He rejoices in song.
17 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.” (NIV)
As a pastor, I so often hear from people about their inability to attend church when they have sinned greatly. For whatever reason, God has been taught as an angry God who despises us when we have sinned. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no anger, but He rejoices in song.
Zephaniah was a prophet who first tells of the consequences of Israel’s idolatry. They have begun to worship a false god called Baal and, in their sin, they had moved further from God and He had allowed other nations to come against them. However, it is clear from the beginning that God is not angry with Israel as much as He loves them and wants them back in communion with Him.
He ends his prophecy revealing the heart of God who rejoices over the nation returning to Him with singing. Can you imagine the Lord so wonderfully thrilled to have His children home that He rejoices in song? The Lord spontaneously bursts out in song because He is filled with joy. This is not the heart of an angry God.
The sinful nature has separated us from the knowledge of who God is leaving us without a choice but to see God through our sinful perspective. We assume God must feel the same way we feel about our sin. However, the sinful nature is not working toward our redemption, but our total destruction. The sinful nature does not console us in sin with forgiveness but condemns us as horrible people encouraging us to give up on trying to be anything but a nasty human being.
Stop looking at God through the eyes of your own sin. He has revealed Himself to us in Scripture. We see the love of God and the joy when those who have sinned horribly against Him repent and come home.
Other people will also see our sin through their eyes and if our sin hurt them, they may respond in the sinful nature, even if they are a professing Christian. It’s easy to do. But they are not God and God is not them. God will not rub it in your face, chastise you, embarrass you, or do anything but celebrate your return to Him.
If you have sinned today, there is no need for fear. God has not come to judge or condemn, only to love, forgive, and rescue us from our sin.
Prayer: Lord, help me never to project our viewpoint to your character. Instead, let us block out any thoughts of who You are that do not align with Your Word. Amen.