God Rejoices Over You With Singing!

Scripture reading for September 25th: Zephaniah 1-3

“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. Zephaniah 3:17

Zephaniah was a prophet around 630 B.C. during the reign of Josiah, a good king of Israel.  He spoke some pretty strong words to the nation of Judah concerning the coming day of the Lord.  Through Zephaniah, God warned that He would sweep everything from the face of the earth. (Zephaniah 1:2-3)  He was going to take man completely from the face of the earth, and the  animals, birds, and fish in the sea as well!  Wow!  That sounds like a very thorough cleaning similar to the great flood of Noah’s day!

Even Judah was warned of God’s hand against those in that nation who were idolaters.  There were those who claimed to be Abraham’s descendants but were worshiping Baal, the Canaanite fertility god.  Even some of the priests of God’s house had fallen into idolatry.  They were worshiping Molech and the starry host using astrology. (Zephaniah 1:4-5)  By the way, astrology is popular today in America.  Almost every newspaper has a horoscope and some people read it daily and try to order their life by the predictions of the stars.  Many follow the example of Judah in Zephaniah’s day, and turn away from following the true God.  They are complacent or have followed gods of convenience and pleasure. (Zephaniah 1:12)

Zephaniah cried out to this complacent and sinful people that their appointed time was coming when judgment would bring a day of wrath and destruction.  Trouble, clouds, darkness and death were on the horizon.  Their money could not save them on this day of wrath that would come suddenly at the appointed time. (Zephaniah 1:17-18)

The only remedy offered by Zephaniah was to seek the Lord with humble hearts.  Those who responded would be sheltered by the Lord.  What was needed in this time of complacency, was a desire to seek God!  An appetite for God must come from a heart that is humble and not centered on idols or upon oneself. (Zephaniah 2:2-3)  Idolatry is all about making a god that gives me what I want, instead of serving the God who made me to do what He wants!

We know from history that the young king,  Josiah, turned to the Lord and led a revival that removed the idols and cleansed the land.  He likely was responding to this prophet’s strong preaching.  When we repent, God relents!  He would rather be mighty to save us than mighty to judge us!  He takes great delight in His people and desires to quiet us in His love.  He rejoices over us with singing!  Picture God spinning around in delight singing a song of joy over our return to Him!  (Zephaniah 3:17) This reflects the thought of the Hebrew words of this verse!  God is so merciful; turn to Him today before the coming “day of the Lord”.

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