All right, it’s time for a sequel to my last post. Moving on from vv. 14-15, let’s take a look at the next two verses in Zephaniah chapter 3:

Zephaniah 3:16-17
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Fear not, O Zion;
let not your hands grow weak.
17 The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

The pattern of encouragement continues. I took some time to meditate on this today. What stood out:

  • God rejoices in us. When I get discouraged over my sin, I often tend to think that I must be a constant headache for God. I wonder why He puts up with me — I imagine He’s always in damage control mode concerning the things I do. While certainly it’s good to remember God’s patience and mercy toward sinners, it’s also important to remember that He rejoices in His people. Why? Because we are identified with His beautiful Son, Jesus Christ! If you are a Christian, God is thrilled to have you in His kingdom! I love the phrase, “He will exult over you with loud singing.” We often sing to God, but here God is singing over us. What a great picture of His love and joy! If only I had this sort of love and joy for my brothers and sisters in Christ — and for God Himself.
  • We should not be discouraged. “Fear not.” “Let not your hands grow weak.” Remember that God is not out to get you. He cares about what you’re doing, and He will give you all that you need to accomplish His will. He points us toward an eternity spent in His presence: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap [eternal life], if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:10).

I’m really enjoying Zephaniah. God’s love stands out so sharply to me in this book. I’ll explain why tomorrow.