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Words of the Week – Thank You Lord for Your Blessings       
By Rev. Dr. Kelvin Calloway, Contributing Writer
Published November 23, 2022

Rev. Dr. Kelvin Calloway (File photo)

Scripture: Isaiah 12:1-6

When we examine our sacred writ/Bible closely we will discover that worship, and praise, and thanksgiving to the Lord follow the blessings of the Lord. The Lord blesses the people of the Lord and then and only then does He ask the people to acknowledge the source of the blessings.

Isaiah begins this chapter with the words “in that day.” Spiritual snoops looking for a spiritual scoop may ask what day is he referring to? He is referring to that day of salvation and deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Assyrians.

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He is referring to that day following the prophetic indictment against Israel for failing to live up to their election as the people of God and the keeping of their covenant to love the Lord their God only with all their heart, soul, and mind and to obey His commands.

In Chapter 9:8ff, Isaiah says that when God’s anger has kindled against Israel for their pride and their arrogance, that God will use the Syrians, then the Philistines, and then the Assyrians (9:8-13) as a club to express the rod of His anger towards them that they might repent (10:5ff).

Further in Chapter 9, Isaiah says that the Lord will use Israel’s enemies for His judgment upon them; the head and the tail, the noble branch and the lowly reed, the leaders of Israel and the lying prophets who have misled the people down the path of destruction (9:14-16).

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It will be in that day, Isaiah says, when a remnant of the people left in Israel will return to Jerusalem (10:20-26). It will be in that day, when the Lord will end their bondage, and break the yoke of their slavery, and lift it from their shoulders (10:27). It will be in that day, when the heavenly armies of the Lord will chop down the mighty tree of Assyria (that the Lord used as the rod of His anger) with great power (10:27-33).

It will be in that day, when the wolf and the lamb will live together, and the leopard will lie down with the baby goat, and the calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion. In that day, when a little child will lead them all, and the cow will graze near the bear, and the cub and the calf will lie down together, and the lion will eat hay like a cow (11:6-7).

It will be in that day, when the baby will be safe from the hole of a cobra, and a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm, and nothing will hurt or destroy … the people who know the Lord (11:8-9).

In that day, Isaiah says, the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world. Nations will rally towards him and the land where he lives will be a glorious [land] (11:10). Isaiah says that in that day, the Lord will reach out His hand a second time to bring back the remnant of His people who remained in Assyria and He will make a highway out of Assyria just as He did for Israel long ago when they returned from Egypt (11:16).

It feels like “that day” in our nation today following the Mid-Term elections. The adversaries of truth, justice, equality and democracy are being defeated in election after election across the country. The noble branch and the lowly reed, and the leaders, and the lying prophets who led the people down this divisive and racist path of destruction are being rejected over and over again.

It feels like that day in Los Angeles, where the Lord made His presence known in the political affairs of our city. This is that day when history has been made. This is that day when the first African American woman – the Honorable Karen Bass – has been elected mayor of the city of Angeles.

When she attended the Southern California Annual Conference last month, she did not spend a lot of time telling us to vote for her or why we should vote for her because we knew her. She has been one among us throughout her political career. Rather than asking us to vote for her, she asked us to pray for her and God gave her the victory.

Because of what God has done, let us do what the prophet Isaiah told the people in his day to do. “In that day you will sing: I will praise you O Lord (12:1). You were angry with me but not anymore. Now you comfort me. Now you have come to save me. Now you have come to deliver me. You O God are my strength and You are my song. It was You that gave me the victory and with joy I drink deeply from the fountain of salvation (VV.2-3).”

In the first part of Verse 4, Isaiah told them to “Thank the Lord” for the Lord has given them the victory (V.4). Then in the second part of Verse 4, he told them to “Praise the name of Lord” (V.4b). And then in the latter part of that same verse, he told them to “tell the nations what the Lord has done (V.4c).”

If the Lord has made a way for you, and if the Lord has open doors, and if the Lord has done anything for you, you ought to tell somebody.

Tell somebody what the Lord has done and tell the Lord thank you for what He has done. Thank you Lord, for all You’ve done for me. In Jesus Name, Amen!

The Rev. Dr. Kelvin T. Calloway in the senior pastor of Bethel AME Church in Los Angeles.

Categories: Religion
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