Zephaniah, whose name means “the Lord has hidden,” was sent by God to tell the remnant of His people that He had prepared a sacrifice for their sins, consecrating them and removing judgment so that they could be hidden on the day of the Lord’s wrath. God has done the same today, through the sacrifice of His beloved Son Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Friends, if you have the Spirit of Christ residing in you, then you are hidden. If your spirit bears witness that you are the son or daughter of God, you are hidden.
God is letting His remnant, the hidden ones, know that there is nothing to fear – not fiscal cliffs or tax increases, not gang violence, economic disparages or injustices. Don’t even let your hand grow weak. In other words, don’t stop working, don’t stop creating, don’t stop dreaming, don’t stop trying to bring about change, and don’t stop putting your hands to the press – for whatever you set your hands to do shall prosper.
Why, you ask, should I keep pressing when it looks like I might lose my house; why should I keep pressing when it looks like I may never be gainfully employed again; why should I keep trying when the bill collectors won’t quit calling and nagging me; why shouldn’t I stop fighting for my marriage, my children, or my sanity? Because verse 17 says, “the Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; He will rejoice over you with gladness…” I hear some asking, why is God rejoicing over me when my life seems to be all out of sorts? I don’t feel successful. I don’t feel that I even know his voice well enough to not question what I am hearing. Friends, God is rejoicing over you with gladness because he knows and sees your end. He knows your beginning from your end. He knows that your best is yet to come. He knows that you are right on target for a blessing – right now – for a miracle, for a mighty move of God. He knows that you are just ripe for Him to renew you in His love.
This year, Friends, God is inviting each and every one of us to spend more time in the secret place where He will be able to abundantly pour out and saturate us and cause us to bask in His love. As He says in Ezekiel 34:24, “I will cause the shower to come down in your season; there shall be showers of blessing.”
Zephaniah is instructing all those hidden by the Lord not just to sing, but to sing with a loud voice. In essence, you should sing like someone who knows that their sins are forgiven, that the Lord your God is in your midst. You should sing like someone who will boldly proclaim “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16) You should sing and rejoice that you have been hidden under the shadow of the wings of the Almighty. Rejoice because the Lover and Bishop of your soul is renewing you in His love.
Scripture Reference: Zephaniah 1:7, 2:3, 3:14-17 (NRSV)