For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples
    to a pure speech,
that all of them may call upon the name of the Lord
    and serve him with one accord.
10 From beyond the rivers of Cush
    my worshipers, the daughter of my dispersed ones,
    shall bring my offering.

11 “On that day you shall not be put to shame
    because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me;
for then I will remove from your midst
    your proudly exultant ones,
and you shall no longer be haughty
    in my holy mountain.
12 But I will leave in your midst
    a people humble and lowly.
They shall seek refuge in the name of the Lord,
13     those who are left in Israel;
they shall do no injustice
    and speak no lies,
nor shall there be found in their mouth
    a deceitful tongue.
For they shall graze and lie down,
    and none shall make them afraid.”

14  Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
    shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
    O daughter of Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has taken away the judgments against you;
    he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
    you shall never again fear evil.
16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Fear not, O Zion;
    let not your hands grow weak.
17 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.
18 I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival,
    so that you will no longer suffer reproach.
19 Behold, at that time I will deal
    with all your oppressors.
And I will save the lame
    and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
    and renown in all the earth.
20 At that time I will bring you in,
    at the time when I gather you together;
for I will make you renowned and praised
    among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
    before your eyes,” says the Lord. – Zephaniah 3:9-20



Do you know how God feels about you? Do you have the feeling that maybe he isn’t so pleased with you? Like, maybe he is mad at you and probably everybody else, too? Or, do you, perhaps, have the thought that God is giddy happy over you? Like the teenager who is in the midst of their “first love?”

If I were to survey the honest feelings of each of you reading this, most would have to admit they fall more to the “God is probably mad at me” side. That shouldn’t be surprising since we all have sinned (and do so quite often) and we know God hates sin, so, logically, he wouldn’t be happy with me since I sin.

The answer depends on your relationship with Jesus Christ. If you are a rejector of Jesus Christ as Lord and only Savior, it would be right for you to fall on the “God is mad at me” side. Earlier in this small three chapter book of Zephaniah, God pronounces the destruction of all except the faithful, that includes you if you continue in your rejection of Jesus Christ.

“I will utterly sweep away everything
from the face of the earth,” declares the Lord.
3 “I will sweep away man and beast;
I will sweep away the birds of the heavens
and the fish of the sea,
and the rubble with the wicked.
I will cut off mankind
from the face of the earth,” declares the Lord. – Zephaniah 1:2-3

The destruction is referred to as “The great day of the Lord,” (Zephaniah 1:14) and hasn’t happened yet, but will. God’s purpose in it, however, is repentance. He calls his own to repent of their sins and walk with him. Just as the great day of the Lord is a sure thing, so it the repentance of his people. If you haven’t yet, you can join him and become one of his people.

But what if you aren’t one of the Christ rejectors? How does God feel about you?

This prophecy is speaking directly to the faithful in Israel but applies as well to Gentiles who have been grafted into Israel by faith in Christ.

he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

This takes some sanctified imagination. Since we can’t see God the Father, but we can see Jesus since he is 100% man as well as 100% God, picture him rejoicing over us with gladness. A good image to bring up from Scripture is the running father, you know, the father of the prodigal son. When the son (you and me) was finally seen walking up the path to Father’s house, Father girded up his skirt (if he were a Scot, it would be a kilt) and ran to greet his son who is returning home. The Father rejoiced over his son with gladness.

Remember when you were a young child, maybe three or four years old and you “got a boo-boo?” Mom would kiss your boo-boo, hold you in her arms and maybe put some medicine on it if it was bad enough. Remember the comfort of her arms around you and her hands running through your hair in her attempt to soothe you as you leaned your head into her chest to rest? That is a special kind of love a child experiences after the ravages of real life on the playground. That is how God loves all of us who have run to him for refuge. He will quiet you by his love.

You have been training hard and heavy for years as a sprinter. You Dad has been right alongside you coaching you all those years. Now you have come to the ultimate race, the Olympics. You have been eating right, working out properly and getting good sleep. You are ready. The eyes of the world are on you, and the starter has the gun raised. This will be the longest and shortest 100 yards you have ever run. You will sense every step of the way. You will be ultra sensitive to everything going on around you and oblivious at the same time. Bang! You are off. A few seconds later, you have won the gold! Dad is at the finish line. You hug, you jump, you laugh, you cry, you are exulting in your victory and so is Dad.

That is how Father God feels about you, hugging, jumping, laughing, crying; only it isn’t your victory, it is his, and he has invited you into his victory through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Oh yeah, after you get cleaned up in the locker room, Dad takes you out for a celebration time. You wind up at a Karaoke Bar, and he sings over you with loud singing. (Well, I had to get the singing in this story somehow.) The truth of Scripture is that God’s jubilation over you is expressed with his loud singing.

This is how God, in Christ, feels about you:

he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

Yes, apart from Christ, we deserve to be in the group that will find destruction, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—” (Ephesians 2:4-5)

Are you one who is pretty sure God is mad at you and you want to be his friend? Contact me in the discussion section below and I can help you with that process.