Zephaniah 3:17

By Meredith |

The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.  {Zephaniah 3:17}

I love this scripture; it’s only a few lines packed with so much of who God is in our lives. I am excited to share what it is saying to me and hope it adds to what God is saying to you during this season.

It starts off with a major proclamation – THE LORD YOUR GOD IS WITH YOU – I find that to be an amazing idea. But too often, it’s just that, an idea in my life. Not a reality in my day-to-day existence. But scripture is filled with reminders of God’s immanence. Repeatedly reinforcing to us that God is right here, with us, dwelling throughout all of creation – not being it, as the pantheist might say – but choosing to exist in it and near us as only a supreme, divine, true God can. It is far too easy for me to go throughout my day and week believing in the transcendent God who lives in the sky looking down on all that occurs in His creation. If I am honest, there are parts of me that feel a little more comfortable with that God. A God who is close, who is right here with me – well, that God takes away quite a few of my excuses. Why is it then that I don’t step out more boldly in my faith, why is it then that fear or doubt sometimes plague my thought life, why is it then that I find myself leaning on my own abilities way more often than I should? Nope. God who is close, goes into every circumstance that I face and demands that I lean on his ability, his knowledge and his strength.

I can’t help but think of the buff, macho, muscle machines at the gym when I read that God is, “mighty to save”. Now bear with me here, I haven’t completely lost the plot. See, when I think of those protein shake totting body builders I think of a stereotype strength that is for… well… for the sake of being strong, and little else. Stereotypes, sure, but that strength is very different to the muscle of, say, a carpenter, firefighter, or soldier. Their strength is built for a purpose and directed. God is mighty, and he chooses (because God does nothing outside of His will) to direct that might toward our salvation, toward rescuing us from our own mess. And, get this…. He delights in it!

But with out a doubt the section of this scripture that speaks to me loudest (prepare for irony!) is that God “quiets us with his love”. Ah-mazing. Raw truth moment: I am a hot-chaotic mess of too many things jumbled together at one time in one place. I try to make too many decisions simultaneously and I try to make them all right now, in this very moment. Which generally leads to boisterous thoughts that clutter my soul and spirit. But in all God’s goodness he quiets the storm of my life (that, by the way, came from not depending on Him – check back with paragraph 1!). And He doesn’t do it with his judgment – which he could. Nor does he do it with his hand of correction – which, again, would be totally justified. Instead he chooses to use the essence of who he is, his love. In his goodness, God quiets every storm, every situation, every chaotic moment or season with his infinite, everlasting love.

That simple fact brings a song of thankful admiration into my heart every time. Yet again, in all His beauty, I find He has already begun to sing a song of rejoicing over me.