Singing. What are the connotations of that word for you? Does it remind you of happiness? Joy? Or maybe comfort? I hope it has positive associations for you. Singing has always been a source of joy for me. I sing when I’m happy, and when I sing, it makes me happy!
Did you know that God sings, too? Not only does he sing, but he rejoices over us with singing!
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love, he will no longer rebuke (scold, criticize or reprimand) you, but will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17, NIV- parentheses mine)
I was first struck by this verse last fall, when I was in the process of reading through the Bible. I underlined the verse, wrote it in my prayer journal, and memorized it. I have referred to it many times since then, and it continues to be a source of joy and comfort for me.
I did some studying and found out that I like the wording of the Common English version even better:
The Lord your God is in your midst – a warrior bringing victory. He will create calm with his love; he will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17, CEB)
What an amazing thought! God is in our midst. In other words, He’s right here with me, always. In the middle of everything that’s going on with me. Whether I’m floundering around, or having an awesome day (or something in between, which is much more likely). I’m so thankful for that!
I love the picture Zephaniah evokes of the Father creating calm with his love. And just imagining the Lord rejoicing over me with singing! I can hardly describe it with the words available in the English language. I see my Heavenly Father bending over me, singing a sweet lullaby with a look of pure love on His face, and it brings tears to my eyes. (Yes, I have been known to get overcome with emotion sometimes!)
A few months ago, I discovered Armed with Truth – a Christian company that sells temporary tattoos of Scripture verses. The idea is that the verse stays on your arm (or wherever you decide to apply it) for 5-7 days, and by the time the tattoo washes off, you’ll have committed the verse to memory. (See my photo above – in that picture, the tattoo had been on my arm for 3 days.) In addition, you’ll probably find that having a temporary tattoo of a Bible verse gives you plenty of opportunities to talk with others you meet, since people will often notice and ask questions about the tattoo.
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I grabbed one of my tattoos a few days ago and was pleasantly surprised to have Zephaniah 3:17 brought to mind again. I love reading it throughout the day. It reminds me that not only is my God is powerful and mighty, but He also cares so deeply for me that He rejoices over me with singing!
The Lord takes great delight in me, because I am His creation, and He created me exactly as He wanted me to be. And as a result of Jesus’ sacrifice, He does not scold me for my sins and mistakes, but He calms me down and sings to me instead. What an amazing, loving Father!
Daddy God, you are a Mighty Warrior! Thank you that you don’t reprimand me, but you calm me down with your love and sing songs of delight over me! Thank you for loving me so much that you were willing to give up your only Son to suffer and die so that I can live forever in heaven with you. You are an amazing Father! I can’t even begin to grasp how wide and long and deep and high your love is! Please help me to better understand your love, and teach me to love others with your kind of love. Thank you, Lord!
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