Day 2: Zephaniah 3:14-17
for joy, Daughter Zion;
shout loudly, Israel!
Be glad and celebrate with all your heart,
The Lord has removed your punishment;
he has turned back your enemy.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is among you;
you need no longer fear harm.
On that day it will be said to Jerusalem:
“Do not fear;
Zion, do not let your hands grow weak.
The Lord your God is among you,
a warrior who saves.
He will rejoice over you with gladness.
He will be quiet in his love.
He will delight in you with singing.”
1. The book of Zephaniah is almost entirely what we would today call “fire and brimstone” preaching. The prophet puts basically every nation involved in the history of the people of God on blast for their wickedness, and prophesies disaster and doom as a result. These verses are very near the end of the book, when Zephaniah makes the same turn to the future we saw in Isaiah 40. After prophesies of doom and destruction, he sees salvation coming from the personal presence of God’s chosen King in Jerusalem.
2. Jesus is the chosen King. He is the Lord your God among you. He is the warrior who saves. He is the one who will rejoice over you with gladness and delight in you with singing.
3. In the midst of the righteous judgement and wrath of God that Zephaniah prophesies, he speaks of God celebrating over his people. We usually think of ourselves as the ones rejoicing and God as the object of our praise. But here we have God rejoicing, to the point of breaking into song. As the people of God in trying times, and especially times when the church is being reformed and restored, it is worth remembering that when God looks at his people he is proud of them. He is enamored of them. He rejoices and sings over them. And they are us. The love of our God is no passive thing.
4. The people of Jerusalem endured a great deal of suffering as they waited for the arrival of this chosen King. We have the privileged place of knowing that our King has come, is here, and will one day come again to rejoice in song over us just as we rejoice at his presence.