I am a Singing Sinner in the hand of a Singing, Dancing and Victorious God. Zephaniah 3:14-20

The end of the book of Zephaniah is a stunningly beautiful description of God’s redemption project.

The God of heaven and earth is out to redeem, heal, and save his people.

The vision comes to a climax with this remarkable scene in which God takes “great delight” in his people and rejoices over them “with singing.”

There’s a lot of singing in Bible.

The stars sang God’s praise at creation.

The angels sang praise in Bethlehem.

The angels and all the saints sing praise in heaven.

But God is not merely a passive listener.

God is also a singer, delighting in and cherishing us and all creation.

Singing has been practiced in virtually every culture throughout history.

Have you ever wondered why the act of singing has such universal appeal?

One important reason is that words that are sung can have a much greater impact on us than words that are only spoken.

This is why so much of the praise we offer God is done in song—and why Saint Augustine once said that “whoever sings prays twice.”

But when have you or I ever thought of, been encouraged by, God as a singer?

We might think that the reference in today’s Bible reading to God singing is not meant to be taken literally, but I’ve a feeling, in this exact “God-Moment,” it is.

Allowing God’s Word to convert and transform our imaginations so that when we think about God, when we pray, and when we live out each day, we will set aside our sub-Christian ideas about God, Jesus, our salvation, and our worship.

Zephaniah 3:14-20Amplified Bible

14 
Shout for joy, O Daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O Israel!
Rejoice, be in high spirits and glory with all your heart,
O Daughter of Jerusalem [in that day]!
15 
The Lord has taken away the judgments against you;
He has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, even the Lord [Himself], is in your midst;
You will no longer fear disaster.
16 
In that day it will be said to Jerusalem:
“Do not be afraid, O Zion;
Do not let your hands fall limp.
17 
“The Lord your God is in your midst,
A Warrior who saves.
He will rejoice over you with joy;
He will be quiet in His love [making no mention of your past sins],
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.
18 
“I will gather those [Israelites in captivity] who grieve about the appointed feasts—
They came from you, [O Zion];
On whom the reproach [of exile] is a burden.
19 
“Behold, at that time I am going to deal
With all your oppressors;
I will save the lame
And gather the scattered,
And I will turn their shame into praise and renown
In every land [where they have suffered].
20 
“At that time I will bring you in,
Yes, at the time I gather you together;
For I will make you a name and a praise
Among all the peoples of the earth
When I restore your fortunes [and freedom] before your eyes,”
Says {sings} the Lord.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

Way back in Deuteronomy 31:19, God told Moses, “Write down this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it”—and most of the following chapter contains the song God taught Moses so the people could learn it too.

The heavenly choir depicted in the book of Revelation also sings, and it draws from that old song of Moses as it sings “the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb” (Revelation 15:3-4).

God has other songs to teach us as well, and we will spend eternity singing them. The singing of God and the praise of all whom God has redeemed in Christ will combine to form the most beautiful music anyone has ever heard.

When you and I intentionally, seriously, “song-fully,” contemplate God’s own being and you think, sing of God looking at you, think, sing, of God rejoicing over you with singing—all because of the perfect salvation we have in Christ.

The very thought of this generates a contagious image of encouragement, joy.

Zephaniah 3:17-18Easy-to-Read Version

17 The Lord your God is with you.
    He is like a powerful soldier.
    He will save you.
He will show how much he loves you
    and how happy he is with you.
He will laugh and be happy about you,
18     like people at a party.
I will take away your shame.
    I will make them stop hurting you. [a]

Zephaniah 3:17 is an incredibly encouraging verse.

If you’re feeling down, or overwhelmed, or not sure how you’re going to face the week ahead, check out the promises in Zephaniah 3:17.

This verse is filled with God’s truth and promises.

“The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty…” 

— Not only are we promised that God is in our midst, but we are also reassured in this verse that He is mighty!

We can call on Him whenever, wherever, and for whatever, and He is right there with us.

He’s also mighty, meaning He’s stronger than any challenge we may face.

“…he will save…” 

— Wherever you’ve been, whatever you’ve done, God is able to save you. He loves us so much that He sent His only Son Jesus to this earth to redeem us.

“…he will rejoice over thee with joy…” 

— I love how Barnes’ Notes on the Bible describes this part of the verse:

“Love, joy, peace in man are shadows of that which is in God, by whom they are created in man. Only in God they exist undivided, uncreated.”

Genuine Joy in us is something that comes from within – joy is not based on circumstances; it is based on our knowledge, experience and love of Christ.

“…he will rest in his love…” 

— And because of that, we can rest in Him. Only in God can we truly find peace and rest.

You may feel overwhelmed, or anxious, however remembering the love God has for you, and that He has His perfect timing, will help you find rest and renewal.

“…he will joy over thee with singing.” 

— For the second time in this verse, we see the word joy.

God delights in us; that should be enough to make us joyful!

Singing can be used as an expression of joy.

Think about that in context of reclamation, restoration and redemption – God WILL joy over thee with singing. What an encouraging and inspiring thought!

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

ABBA, my Father, my one and only true God, I know that you love me, and you made me in your image. I thank you for the blessings you’ve given me, even though they’re too many to count. I pray that you help me to reflect on all the love you have given to me and those around me. Quiet my spirit and the noise in my head so I can struggle to hug, embrace and to understand the love and grace you have promised me. Amen.

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Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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