1. O Lord, thou art my God. Hitherto Isaiah has prophesied about the judgments of God, which threatened not only a single nation, but almost the whole world. Now, it was impossible that the contemplation of calamities so dismal as those which he foresaw should not give him great uneasiness; for godly persons would desire that all mankind should be saved, and, while they honour God, they desire also to love all that belongs to him; and, in short, so far as any man sincerely fears God, he has a powerful and lively feeling of the divine judgments. While wicked men stand amazed at the judgments of God, and are not moved by any terror, godly men tremble at the slightest token of his anger. And if this be the case with us, what do we suppose was experienced by the Prophet, who had almost before his eyes those calamities which he foretold? For, in order that the ministers of the word might be convinced of the certainty of what they taught, it was necessary that they should be more powerfully impressed by it than the generality of men.
Since therefore the Lord held out to Isaiah, as in a picture, those dreadful calamities, he found it necessary, under the overpowering influence of grief and anxiety, to betake himself to the Lord; otherwise the confused emotions of his mind would have agitated him beyond measure. He therefore takes courage from the belief that, in the midst of these tempests, the Lord still determines to promote the advantage of his Church, and to bring into subjection to himself those who were formerly estranged. Isaiah therefore remains firm and steadfast in his calling, and does not allow himself to be drawn aside from his purpose, but continually relies on the expectation of mercy, and therefore perseveres in celebrating the praises of God. Thus we learn that this thanksgiving is connected with the former prophecies, and that Isaiah considers not only what he foretold, but why the Lord did it; that is, why the Lord afflicted so many nations with various calamities. It was, that he might subdue those who were formerly incorrigible, and who rushed forward with brutal eagerness, who had no fear of God, and no feeling of religion or godliness.
Thou art my God. Being as it were perplexed and confused, he suddenly raises his thoughts to God, as we have already said. Hence we ought to draw a very useful doctrine, namely, that when our minds are perplexed by a variety of uneasy thoughts on account of numerous distresses and afflictions which happen daily, we ought immediately to resort to God, and rely on his providence; for even the smallest calamities will overwhelm us, if we do not betake ourselves to him, and support our hearts by this doctrine. In order to bring out more fully the meaning of the Prophet, the word but or nevertheless may be appropriately inserted in this manner: “Whatever temptations from that quarter may disturb me, nevertheless I will acknowledge thee to be my God.” Thus he promises that he will give to God the praise which is due to him; and this cannot be, unless a firm belief of his grace dwell in our hearts, and hold a superiority, from which grace springs a joy, which yields to us the most abundant ground for praises, when we are certain of our salvation, and are fully convinced that the Lord is our God. Accordingly, those who are influenced by no desire to praise God, have not believed and have not tasted the goodness of God; for if we actually trust in God, we must be led to take great delight in praising his name.
For thou hast done a wonderful thing. He uses the word פלא, (pĕlĕ,) wonderful, in the singular number instead of the plural. The Prophet does not confine his view to the present appearance of things, but looks to the end; for even men who in other respects are heathens, behold in the government of the world astonishing events, the sight of which overwhelms them with amazement; which undoubtedly happened to the inhabitants of Tyre and Sidon, and to the Babylonians and Moabites. But those only who have tasted his goodness and wisdom can profit by the works of God; for otherwise they undervalue and despise his works, and do not comprehend their excellence, because they do not perceive their end, which is, that God, wonderfully bringing light out of darkness, (2 Cor. 4:6,) raises his Church from death to life, and regulates in the best manner, and directs to the most valuable purpose, those things which to the eye of man appear to be confused.
Counsels whch have been already decreed of old. Now, in order to bestow still higher commendation on the providence of God, he adds, that the “counsels have been already decreed of old;” as if he had said, that to God nothing is sudden or unforeseen. And indeed, though he sometimes appears to us to act suddenly, yet all things were undoubtedly ordained by him before the creation of the world. (Acts 15:18.) By this word, therefore, the Apostle means that all the miracles which happen contrary to the expectation of men, are the result of that regular order which God maintains in governing the world, arranging all things from the beginning to the end. Now, since we do not understand those secret decrees, and our powers of understanding cannot rise so high, our attention must therefore be directed to the manifestation of them; for they are concealed from us, and exceed our comprehension, till the Lord reveal them by his word, in which he accommodates himself to our weakness; for his decree is (ἀνεξεύρητον) unsearchable.
Firm truth. From the eternal decrees of God the Prophet thus proceeds to doctrines and promises, which he undoubtedly denotes by the word truth; for the repetition would be frivolous, if this word did not signify a relation; because, when God has revealed to us his purpose, if we believe his sayings, he then appears to be actually true. He commends the firmness and certainty of the word, when he says that it is “steadfast truth;” that is, that everything that comes from God, everything that is declared by him, is firm and unchangeable.
1 You are my God. This intensely personal affirmation sets the tone for the whole song. In place of the raucous drinking songs whose purpose was forgetfulness and the loosening of inhibitions with the result that the worst side of humanity was revealed, this is a song of heightened awareness and true freedom in commitment. The singer says, “I want a being like you for my God. I want to belong to one as powerful and faithful as you.” But he also says, “You have shown me that you do truly belong to me, because you have not abandoned me to the oppressor, you have kept faith with me when I was so afraid you had forgotten me. You are my God.” The personal note here is a helpful reminder that although God did deal with his people as a group, every individual in that group counted because God related to the group as to an individual. Thus instead of the person being lost in the group, the group became a person and the importance of persons was safeguarded.
for you have done wonderful things. The biblical faith is rooted in the concept of a God who is not captive to the normal. He is able to do the remarkable things, and does, in order to save his people. Modern religion has stripped God of his miraculous powers and, using process parlance, has deified the physico-psycho-social system while continuing to call itself Christianity, and thus has drifted far from its biblical roots. That kind of god neither excites nor deserves the kind of ecstatic praise recorded here. Wonders are not part of its makeup.
things planned long ago expresses a thought which is especially Isaianic. God’s wonders, his amazing acts, are not “off-the-cuff.” They are part of the divine purpose in the universe. The idols have no plans, which is to be expected since the wind and rain from which the idols come have none. People make plans feverishly, but all too often they come to nothing. But Isaiah knows a God who, at the right moment, does something which from one point of view is utterly new, but from another is consistent with plans formed before the universe began. This is the only being into whose hands it makes sense to entrust oneself from Isaiah’s point of view. No other plan is worth anything.
Ver. 1.—Thou art my God; I will exalt thee (comp. Exod. 15:2 and Ps. 118:28). To Isaiah the “Song of Moses” seems to have been a pattern thanksgiving, from which he delighted to draw his phrases when he was bent on formally singing praise to God. Compare the following: Exod. 15:2 with ch. 12:2, “He is become my salvation;” the same with ch. 25:1, “He is my God; I will exalt him;” Exod. 15:6 with ch. 13:16, “Hath dashed in pieces;” Exod. 15:7 with ch. 47:14, “Consumed them as stubble;” Exod. 15:11 with ch. 46:5, “Who is like,” etc.? the same with ch. 25:1, “Doing wonders;” Exod. 15:16 with ch. 8:13, “Fear and dread;” Exod. 15:18 with ch. 24:23, “The Lord shall reign.” Wonderful things; thy counsels of old are, etc.; rather, thou hast wrought wonders, counsels of old, faithfulness and truth. The wonders for which God is praised were decreed in his counsels from all eternity; their accomplishment shows forth God’s “faithfulness” and “truth.”
|When is the appropriate time to praise the Lord?
|Praise the Lord often, regardless of your circumstances. Many people praise the Lord only when something good happens to them or when they receive an unexpected blessing—but the Lord is worthy of our praise at all times, in all circumstances.
We do not praise the Lord on the basis of our circumstances; we praise the Lord on the basis of who He is in the midst of our circumstances.
We do not praise the Lord because of the way we feel; we praise the Lord because of who He is and the way He feels about us.
Don’t limit your praise to the songs you sing at the Sunday church service. Praise the Lord often, in both words and songs that you create spontaneously. All around you, at all times, you can find countless things for which to praise the Lord. Look for those things, and throughout the day voice your heartfelt praise and thanksgiving to God.
When you ride alone in your car, get into an empty elevator, sit alone in your office or work space, or find yourself alone in your home, take every opportunity to voice praise to the Lord for who He is. Praise Him for what He has done through the ages, for what He has done in your life and in the lives of your loved ones, and for what you know without doubt the Lord is doing for you and will do for you both now and throughout all eternity.
You can never run out of things for which to praise the Lord!
When you voice your praise to the Lord, you open yourself up to experiencing the presence of God with you. The Bible tells us that the Lord is “enthroned” in the praises of His people (Ps. 22:3).
The greater your praise, the smaller your problems will appear.
The more frequent your praise, the less you will find yourself with time to worry or feel anxious.
The more you praise the Lord, the more you are going to “see” things worthy of His praise.
As you praise Him, your entire attitude will shift from an unhealthy “I focus” and “problem focus,” to a healthy and joyful “God focus” and “answer focus.” So take a cue from the prophet Isaiah and proclaim: “O Lord, You are my God, I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, for you have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth” (Is. 25:1).
 Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (Vol. 2, pp. 189–192). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
 Oswalt, J. N. (1986). The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1–39 (pp. 460–461). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
 Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1910). Isaiah (Vol. 1, p. 399). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.
 Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Is 25:1). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.