Zephaniah and an Unexpected Song

     We grow up performing, and we want to be safe and shameless. Though we don't trust Him or seek Him, we, like tired virgins, lie to ourselves, ignoring the judgment we know we deserve, the judgment that is coming upon all men (3:1-2, 1:12). Because of the very nature of performance, a fake, outward layer of “goodness” keeps us from the joy of being fully known and totally loved. He weeps and wants us to come close to Him, but so often we reject an offer so precious. His jealousy burns and will bring a just holocaust, a fiery jealousy and flaming wrath that will consume the whole earth (1:17-18, 2:1-2). Like self-righteous Judah, we may think we'll escape His wrath and that our false hopes will give us good, but such people will stand with the Pharisees, estranged and outside of His sacred camp forever, unclean.
      Our idols cannot save us. He will “famish all the gods of the earth” and they will bow before Him (2:11). Will those whom He will famish satiate our hunger? In a delusive security, we have shamelessly exulted in ourselves and the gods we have made and said in our hearts, “I am, and there is no one else.” How dare I. How dare you. How dare we.
      The I Am who is Everything will not let us mock Him with a crown of thorns forever. He will pour out His indignation, all His burning anger, and consume the whole earth in the fire of His jealousy (3:8).
      And then He will sing, over me, over you, over us. He will save, drawing the lame to Himself, humbling the “proudly exultant ones,” and putting a song of joy in the souls of the needy, for while we were still sinners Christ died for us (3:11-20, Rom. 5:8). What we truly need is safety from His wrath and whole nearness to Him. Sinners who come to Christ are safe, secure, cared for, known and unashamed. The LORD, the I Am, takes away all of the judgment against us by placing it on the back of His precious Son, and in Jesus our Hope is secure. So much more than our defeated gods, our Jesus can save and He does save. He is with us, knowing yet loving, knowing and loving, singing an unexpected song of pleasure in His children. His voice must be so strong and so tender, so fierce and so pure, so full and so golden. In open Calvaried arms of immovable love, we are quiet and at peace. His "heart is a song that our Jesus sings."*

*from Showbread's "Sing Me to Sleep"

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