Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Fear not, O Zion;
let not your hands grow weak.
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:14-17. I love this passage. First of all, it starts and ends with singing. First, God’s people are called to sing. And then at the end, it is God himself who sings over His people. This is one of those passages of praise where we see so much of the work of God for His people. Look at all that is listed:
- He has taken away judgments against us
- He clears away our enemies
- He is in our midst
- He is mighty and will save;
- He rejoices over us
- He quiets us (through loving us)
- And then He sings over us.
So often our walk with Christ is about us reflecting the love of God to those around us. And who best to take our model from than God himself? There are also invitations to action in our passage for today:
- Sing aloud
- Rejoice and exult
- Do not fear
- Don’t let your hands get weak (stay strong)
Even as God does all of those things for us, we are called to respond. We sing back to God, the great Singer. We rejoice in Him as He rejoices in us. We shake off fear and stay strong, knowing He is with us, protecting us from our enemies and saving us through His strength. What a gift, to have all that Jesus does for us flow through us and bless others!
I leave you today with the words of a hymn that is not well-known, but this passage brings it to mind for me. I’m reminded also of the section of C.S. Lewis’ book The Magician’s Nephew where we get a glimpse at the creation of Narnia, where Aslan, the Christ-figure in the series, sings the world into creation. Blessings to you today as you sing!
“The Singer and the Song” by Peter Davison
When long before time and the worlds were begun,
when there was no earth and no sky and no sun,
and all was deep silence and night reigned supreme,
and even our Maker had only a dream…
…the silence was broken when God sang the Song,
and light pierced the darkness and rhythm began,
and with its first birthcries creation was born,
and creaturely voices sang praise to the morn.
The sounds of the creatures were one with their Lord’s,
their harmonies sweet and befitting the Word;
the Singer was pleased as the earth sang the song;
the choir of the creatures reechoed it long.
Though, down through the ages, the Song disappeared,
its harmonies broken and almost unheard,
the Singer comes to us to sing it again:
our God is with us in the world now as then.
The Light has returned as it came once before;
the Song of the Lord is our own song once more;
so let us all sing with one heart and one voice
the song of the Singer in whom we rejoice.
To you, God the Singer, our voices we raise;
to you, Song Incarnate, we give all our praise;
to you, Holy Spirit, our life and our breath,
be glory forever, through life and through death.