“The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
(Zephaniah 3:17)

This has been one of my favorite scriptures for a very long time. In fact, I first learned it as a song in a bible study I attended in college. My goodness, such a joyful, victorious melody. We clapped our hands and lifted our voices to the Lord Who is mighty in our midst.

These powerful words are being spoken by Zephaniah to the remnant of Israel; to those chosen people who turned from their rebellion, humbled themselves and chose to seek after righteousness before their God.

And God’s response?

He promised He would gather them to Himself and heal their wicked ways (3:18). He promised He would DWELL in their midst.

Imagine this.

The Lord God dwelling in your midst – The Mighty One Who saves, Who restores, Who delivers His children – right there with you every step of the way!

What happens next? God REJOICES over His children who have returned to His love!

There are two different Hebrew words used in this passage for ‘rejoice’. The first is sus (soos): “He will rejoice (sus) over you with gladness.” Our return to Him makes Him “greatly happy with pervasive, irresistible joy!”

The second ‘rejoice’ is gil (geel): “He will rejoice (gil) over you with singing.” The Lord “dances for joy” when we recognize Who He is in our lives.

I love that!!

How often do we only consider our emotions in our relationship with the Lord. For sure, we were ecstatic at the moment of our salvation, we were humbled and filled with a peaceful contentment when we found our way back to the cross after a time of wandering.

But do we ever think about how God feels during these times?

According to the scripture, our Heavenly Father is “leaping for joy!” He is singing and beside Himself with great happiness.

What a lovely thought.

How great is His love.

Lord, I love You! And I love that You are a very hands-on God, not some stuffy old taskmaster looking for our every mistake. You love us so much that You dance for joy when we call to You and run into Your everlasting arms of love. You, Lord, are mighty! You are awesome! Thank You for creating joy!