We've been studying the Minor Prophets in our Wednesday Bible study. Last night we looked at the first half of Zephaniah. When was the last time you read Zephaniah? I'd encourage you to do so - it's only three chapters.
When I was preparing for this study, it hit me like a ton of bricks that God could have ended this message at the end of chapter 3 verse 8. The book begins with catastrophic descriptions of God's judgment on his rebellious and profane people. One of the indictments of the people was that they were complacent (1:12) and had thought that God was just like them (he will do nothing, either good or bad).
After pronoucing judment on the nations, God's words turn to blessing, not cursing; restoration, not destruction. 3:9-20 are a beautiful picture of God's grace. Where did this come from? It certainly did not come from the nations or from Jersualem itself. This grace comes from God alone - according to His loving character and covenant promises.
3:17 is particularly beautiful:
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.
After personally feeling the weight of God's righteous judment on my sin, I was moved to tears last night - and as I prepared this study. I was reminded that we really can't appreciate grace until we first understand the seriousness of our sin.
I can hardly imagine God rejoicing over me - I am still too full of sin. Is there anything more humbling and wonderful than God exulting over you with singing?
If you have owned your sin and trusted Christ as your Saviour and confessed Him as Risen Lord, then God rejoices over you. It is only as we are in Christ - forgiven and reconciled to the Father - that we are a part of this remnant, this restoration people of God.
God sings over His people. Are you one of them?