We just got back from our 11 PM Christmas service. I love this service because we sing all the carols, then welcome Christmas Day with communion, candles and Silent Night. I love singing loudly to God.
But God singing loudly over me? That notion always stuns me – like the passage it comes from (which happened to be part of my readings tonight):
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. (Zephaniah 3:17 ESV)
He rejoices and exults over me, quiets me with His love.
And here’s the most amazing part. This passage comes right after the prophet Zephaniah talks about how His people refuse to change, so they will be punished – along with their tormentors.
But wait – there’s an abrupt transition to a time when God says:
…I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech,
that all of them may call upon the name of the LORD
and serve him with one accord. (Zephaniah 3:9 ESV)
All nations will praise and serve God!
During this time, Jerusalem will rejoice, too:
Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
The LORD has taken away the judgments against you
(Zephaniah 3:14-15a ESV)
Why can God rejoice and exult over me – despite the fact that like Israel, I am prone to disobey, again and again?
God had a plan in place because He knew we would never change without help.
He did the work for us. He changed the speech of the nations, turning hearts to worship Him. And He took away the judgment against us.
Tonight we worshiped Jesus for entering this world as a baby so that He could leave this earthly life on a Cross.
Jesus did this for the joy set before Him – so that He could rejoice over His blood-bought people with gladness and exult over us with loud singing.
Today’s Passages: Zephaniah 1:1-3:20, Psalm 147:1-6, Proverbs 30: 18-19, Revelation 14:1-20. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only)