Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! 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. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. 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. I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival, so that you will no longer suffer reproach. 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. (Zephaniah 3:14-19)
Here is the illustration I mentioned in the 11AM service from Matt Chandler… so good. (and look at the video thumbnails… we have the same hand motions… hahaha)
And the Video I referenced:
When God spoke at the beginning, the heavens and the earth were created; perhaps at the end, the new heavens and the new earth will be created when God exults over his people with loud singing.
When I think of the voice of God singing, I hear the booming of Niagara Falls mingled with the trickle of a mossy mountain stream. I hear the blast of Mt. St. Helens mingled with a kitten’s purr. I hear the power of an East Coast hurricane and the barely audible puff of a night snow in the woods. And I hear the unimaginable roar of the sun 865,000 miles thick, one million three hundred thousand times bigger than the earth, and nothing but fire, 1,000,000 degrees centigrade, on the cooler surface of the corona. But I hear this unimaginable roar mingled with the tender, warm crackling of the living room logs on a cozy winter’s night.
Our Lord is the headwaters of joy. Too often we look first to the lower streams to find joy, forgetting that they flow from the Source of pure Joy, who beckons us to come upstream to Him and drink freely of the rivers of the water of life at their very purest.
Sometimes, in moments of pride, we need to fear Him and repent. Other times, in moments of brokenness and despair, we need to just bathe in His grace, and see His smile and hear him say “Well done, enter into your Master’s joy.” We need to cast our cares upon Him, because he cares for us, come onto him when we’re weary and heavy laden, and He will give us rest.
Make this your prayer today… that the joy of the Lord would be your strength…