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What Makes God Sing?

What Makes God Sing?


One of the most encouraging and comforting verses in the Bible is Zephaniah 3:17. It paints a picture of a strong but tender God whose love toward His people issues forth like music. Just reading this passage lightens my heart and makes me smile:

“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 you,
     but will rejoice over you with singing.”

But did you ever wonder why God takes delight in us? Why He rejoices over us with singing? It’s not that we’re so “all that”. In fact, we’re pretty much a mess. What does He see in us?

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Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of words have been written by people much smarter than me about the theological implications of Zephaniah 3:17 and other verses like it. The simple truth is, we give God joy by finding joy in Him.

It’s not about us; it’s about Him.

Sometimes it’s easy for us to worship God. We have those light bulb moments that make us tangibly aware of how trustworthy and powerful He is. Maybe it’s the result of an answered prayer, an unexpected blessing, or an idea that seemed to materialize out of nowhere at a critical time.

We are awed by His kindness and awakened to His mercy. We respond with tears of gratitude, praise for His goodness. Or just stunned reverence.

When His blessings cause us to recognize Him for who He is and appreciate His ultimate value, He rejoices over us.

Other times, we cry to Him from a desert place: We’re facing a diagnosis, a divorce, deployment, even death. Nothing clarifies our need for God like desperation. Suddenly we have a choice: cling to what we know about God or collapse in a heap.

In the Old Testament, the Israelites built altars to God as permanent reminders of the occasions when He displayed His loving care in miraculous ways. Later, when they faced barren times and were tempted to think God had abandoned them, they would come to these altars and remember: God was good in the past. He will show His face again. He is always good.

When we suffer and doubt but reach out to Him anyway; when we look for Him even in the shadows and choose to rest in what we know to be true, He delights in us.

As I meditate on Zephaniah 3:17, love reverberates from Him to me, and back to Him. I imagine all creation echoing in a symphony of glory, even the rocks crying out in praise of Him (Luke 19:40).  And in those moments when I am aware of God and acknowledge Him for who He is (however imperfect and incomplete my efforts), He experiences delight. The very idea thrills me and makes me want to worship Him more.

When we focus on Him, we are enough. And He rejoices over us with singing.

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