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May 7, 2023

Scripture Reading: Zephaniah 3:14-20

Nestled away in the small, little-known book of Zephaniah is a marvelous declaration of the steadfast love of God.  Zephaniah begins with one of the most chilling statements of God's wrath in all of Scripture and closes with one of the most moving descriptions of God's love for His people in all of Scripture.

The wording of Zephaniah 1:2,3 is reminiscent of the story of the flood.  "'I will utterly sweep away everything from the face of the earth," declares the LORD. . . . I will cut off mankind from the face of the earth,' declares the LORD."  A coming, widespread devastation is in view here, having a near fulfillment (in the destruction of Jerusalem) and a distant fulfillment (in the great tribulation). 

The people of God, however, are commanded to 'sing' … 'shout' … 'rejoice' … 'exult' (Zeph 3:14) because the LORD has taken away His judgments (Zeph 3:15).

Zephaniah 3:17 offer us a rare insight into God's own delight.  Because of His work in salvation, God rejoices over His people with gladness … He is quiet over them is His love … He exults over them with singing. 

That the Almighty should derive delight from His physical creation is stunning enough because God has no deficiency.  But that God should rejoice in a sinner is utterly staggering.  The answer as to how this is even possible is that God the Father rejoices in His Son … and Christians are in Christ.  Therefore, God sings over the reality that, in terms of righteousness, He has made us like His Son.

For us, there is no gladness like this gladness because this salvation in Christ is of infinite value.  Let us "rejoice and exult with all our heart!"