Where do you turn in times of trouble? What do you turn on in times of trouble? Do you have a go-to playlist or album that lifts your spirits? Is there a favorite artist or even a particular song that eases your mind?
The prophet Zephaniah offers songs of hope and comfort in times of uncertainty and trouble. They are songs sung by God himself. Songs sung by God over his people.
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.Zephaniah 3:17
Loud Songs of Rejoicing
Just what kind of songs does God sing? Loud songs of celebration. God rejoices over his people like we might rejoice over an unexpected inheritance (Psalm 119:162) or like a young groom rejoices on his wedding day (Isaiah 62:5). The same word is used here. God belts out his love. And if we have any question about the wild delight God takes in his people, we’re told that he “exults” over his people with loud singing. The root of this word carries the idea of spinning around in joy. A God who sings and dances in delight over his people!
And unless we think that we might be misinterpreting Zephaniah, Jesus reinforces the idea. In his Parable of the Lost Son, God is the father who celebrates with singing and dancing over his once-lost, now-found child (Luke 15:25).
Quiet Songs of Comfort
But God also sings quietly. He quiets us with his love. As a parent sings softly in the night over a restless little one, so God stills our anxious hearts with his love. His songs let us know that he is close by (“in your midst”) and able to save us out of all our troubles. His presence is peace.
But there could be another idea behind God’s quiet love. Not only does he quiet us, but he himself is quiet. This fits the message of Zephaniah. Though God’s people have been unfaithful, God will forgive those who look to him. Though he could rightfully speak judgment, he is quiet because of his merciful love. No accusation. No condemnation. No harsh words. Just his peaceful presence and comforting love.
The God who sings over you. I understand. It’s hard to imagine. But you don’t have to imagine. You simply have to believe what he has said. And remember, he’s not only told you, he’s shown you this kind of love. If God didn’t hold back his Son (Romans 8:32), do you think he would hold back his songs?