Zephaniah 3:17 "The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”
GOD IS WITH YOU
Have you ever felt alone? All alone? Like no one in the world — not your friends — not your family — no one at all — has your back? No one is standing with you? Understands you? You might be surrounded by people, but you feel completely alone? Here is an important promise from a prophet of God: You are not completely alone. Ever. God is always with you.
Daniel found himself in a lion’s den. Jonah found himself inside the belly of a great fish. Joseph was tossed into pit, sold as a slave in Egypt, and then thrown into a dungeon and God was right there with them all. In the darkness. In the confusion. In the pain. And He is with you too.
HE IS MIGHTY TO SAVE
God doesn’t do anything halfheartedly. God never shows Himself weak, tired, frail or defeated. God is awesome and mighty and when He saves, He saves in a way that leaves no doubt He is the hero. Who else can hold the lions’ mouths shut? Who else can command a great fish to spit Jonah out? Who else can move pharaoh to not just release Joseph from prison, but appoint him as the second-highest ruler in all the land? God has a plan and His plan is ultimately for your good and His glory. What brings God glory? Your trust in and obedience to Him. Your faith in Him. Your testimony of His greatness.
HE WILL TAKE GREAT DELIGHT IN YOU
Of all the mysteries since before time began, the greatest must be why God loves us? Has there ever been a more lopsided, unequal, and undeserved affection than God’s attention to and care for us? No wonder the Bible says that even the angels don’t fully understand God’s grace lavishly poured out on us (1 Peter 1:10-12). I can understand their confusion! The God who spoke galaxies and universes into existence, listens to my puny little voice? What can I give to Him that He doesn’t already have? What can I do for Him that He cannot do for Himself? The answer is NOTHING. But if I want to please Him — AND I DO — then the Bible is clear that it starts with faith: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) So God wants me to believe in Him and seek Him and for that He is pleased and I am rewarded. What a mystery! What a privilege! What a God!
HE WILL QUIET YOU WITH HIS LOVE
Each of my children instinctively knows where to go when they get hurt. As soon as the tears start falling — they start crying out for mommy or daddy. There’s just something about a parents’ loving arms that soothe and comfort not just the physical pain but calm the emotional turmoil as well. My 5-year-old daughter really knows how to milk the affection from everyone. After crying and being comforted by me, she will start over again and visit every adult in the house: mom, grandpa, and finally her grandma!
When life knocks us down and scrapes our souls, God invites us into His comforting arms. Shhh your troubled heart. Shhhh your troubled mind. Shhh your troubled soul. Be still and quiet and let Me remind you of some things:
I love you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3, John 3:16) I am with you always and will never leave or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6, Matthew 28:20) I am working everything in your life out for your good and my glory. Everything. (Romans 8:28)
HE WILL REJOICE OVER YOU WITH SINGING
There is an old African American Spiritual that says: “Over my head, I hear music in the air! There must be a God somewhere.”
“Music is the soul’s way to exhale, to express itself beyond words. It bespeaks the soul’s longing, its sighing, its joy, and its sorrow, words are optional.” — Charles Pope
There are so many things in God’s creation that speak to His marvelous attributes, creativity, and beauty, but at the top of my list is music. MUSIC. With its limited scale — 12 notes (in Western music) — but seemingly unlimited potential for endless possibilities of creativity. Think of all the songs that have been written and sung from the beginning of time until now — and there will be 10,000 more by this time next year!
Zephaniah was a prophet, but I think also a poet. When he writes that God rejoices over us with singing, he is pulling back a curtain on our mysterious Creator and revealing even more of His paternal nature. We might not all be singers, but we’ve probably all hummed a soft melody to get our children to sleep or made up some silly lyrics on the fly to get our kids to laugh — especially when their knees are scrapped or hearts are broken and their eyes are full of tears. Where do we get that idea? From God our Father, who sings over us with melodies of warmth and promise and triumph!
Quiet. Listen. Can you hear Him singing over you today?