Do you ever have those times when you wonder how much worse can this world get? Do you like to look back to simpler times when life seemed to be less complicated, when it seemed we were inundated far less with hatred, vulgarity, ruthlessness and greed? In truth, these things were there, but we just aren’t as shocked by them, now. It may feel discouraging to look at how wicked the world is around us, and even more so when we look at the sin in our own lives.
It’s that very reason that I’ve struggled with writing about Zephaniah 3:17. I’ve had a hard time picturing the last part of this verse which often stands alone when quoted by Christians: “He will rejoice over you with singing.” That is a great section of verse, and we certainly can be encouraged by that. It is amazing to think of God singing over us with joy. However, it wasn’t until I took a look further back in Zephaniah 3 that I better understood the reason for God’s rejoicing over His people with singing.
God is victorious! He has conquered sin, and He has saved us from the consequences of that sin. I think it may feel a little bit like it does when a mom pulls her little child away from a horrible misstep, or when a dad sees that he has taught his teen how to make wise decisions. So much of what goes on in the world is destructive. When we examine our own hearts we find a lot that is wrong. Yet, we can be confident in our hope for complete freedom from the damage caused by sin, because that hope comes from the Lord. He does not require anything of us except to know we need Him and to accept the grace that He freely offers us.
It may seem as if the world is spinning out of control while it also is on a course headed for disaster. Thankfully, these verses remind us that those who trust in the Lord will not experience that disaster and can know joy because God has set us free. Now, that’s a great reason to sing!