The prophet Zephaniah lived in a time of great idolatry. The lands surrounding the nation of Israel were worshiping false gods. The people of Israel were worshiping false gods. Through the prophet Zephaniah God pronounced judgment against all of them. To the city of Jerusalem he declared,
“Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled, the oppressing city! She listens to no voice; she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the LORD; she does not draw near to her God.”Zephaniah 3:1–2 ESV
God went on to tell Jerusalem that he had been judging the nations surrounding her in an attempt to get her to turn from her idolatry and return to the Lord (Zephaniah 3:6–8), yet she would not. Still, God was not finished with her, so he made a promise that he would bring about the conversion of the nations, and would destroy the proud and haughty among Israel, leaving only “a people humble and lowly” (3:11–13). Israel is then called to sing aloud, to “rejoice and exult with all your heart” for the King of Israel is in her midst (3:14–15). Then God speaks some of the most amazing words in all of Scripture.
“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.”Zephaniah 3:17 ESV
God sings over his people! His love for them causes him to rejoice over them, to exult over them with loud singing. Think of this. God sings.
This is surprising in and of itself, but especially so after reading the pronouncements of judgment. This claim about God singing comes at the end of Zephaniah’s prophecy. In the midst of God’s wrath against sin and idolatry is God’s great joy and delight in his people, and that joy and delight is so very great that he exults with singing—loud singing.
God delights in his people. Let’s rest in this truth today. If you are in Christ then God is singing over you! As we pray today, let’s pray for one another. Let’s pray for holiness in our lives, that we would turn from sin and would seek him in all we do. Let’s pray for the strength to reject temptation and choose to respond to God’s singing with holiness in our lives. Let’s pray that our faith in him would be strengthened, and that we would rest in this truth.
When Jesus was baptized by John, God the Father said of him, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:13–17). This is what it means to be in Christ. Let’s rest in this.