“For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
Zephaniah 3:17, NLT
Five rings– they are listed from the very inside, outward in concentric circles– and each one is a profound truth. We throw a rock in the lake, and we see the rings grow wider and wider. We watch and listen to the rhythm of the water, and it does us much good. I love lakes, and a picnic at the beach is like a “dream come true.”
The first ring, the starting point is the phrase, “among you.” The center point is the “the Lord your God.” When the Lord is your center we just expect that there is something else just teetering, ready to happen. His presence, active and decisive as it is, has boldly put things into motion. Salvation always starts at the top, and works its way down.
The second ring is “He is a mighty Savior.” This is agape love sweating. Really, the work of salvation can only come from him. He initiates, and then goes on to complete this saving work.
The third ring is being rejoiced over with gladness . This seems outrageous to us who have been diminished and wrecked by sin. It doesn’t seem possible, but the Father gets a real boost when he thinks of us. He is very glad when he gazes on you.
The fourth ring is this– “He calm us with his love.” A toddler begins to unravel, and his mother meets him, and holds him closely. The child sobs start to diminish, and mom begins to restore his broken heart. He has been quieted. The presence of mom has turned everything around.
The fifth and final work is the Father’s singing. It is done with a flair and deeply enthusiastic; He sings with a loud voice, He doesn’t seem to hum, and the angels do not do background vocals. Singing at the top of his voice, it is said he “exults” in you. He has a way about Him as He sings easily, reveling and boasting in your faith in Him.
“Your God is present among you,
a strong Warrior there to save you.
Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love
and delight you with his songs.”
Zephaniah 3:17, MSG