Zephaniah 3:17

Zeph. 3:17 The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing.

This became one of my favorite verses a couple of years ago, because I loved the picture I had of God singing over me. And last week, I did a little bit of searching in the Strong’s concordance to get a clearer picture of what it was saying in the original Hebrew. Here is what I found-it is sooo cool!

The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty

Midst- qereb- inner parts; by extension: heart or mind as the seat of thought and emotion; interior, midst.

Mighty- gibbor- Mighty One, Mighty Warrior, Special Guard

So if we put it in our own words with what we have looked up, we could also say,
“The Lord thy God who lives in your heart, is your Special Guard and Mighty Warrior!”

He will save

Save-yasa- to be rescued, delivered, be saved; to save, rescue, deliver; divine salvation has its focus on rescue from earthly enemies, occasionally referring to salvation from guilt, sin and punishment.

In Zephaniah, this verse is referring to the nation of Israel and how God would save them from their enemies when they would turn to Him. But Israel is also a picture of Christians, and Israel’s enemies are a picture of sin and sometimes trials. So we could say “He has rescued us from the punishment for our sins.”

He will rejoice over thee with joy

Rejoice- sus- to rejoice, be pleased, be delighted

Joy-simha-joy, gladness, pleasure, delight

“We bring Him joy!!”

He will rest in His love

Rest- hares- to plow; engrave; plan, plot; to be silent, be quiet; to become deaf

This is the line that I thought was especially amazing. I wasn’t really sure what it was for God to rest in His love. I can see myself resting in my love and it is a very selfish picture. J But that isn’t what this is saying at all.

Part of what this is saying is that He can become deaf. An example of that is when
Psalm 66:18 says “If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.”

But it also says that He is planning or plotting. Sometimes, the Lord brings things into our life to direct us back to Him.

Love- 160- friendship, familial love, romantic love or covenant loyalty

Even when we are far from Him, living in sin and enjoying it, He is still there. He keeps His promise (covenant) to us in that we cannot lose our salvation.

So there are times when He just sits back, and waits for you to come around, all the time, missing you, and seeing what He needs to do to bring you back. HE LOVES YOU!!!

He will joy over thee with singing.

Joy-gil- to rejoice, be glad, be joyful. The attitude and action of favorable circumstance, often expressed in shouts or song.

Singing-rinna-shout of joy, song of joy; cry of pleading.

Notice this joy is different than the first joy. That joy is more like an enjoyment. This joy is being ecstatic!!! He is so happy that you are walking with Him that He sings and shouts about it!!!
Isn’t that amazing??? Have you ever pictured a singing and shouting God? We really shouldn’t be surprised-after all, He gave us music and emotions! Isn’t our God an awesome God??

Speaking of an awesome God, (!!!)

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor,

Luke 4: 16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”
20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Christ came and fulfilled those words from Isaiah 61! He wants to do the same in you! He wants to rejoice over you with singing! Won’t you walk with Him??? He wants to free you from whatever is holding you in bondage!!

Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I looked up the word “yoke” and in Hebrew it is zygos which was a frame and cross bar placed on draft animals to pull various objects. Just like a frame that two oxen would use to plow a field or pull a wagon. It lessens the load and evens it out. All that work for just one would be unbearable, but having two work together, makes the load much lighter.

I found it interesting though, that instead of Jesus picking up our yoke, He asks us to pick up His. Why do you think that is?

Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would find his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?

So basically, it boils down to this, please…open your heart and listen:

Do you crave encouragement or wisdom for your life? Who better to talk to than the Wonderful Counselor??
Are you tired of being dragged through the mud by Satan and your past? Who would be better than the Mighty God to pick you up and clean you off?
Do you yearn for a place of safety and rest? Whose arms are better to hold you than the Everlasting Father?
Are you sick and tired of living a life of inner chaos and confusion? Who better to run to than the Prince of Peace?

I will tell you-NO ONE is better. You can keep trying to fix yourself and be “fine” on your own, but His name is Jesus. And it was prophesied hundreds of years before His birth that He would be all those things for us.

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

He longs to be all that for you. He wants to call the shots in your life and desires a friendship with you! The Creator of the universe wants to listen to whatever it is that you have to say!! Isn’t that amazing???

Are you ready to take up the cross and follow Him?
Honestly, it is not easy, but let Him make your life worth living.

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