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. Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV).
God is present, saving, delighting and singing – all because of you! It’s incomprehensible! How do we begin to fathom how a holy God would love us in such an extraordinary way? And yet He does. God is deeply satisfied in you. In fact it’s more than that, He’s ecstatic!
The context of this verse is the “Day of the Lord” and the restoration of His people. It’s a prophetic word. In its first life setting it refers to God’s dealings with Judah’s remnant. It also refers to a time when all God’s people will be rescued and restored.
In some ways the verse parallels John 3:16 as it indicates how God’s love is excessive – exceeding anything we can quantify or imagine. It’s a remarkable proclamation. A reminder that, according to the hymn writer Frederick M. Lehman, “the love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell; it goes beyond the highest star, and reaches to the lowest hell.”
Now that’s not to say that there’s anything in us that’s worth loving or is the reason for God’s love. The basis for God’s love is in the nature of God Himself. God loves us simply because He loves us.
While God loves us because He’s Love, we should note that His love embraces everyone who calls on the name of the Lord (Zephaniah 3:9). It’s God’s people, whoever and wherever they are, who are the object of His love. While the Lord is with you, He’s simultaneously with every Christian from every ethnic background in every country. This global extension of God’s love is both a temporal and historical reality. Every person who knows Christ as Lord and Saviour knows for him/herself “this love that surpasses knowledge” Ephesians 3:19.
So how should we respond? We should do what God does. We should take joyful delight in God and sing because of who He is and all that He has done. How can we do otherwise? Love should be reciprocated. We should mutually rejoice in our love for God and His love for us.