I’ve always expected God to love me, but would He exult me? That seems a little far fetched, but hey, I’m open to it. Are you? Check this out.
Zephaniah 3:17 goes like this:
Zephaniah 3:17 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.
There’s the Scripture for you today to ponder with me, a daily devotional reading of sorts.
Now for those who like visuals, I found this beautiful meme with the thoughts of this Scripture embedded right there for you to see with your own eyes. The words are slightly different, but the meaning and sentiment are still the same.
The Scripture has five major components to it. That basic premise is pretty easy to see.
They are all promises too, and here are those promises:
1. The Lord God is with you.
Whether you “feel” Him there at the time or not, He IS with you. Jesus Christ assured us God would be with us always through His Spirit.
2. Through Him, you are saved.
It’s a good thing we aren’t saved through our own actions, but Christ has the right stuff to do so!
3. God is so happy when you are happy. He rejoices in that!
Isn’t it just down right cool to think about the happiness our Heavenly Father has when He sees His children are happy!
4. During those not-so-happy times, we are covered with God’s love.
We haven’t even begun to experience the depth of God’s love yet. When we face those tough times here on this earth though, His love will be available to us so that we can find peace in it all.
5. God will exult you.
The translation in the visual states this as God rejoicing over you.
I don’t know about you, but that last part kind of tripped me up!
Oh yea, we’ve been taught all the other things throughout life, and they come naturally to our belief systems.
1 God’s Spirit is among us. Check.
2 Christ came to die, rise again, and we are saved. Check.
3 God is there is good times. Check.
4 God is there in bad times. Check.
5 I am exulted. Huh????
Those first four promises rely on the goodness and grace of God Almighty, something we can easily justify since God Almighty IS so good and great and gracious.
But He will exalt US?
That doesn’t seem to be just speaking highly of HIM.
Isn’t that saying something about US?
See, here’s my confusion with this.
That #5 promise above is STILL a promise. We can see that as a promise. It’s just the exultation over me that has me asking “But why?”
God will (WILL) exult. He says that.
Does God NEED a reason to exult us?
Maybe that’s the key.
OK, I really need to get hold of this because it just doesn’t fit so easily for me into those other four promises, mostly because this one seems to have something to do with you and me, not just God.
…he will exult over you with loud singing.
So perhaps we should investigate what “exult” means?
Merriam Webster defines “exult” as “to leap for joy” or to “to be extremely joyful”.
Dictionary.com defines “exult” as to show or feel lively or triumph joy.
YourDictionary.com says “exult” is to feel great happiness or joy.
And finally, the the thesaurus gives these synonyms for the word “exult”:
I’m not sure you are seeing it yet, but I’ve finally come to see something I had not realized at the beginning when I first saw this Bible verse, and that is:
He gives no reason there as to WHY He exults us.
God does not NEED a reason to exult us.
Zephaniah 3:17 simply says He exults us, no qualification listed.
You know, you (and I) must be pretty special as God’s creation, and His creation alone, for Him to rejoice in our being, celebrate our being, cheer our being, be overjoyed in our being, be elated in our being, be delighted in our being.
While God is all those wonderful things, even without any qualification or standards at all, we are precious in God’s sight, so precious He sings in mighty joy that we exist.
Well, I guess I did stumble upon ONE qualification. We EXIST.
However, that’s not such a high standard to live up to though, is it? … to “exist”… to “have been created”…
The point is, you may have human standards you try, don’t try, live, or don’t live up to.
You may be a success. You may feel like a failure. You may BE a failure by earthly standards.
The Heavenly Father above may rejoice in your accomplishments here for sure.
But He exults over your existence no matter what – simply because you are HIS accomplishment, and you are His child.
And THAT is not saying anything about what you have done or not done.
It’s just saying God made you, and He delights in you, HIS creation, the child He loves.
So the next time you feel as if you fall short of the glory of God, just remember that you ARE the glory that God exults.
It’s that simple.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for creating me.
I was not just some twinkle in my parents’ eyes. I am a direct creation of design by YOUR HANDS. You made me; You wanted me to exist, and you made me just the way You WANTED to make me.
You knew who I was, knew what I would be, knew what I would do and knew what I would mess up along the way long before I was aware of any of that myself. Yet You still made me, and you exult over me, your creation.
I’m so lucky, so fortunate, so blessed, so appreciative, so thankful, so grateful right now, Lord. I sure haven’t done much to deserve the joy You are telling me that You have for me. I sure haven’t done what I would think would be worthy of Your exultation.
And yet, You exult over me. You have said so in Your Word!
Your character is above mine, and Your knowledge and understanding are beyond mine. You are excited in the simple idea that I have come to “be”. Wow, how blessed I am!
Praise be to You that You are so gracious and so good.
I still want to honor you though, Heavenly Father. I want to be more, Lord. I want to do more. Please help me become more of that person You created, using my time, my life, my ME you created to do more and to live up to all that is possible in my life.
In the meantime and also no matter what… it’s nice to know I’m that important to you, even if… especially SINCE… everything is completely dependent on Your goodness and grace… and not me… nor my works… and certainly not my successes of which I usually mess up pretty much most of the time.
PS, It’s pretty cool thinking about the idea of You jumping for joy and singing loudly for me up there in Heaven. That actually gives me hope.
Thank you, Father.
In Christ’s name I pray for myself and for all reading this,