Zephaniah 3:17 ESV
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.
In my quiet time this past week I was reading Zephaniah 3. I paused when I read that God laughs over me, or to be more exact, “He rejoices over you/me with gladness”! Wow! I don’t usually think of God laughing, or shouting with joy. In Zephaniah it says that God not only does, but he also “will exult over you with loud singing!” Really! Loud singing! Do I ever rejoice over anything with loud singing? Pause for a moment here. Can you picture God “exulting over you with loud singing”? My first thought goes to “Why?” What are the conditions? We cheer when a friend or a child wins a race or performs well. We cheer for our favorite team when they are winning. But here it describes God as a “mighty warrior who saves”. “He has taken away our punishment” and is “in your midst”. There are no conditions for his love or his great pleasure.
Psalm 16:11 ESV
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16 says that in God’s presence is fullness of joy. It makes me think of when I am with my grandchildren. Whenever I see our youngest grandchild, Ellie, I can’t help but smile. She doesn’t have to do anything. She is just so cute and I find such joy in just watching her. For my birthday I got together with some of my girls, my daughters and daughters-in-law. We laughed and had a wonderful time just being together. We didn’t do anything special; we were just together. This is how I see God in these verses. He just gets great pleasure in simply being with you! C.S. Lewis in his famous sermon “The Weight of Glory” says: “To please God . . . to be a real ingredient in the divine happiness . . . to be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son — it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain. But so it is.”
My granddaughter Annabelle loves to be delighted in. She will cry out “watch me,” and then hold out one arm and run across the room or perform some trick. Do we love to be delighted in?
Gregg Morse with Desiring God Ministries asks: “He wants us near because he delights in his people. Do we fellowship with this happy God, a God in whom enough joy cascades to submerge his people for an eternity? Although we can still displease him with our sin, grieving the Spirit he placed within us, the Father’s smile replaces his displeasure as the sun replaces the moon each morning. His laughter, as with his mercy, is new every morning.
To smile more before God, we must rediscover the weight of his smile, his unveiled happiness in his people that bids us be as merry as we humanly can be — in him. In this is joy: not that we have delighted in God, but that he first chose to delight in us. We will never outlaugh our heavenly Father. His smile, his happiness, not ours, founds the universe. ”
“How differently we would pray, if we believed that the God whom we sought actually wanted us to draw near.”
I hope you will go out from this time thinking a little bit more on how much God loves and delights in you. 🙂