“Saith Your God”
Preface: We may not always understand why tragedy happens, but we can trust God, no matter what.
G. F. Händel, in a 24-day period, wrote what later became his most successful and best-known oratorio. This oratorio named The Messiah was composed in the year 1741, exactly 2,431 years after the prophet Isaiah wrote, in the year 690 b.c., the powerful and unforgettable words contained within the profound music in The Messiah. It is not hard at all to understand why G. F. Händel would make use of these words that are so full of hope and promises. During their own times, and in different forms, they found these inspired words as vehicles of divine thoughts. And it was these God-inspired words that drove Händel to compose “Comfort Ye My People,” one of the recitatives of The Messiah.*
In those times, when the people of Judah were oppressed by enemy forces and they had rebelled and lost their identity, nothing else, other than these promises given by God, were able to contain the hope that could keep their faith alive through the rough trials.
In Isaiah 40:1, 2, we can see, and almost hear, the word of God in trying to restore His people to Himself as He says: “ ‘Comfort, yes, comfort My people!’ says your God. ‘Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins’ ” (NKJV).
As in the desperate times of Isaiah and the dramatic and sophisticated composing days of Händel, these strong words “saith your God” speak to us today still in a powerful way. This message that has been brought to us today may be a warning, may be a promise, but they are surely an ownership stamp. God really does not want us to go through what the people of Judah went through when they lost their true identity. We do not have to wander around without direction, because “saith your God”: We are His. He is our true identity. How great it is to belong to the Lord.
* Adapted from the introductory note of G. F. Händel, “The Messiah” (New York: G. Schirmer, Inc., 1912), p. iii.
Carlos Solano, York, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.