"The LORD your God is with you. . . . He will . . . rejoice over you with singing." - Zephaniah 3:17
Today's reading from Zephaniah is lyrical and beautiful. It speaks of a coming day when God's care for his people is so close, so complete, so strong, and so sweet that it almost sounds like a dream. It evokes the hope of a future day when God's favor and love will be complete and wondrous.
But we live as fallen people in a fallen world. We experience grief, loneliness, frustration, and injustice. It may be good to realize that much of the book of Zephaniah speaks of things we might see in a bad dream. It speaks of God's judgment against human sin and evil, of sweeping and destructive chaos on the earth, of trouble and ruin, of darkness and gloom (Zephaniah 1:2, 15). In fact, it sounds more like a nightmare.
But finally, in God's faithfulness, a day of rejoicing comes. God works to call a remnant of people as faithful worshipers, humble and honest (3:10-13). And then comes the day of God's love and favor and delight. On that day the Lord and King, "the Mighty Warrior who saves," will hold us and love us like a delighted parent cooing love songs over a beloved child.
In Jesus, our Lord, King, and Savior, the dream of this future day begins to be part of our reality even now!
O God, we rejoice that because of Jesus we are your beloved sons and daughters. Fill us with hope for that future day so that we may endure the troubles of this world today. Amen.