Several years ago, I was preparing for my first colonoscopy!
I had a symptom…you might imagine what that symptom was, but I had a symptom that necessitated my scheduling a colonoscopy. Because of my relative young age at that time for the potential diagnosis, I was absolutely terrified.
At this time in my life, I was consumed by fear and worry! I truly “accidentally” came upon this verse:
“The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
These words comforted me, and I read them before I was healed from chronic worry, fear and hypochondria. They penetrated and soothed my heart! I clung to them as I went into my procedure! What power in those words? What comfort and Peace?
“He will quiet you with His love,” did not actually mean what I thought they might mean because as the nurse announced to everyone in the recovery room as I was coming out of my twilight state that I was anything but “quiet!” I will say, what it did mean was that my spirit was quiet…I was neither nervous nor afraid, and at that time, I had no idea of the outcome! Everything worked out fine, but I will tell you that that passage has comforted and encouraged me so many times in the years since that first colonoscopy! They are extremely comforting and EXCITING!
Zephaniah means “The LORD Has Hidden.” He was a contemporary of Jeremiah and Nahum. He was a prophet to Judah, which was the southern kingdom. Matthew Henry’s Commentary says that, “The meaning of Zephaniah’s name, ‘The Lord Has Hidden’ conveys the ministry of Jesus Christ.
In the Book of Exodus, Moses was leading the Hebrew people out of slavery from the Egyptians. After repeated requests, the Pharaoh stood firm and would not allow this until the angel of death came to kill all the firstborn children. God told Moses to place blood on the doorposts of every Jewish household. The firstborn Jewish children were “hid” and protected from harm. In the same way, Jesus’ blood “hides” us from condemnation!
This promise is worded beautifully in Zephaniah 2:3, “Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger. Jesus has “hidden” us with His blood!
There are only three chapters in Zephaniah. Chapter 1 is about the charge against the people of Jerusalem and Judah for their gross sin (idolatry, foreign alliances, etc.). It provoked God to bring destruction on them and God’s warning that the day of the LORD is near, and it will be a terrible day.
Chapter 2 is a heartfelt appeal to the nation to repent and make their peace with God!
Then we have Chapter 3, and this chapter is filled with promise of mercy and grace that God had yet in reserve for them. The same promises are for us as well! See, our AMAZING God, provides a way out of whatever we are in…He loves us so much. He provides a wonderful Redeemer who cleanses us from our sin, restores us, rescues us and holds us in esteem. We have no need for insecurity, fear or condemnation! Hallelujah!!!
In Chapter 1 and 2, things looked very bad with the Jewish people. They seemed incorrigible and incurable. It appeared that there was no hope…have you ever been there? You are not alone! But, never fear, that is not God’s plan!
Verses 8-12 in Chapter 3 are powerful! We need to WAIT for Him! He will restore. These promises are for both the Jews and the Gentiles, and it is through Christ Jesus!
This is the best news! Now back to verse 14, “Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! “ With all your heart…that is inward…those who love God with all their heart have reason to rejoice!
Verse 15, “The LORD has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy, The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; You shall see disaster no more.
Matthew Henry’s Commentary says to “receive God’s forgiveness through Jesus’ completed work on your behalf. Rejoice with all your heart because God has removed His judgment from you and live your life in ways that honor the Lord and bring glory to His name!” Amen!
Verse 17 is my favorite! “The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Matthew Henry’s Commentary says, “He is in the midst of us, to preside in all thy affairs and to take care of all thy interests. The great God not only loves His saints, but He loves to love them and is pleased that He has pitched upon these objects of His love. He will joy over them with singing. He that is grieved for the sin of sinners rejoices in the graces and services of the saints, and is ready to express that joy by singing over them. The LORD takes pleasure in those that fear him, and in them Jesus Christ will shortly be glorified and admired.”
Luke 15: 4-10 contains two wonderful parables Jesus tells, one of the lost sheep and one about the lost coins! They are beautiful illustrations about singing and rejoicing in heaven when even one of God’s children repent, when one turns back to the Lord, when one person realizes how much God loves them…I can just hear Him rejoicing over them with singing!
This, my dear sister or brother, applies to each one of YOU! It applied to me that day in long ago when I had my procedure! The Lord God, in your midst, The Mighty One will save. He rejoices over you with gladness! He rejoiced over me then, and He continues to do so now! He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.
Praise Him! May this amazing God bless you and keep you! Amen!!!