Zephaniah 3:17

If you had trouble reading the graphic above, I encourage you to read the text in Zephaniah 3:17. Jeremy Treat had a most encouraging article in a recent issue of CT that focused on that amazing verse in Zephaniah, entitled, “God Is Not Out to Get You.” I want to share a few excerpts from his article with you, and invite you to pick up a copy of the entire article from the hall rack.

“Zephaniah 3:17 begins by declaring one of the most basic yet beautiful truths: the Lord saves. While most of us tend to focus on what we are saved from, this verse emphasizes what we are saved for. Not only are we saved from judgment, we are also saved for joy—God’s joy. Zephaniah paints a picture of the God who delights.

“When Zephaniah says that the Lord “will no longer rebuke you,” it’s not that God’s character has changed but that by his love, our status has changed. We are no longer under his judgment; instead, we are under his care.

“The third part of the declaration is that the Lord “will rejoice over you with singing.” The God of the Bible sings—and he sings over his people.

“The Lord is just and joyful. He is a fierce warrior because he is a compassionate father. Throughout the Old Testament, God’s justice and mercy are both boldly proclaimed. But how can a just God take joy in a rebellious people? This tension is ultimately resolved at the Cross, where Jesus’ atoning death displays the righteous character of God and delivers an unrighteous people from sin.

“The Cross is a constant reminder that our sin is great but that our Savior is greater. Why would Jesus endure the pain of the Cross and the shame of such a horrific death? As the author of Hebrews says, because of “the joy set before him.” Through Christ, we are saved from judgment and for joy.

“Our view of God greatly dictates the way we live. If we see God as a cosmic police officer, then we will live in fear of punishment. If we view God as a heavenly firefighter, then we’ll talk to him only when we’re in trouble. But if God is the mighty warrior who sings over his people, that changes everything.”

God Bless, Rick

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