God’s Love for His People


Zephaniah 3:17 – “He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

This scripture speaks about the ‘Great day of God’ in the light of the splendid promise of restoration for Israel. God would save and redeem them from both their enemies and their sins. God sings over His people. Why? Because this is how much joy and delight we give to the Lord that he breaks into song. God did not sing when he made the world. He just looked on it, and said that it was good. The angels sang, sons of God shouted for joy but creation did not make God sing. But the Lord rejoiced when He saw what became in the salvation of His redeemed.

Manasseh was a bad king. He killed many people who really loved God. But God did not let him to kill other people like Zephaniah. The word Zephaniah means ‘The LORD hides’. It speaks of the day(s) when God will punish people who do not obey him. Later, ‘that day’ means something else – ‘On that day you will not be ashamed because of what you have done.’ Some people will ‘look for the Lord and will find him. This will make God happy that He will sing with His people. In Jerusalem those who fought against God, who were very bad, who were rich and exploited the poor that worked for them, they did not trust the Lord. They did not pray to God, nor believed or obeyed Him. Instead, they trusted their leaders, who promised to do a lot for their people, but they only took away everything that their people had. There were false prophets. The priests in Jerusalem destroyed God’s law by not obeying them. God’s house was dirty this way and God could not live there because God is righteous. God was jealous because He loved His people so much and wanted them to love Him alone, but they wanted to work for other gods also. He punished the people that would not obey him. He also punished foreign people that hurt his own people, the Jews. One day we will all speak the same language again. It will happen when Jesus comes back to the earth. God will bring back the remnant of His people from exile. The Lord will punish the enemies of the Jews and the Jews will no longer be ashamed. They will be famous and people will say good things about them. The Lord will give them back all the good things that they lost in the exile. All this will make the Lord God very happy! He would live among his people as King of Israel.

These verses chiefly relate to the future conversion and restoration of Israel, and the glorious times which are to follow. They show the abundant peace, comfort, and prosperity of the church, in the happy times to come. Jesus will save His people from their sins. Before the glorious times prophesied, Believers would have much sorrow and be objects of reproach. But the Lord will save the weakest Believer and cause true Christians to be greatly honored where they had been treated with contempt. One act of God’s mercy and grace will be enough to gather the dispersed Israel and lead them to their own land. Then Israel will be made a name and a praise to eternity. Even if the righteous have troubles, they will rejoice in God’s love. We should honor the Lord, and rejoice in Him, especially when we hear words of contempt and grace. For now we may hold on to God’s Word in our trials and grief; but in due time we will be gathered to His temple above. Our glory and happiness will be perfect, unchangeable, and eternal, when freed from earthly sorrows, and brought to Heavenly bliss.