[God] will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
Seventeen months after our first child—a boy—was born, along came a little girl. I was overjoyed at the thought of having a daughter, but I was also a bit uneasy because while I knew a few things about little boys, this was uncharted territory. We named her Sarah, and one of my privileges was rocking her to sleep so my wife could rest. I’m not sure why, but I started trying to sing her to sleep, and the song of choice was “You Are My Sunshine.” Whether holding her in my arms or standing above her in her crib, I quite literally sang over her, and loved every minute of it. She’s in her twenties now, and I still call her Sunshine.
We usually think about angels singing. But when was the last time you thought about God singing? That’s right—God singing. And furthermore, when was the last time you thought about Him singing over you? Zephaniah is clear in his message to Jerusalem: “The Lord your God” takes great delight in you, so much so that He “rejoice[s] over you with singing” (3:17). Although this message speaks directly to Jerusalem, it’s likely God sings over us—those who have received Jesus as Savior—too! What song does He sing? Well, Scripture’s not clear on that. But the song is born out of His love, so we can trust it’s true and noble and right and pure and lovely and admirable (Philippians 4:8).
What feelings are stirred when you consider God singing over you? Is that something unbelievable or something comforting? Why?
Good Father, the thought that You would sing over me in joy is such an assurance and comfort. Thank You.
While the book of Zephaniah (which means “the Lord hides/conceals”) ends on a note of joy and singing in view of God’s restoration (Zephaniah 3:14–20), the bulk of the book records God’s judgment on Judah and the nations. “The day of the Lord” is the primary theme (1:2–3:8). This term refers to a day when God settles accounts with those who oppose Him (a day of judgment) and rewards the remnant of faithful followers (a day of deliverance/salvation). Indeed, “the Mighty Warrior who saves [and] will take great delight in you” (3:17) is also “the Mighty Warrior [who] shouts his battle cry” (1:14). The sovereign God of all the earth has the right to call the nations into account.