Zephaniah 3:8 “therefore, wait for me… until the day I rise up”
Zephaniah like many of the prophets, I think of Zechariah and Daniel, tells the story of how God responds to sin and rejection of God, while still telling that history is a moment in what is eternal for God. That God judges, but God saves. That this moment might be hard, but for those who trust God there is a day coming. Here in chapter 3 God’s word goes down through what is coming – restoration, faithful service, purity, removal of shame, right living. And God calls them to v14 Sing For Joy – Shout Loudly – Be Glad, Celebrate with all your heart. We need to keep God’s work and his promises always in our minds.
Then v16 – do not fear – don’t let your hands grow weak
Why? And here is the verse that started my thoughts today, Zephaniah 3:17 ” The Lord your God is AMONG you, a Warrior who Saves. He WILL rejoice over you with gladness. He WILL quiet you in his love. He will DELIGHT in you with singing” – Oh that is beautiful.
Don’t fear – do not let your hands grow weak. Fear is a powerful force against us. yare = dismay, distress. Fear manifested is often NOT fright, but DISTRESS, feeling like I can’t control my world, I can’ t make a difference. Jeremiah 6:24 says “We have heard, and our hands have become weak. Distress has seized us like a woman in labor.” And interesting comparison that Jeremiah makes also in chapter 50 of his prophesy. Like a woman in labor – sometimes we know good is coming, but we are afraid we can’t do what it takes to get there and when it comes, we won’t be equal to the task.
But the encouragement is … The Lord is here AMONG you – qereb = in, at, among, in the middle of, entrails” Entrails? Well the Lord is the GUTS we Need! Come on somebody. Let go of your flowing robe image of Jesus …
He is a WARRIOR who SAVES – gibbor = manly, vigorous, hero, champion, strong, mighty – See Jesus standing before you, the Warrior Hero. I think about Joshua on the road to Jericho and seeing a man before him with Sword Drawn, blocking the road. He asks, “are you for us or against us.” And the Angel of the Lord – Jesus – stands before him and says “neither, I’m the Commander of the Armies of Heaven”. Yes, Jesus is our Warrior, that SAVES – yasha = delivers, avenges, is victorious – He is not just an encourager, a spectator, he is our Victorious Champion.
He will rejoice OVER you – al=over, in front, before, above – Deuteronomy 30:9 The Lord will make you prosper abundantly in all the works of your hands… Again, this is the Lord at work for us, in us, through us.
He will be quiet in his love – I like that rendering. Elsewhere it is rendered renew you. But that word, as I looked, charash carries the idea of a farmer plowing – That doesn’t mean he is silent, but more like he is quietly plowing the field, preparing for planting, preparing for harvest, the desire, the victory. – stop a minute and think about the Lord when he seems silent, seems quiet, he is just preparing for what he is bringing.
He will DELIGHT in you with SINGING – This is such a beautiful simple picture. Oh, have you ever just spontaneously sung praises to your children, your spouse, your team? “You are great, You can do it, yes you can yes you can. We got this, good is coming.” That is our Warrior, Savior, Farmer, Celebrating what he is doing, what is coming.
Know, Feel, Follow, Win, Reap the Harvest