I’m blown away by God’s amazing words of encouragement to Israel in Zephaniah 3:16-17: “Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” This is failed, flawed, failing Jerusalem he’s talking to. Dare I think that he means this for me too–failed, flawed, failing Chris? Has he taken away my punishment and turned back my enemy (v. 15)? Do I have no reason for fear? It seems almost too incredible, but it’s his promise.
I regret to admit that I sometimes have used the line, “I don’t think that makes God very happy,” when correcting my sons. While there may be truth in that line, it seems that it needs to always be followed by, “but he loves you very much. He can’t help it. Even if he wanted to stop loving you, he couldn’t. It’s his nature to love.” As Melannie Svoboda writes, “…God lacks restraint when it comes to loving, too. In fact, God is most unrestrained when it comes to loving. Put another way, God cannot love except abundantly.”