Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV) For the Lord your God is living among you, He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
Some people think of God as a kind of critical teacher, lying in wait for us to mess up. Others envision him as a critical teacher who loves to hand out bad grades. But in this passage, the prophet Zephaniah gives us a completely different picture of God.
Zephaniah begins by reminding us that God is living among and in us, not somewhere far away in the sky. Then he asserts three powerful positive images of how God sees us.
First, God takes delight in us. He enjoys us the way a loving grandfather delights in his grandchildren. Second, God calms our fears. The apostle John says that love is the opposite of fear and that God loves us perfectly ( I John 4:18).
But Zephaniah’s best description is the last one: God rejoices over us “with joyful songs.” What an incredible image! Picture it whenever you feel God is critical or distant. How can you help but feel cherished by a God who sings for you?
Point to ponder- Do you struggle at times with seeing God as the critical teacher? What are some other ways you envision him? Is it hard for you to imagine God delighting in you or singing songs over you? What makes this difficult?, but the truth of the matter is the Lord is singing over your life!
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Pastor James Baker, Jr.
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