God Delights in You
“For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
—Zephaniah 3:17 NLT
God is singing because He rejoices over His children, delights in them and feels joy over them. Zephaniah references a future time when God will have ended His judgment on His children Israel, and they will enjoy a time of blessing and safety from their enemies.
The words of this verse remind us God is with us always, and He is mighty to save. He delights in us and loves us each so much that He sings melodies of love and rejoices over us. This delight is simply because we are His. And just as a mama’s voice calms and soothes a child with song, God quiets us with His love and soothes our hearts with His voice.
I love to picture our heavenly Father singing and rejoicing over His children like that. Singing and rejoicing over me, and you.
Sometimes it’s hard to understand how God could love us, especially when we consider all the mistakes and times of disappointment we’ve struggled through. Or, when we feel like we don’t measure up because we don’t do enough for His kingdom and His glory.
Or when we feel unloved or rejected by others and wonder if God might have abandoned or rejected us as well. What comfort it brings to think about God loving us the same way a mother loves her babies.
As moms, we sing over our babies because we love them, not because they deserve it or can do anything for us in return. They bring delight to our hearts, because they are ours. And the same goes for our heavenly Father when it comes to His own.
God’s quiet love and gentle whispers of acceptance and delight are the greatest love song our spiritual ears will ever hear.
If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If he had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, he’ll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and he chose your heart. Face it, friend. He’s crazy about you.
Because [God] delights in me, he saved me.
—Psalm 18:19 NCV
As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.
Zephaniah 3:17 includes an interesting description of God singing over people: “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”
Two important observations regarding this passage: first, singing represents God’s joy. The Hebrew phrase translated “he will rejoice over you with singing” can also be translated literally as “he rejoices over you with a shout of joy.”
Second, God’s singing parallels the singing of His people in Jerusalem. “Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion!” (Verse 14) This unit of poetry begins with the people of Jerusalem singing praise to God and ends with God singing over His people. God rejoices with His people, and He expresses joy when His people praise Him.
The question then is, why is God so joyful? This passage of Zephaniah speaks of a future time when God has ended His judgment upon Israel. All of their enemies have been destroyed, and Israel is entering a time of safety and blessing. (Verses 8,15,19) Zephaniah is speaking of the future millennial kingdom when the Messiah (Jesus) will reign with His people in Jerusalem. (Isaiah 9:7; Revelation 20:1–6)
The word picture in Zephaniah 3:17 is full of emotion. God the Father is the One who holds His daughter Jerusalem and sings joyfully in her presence. Just as a loving parent cradles a child and sings out of love, so God’s song over His people is born of His great love. After a time of hardship, our loving Lord dries His people’s tears, comforts their hearts, and welcomes them to a new world.
Finally, Jesus also taught in the New Testament that “there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10) Whether or not God Himself sings in this passage is not made clear, but it is clear there is rejoicing in God’s presence when those who are lost repent and are made right with God. (Ephesians 2:8–9; John 3:16)
Not for great deeds and heights attained,
Not for accomplishments and fame;
Not for moments when I succeed,
When I am strong, when I believe;
Not for times when I’m pressing on,
Unfazed by night, fixed on the dawn.
For who I am, now and today,
Stumbling, groping to find my way;
A heart of dreams and fears and walls,
Of starts and stops, of peaks and falls:
A life unpolished, unprofound,
A sinner ransomed, lost and found.
You are precious. You are worthy of unfailing love. You are a joy. You are inherently worthy of honor. You are a delight. Your life has a firm purpose. Your Creator made only one of you. The Architect of your being didn’t want a world that was devoid of you. A universe without you is just not a good enough universe. It’s incomplete.
This is part of your original design according to Scripture. These are unshakable truths about you. You were made to be loved—accepted, not rejected.
Do you know these things in your inmost being? Do you live your life according to these realities?
I don’t love you for what you are or what you aren’t. I don’t love you for who you are. I don’t love you for how much you do or how well you do it. I don’t love you for how little you sin and mess up, or for how much you do the right thing. I simply love you—no strings attached. That truth may be hard to grasp, but once you do, everything in your life will take on new meaning and new depth, a new reality. You are complete because you are loved. You are free because you are loved. You are able to love others truly because you are loved completely and unconditionally.
I didn’t decide to love you based on your love for Me or on what you do for Me. I loved you before there was any of that, before you took your first breath.
I love it when you tell Me you love Me and when you put that love into action by drawing close to Me in prayer. I love how you love Me and want to please Me, but even when that wanes or gets crowded out by the affairs of life, My love for you is unchanged. My love for you never lessens, and I am never too busy for you.
—Jesus, speaking in prophecy
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