Bible has some wonderful illustrations of forgiveness, but I love this one which I came across recently in Isaiah. The chapter peers to the future and sees God’s people looking back on the Lord’s salvation. They recognise that they had sinned against the Lord and deserved his anger, but they are not afraid. Why? Because God is their salvation, their strength and their defence.
Notice how salvation isn’t just about pardon from my sin, it is the assurance that, as a result, the Lord Almighty is for me – he is my defence and my salvation. As we praise him, as we celebrate his salvation, we are refreshed by joy – like one who is thirsty, grimy and hot, drawing deeply from a well. Forgiveness is refreshing.
I have experienced the truth of what Isaiah records. While I have bottled my sin up in shame and guilt, life has seemed heavy, dirty and full of weariness. When I have taken my sin to the Lord, it is like having a bucket of water poured over my head on a scorching day – the initial shock of the cold water, followed by its delicious refreshment. The Lord is good.
Look though at how the chapter ends. The joy overflows. My dad used to say that evangelism is joy that is overheard. That’s what this passage says. When we know the joy of Jesus’ salvation, the natural thing to do is, “proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.”
Out of joy comes Name Him.