Today’s apple slice comes from Zephaniah (Zepha-who? You know, that Old Testament book not many people read?) 3:17 in the ESV version.
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.
I have read through the entire Bible over the course of several years, but this verse recently caught my attention. What a richly beautiful verse! The Lord is in our midst. He walks among us, with us, beside us. He’s the ever-present God. We are never alone. This can either be encouraging or embarrassing, depending on what we are doing. Hopefully with this knowledge, we allow it to become an encouragement rather than become ashamed.
The Lord is mighty; He will save. What’s your definition of mighty? If it’s some buff weightlifter, I’m not sure you’ve got an accurate picture of God. (Although I’m sure you realize that.) I believe God is mighty. He isn’t just mighty in His ability to form mountains, paint the skies, and shape the planets. He is mighty in love, compassion, forgiveness, and peace. He is mighty in every good and perfect attribute unimaginable. The might of the God who created all is immeasurable and knows no bounds.
As if it isn’t enough to save His people, God continues to lavish love upon us by rejoicing over us with gladness. He rejoices over us with gladness? Wow. He delights in us. He takes pleasure in His creation. In other words, when you see nothing good in yourself, He does! He sees you as worthy, lovely, cherished, forgiven, and His. He rejoices over us. He’s like a proud dad at his son’s baseball game or his daughter’s ballet recital, “That’s MY son; that’s MY daughter.” He loves that which He has made.
Life can be quite exciting… and stressful at times. God will quiet us with His love. We can live with a quietness in our spirits even in the midst of so much busyness. We need quiet moments alone with God. We need to still our souls and remove distractions. His love is tranquil (but don’t let that diminish the raw power and passion of His love!). He longs to bring us rest; but we must rest in Him. We must seek out solace in God rather than via other means.
After we’ve rested and rejuvenated our hearts and minds, it’s time to party… in so many words. God will exult or proclaim over you a loud song. This is a song of victory and triumph, I believe. I’ve heard some amazing songs in my life, but to hear God sing over me, to me, for me… My mind can’t fathom it. I’m pretty sure God’s singing would make my current idea of “good music” sound like nothing more than American Idol rejects. (That’s my way of saying God’s singing would blow anything else out of the water.) I can”t wait for the day to hear all of heaven filled with music! What a glorious day to look forward to.