Can you imagine what it might sound like if God were to sing? I mean, think about it: the God of the Universe, the One who used his voice to bring everything into existence! What would that voice sound like when given to song?
And on top of that, imagine that it is you He is singing about!
The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
Here in Zephaniah we find the prophet proclaiming God’s own words as he considers His people. God deeply loves us. He loves us so much that it says he delights over us. That implies to me not just that God likes us, or thinks we are okay, or finds us mildly amusing or endearing. To say that He delights over us is to imply that He finds great joy and pleasure in us. That is an incredible statement given the perfection and wholeness that is God, and the brokenness that is you and me.
And as if that isn’t enough, the most amazing glimpse into what it means that God delights in us comes in the form of a statement: God sings over us. Actually it says “…[he] will rejoice over you with singing.”
He sees us, considers us—and our sin—and is delighted by us. So he sings…over us! This is an unbelievable, unashamed, joy-filled love. To be so delighted in something that it causes you to want to sing. What a great and mysterious reality that you and I evoke such joy from the Creator of the universe!
Just yesterday one of my daughters was lamenting with tears over her own brokenness. She was regretting her behavior; angry with choices she had made. And I had the great pleasure of reminding her how much love and delight God finds in her, in spite of her brokenness. It doesn’t make sense, even to her young heart. We act so poorly, live so selfishly. And still God loves us? “We don’t deserve that,” she protested. “He shouldn’t.” No, we don’t. And no, he probably shouldn’t. Not if this were the world’s economy. Not if loving meant requiring an equal return. But fortunately for us God does things differently.
He loves us. So much that he sings.
This is a verse that has spoken deeply to me over the years. I return to it often and remind myself of how God loves us with a deep and delighted love. Not because we are so useful, or so good, or so accomplished. He loves us because he is God. It’s not us, it’s him and his reckless love that makes no sense.
He makes us his own, and he loves, and he sings. It is the sweetest sound.
He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love. Song of Solomon 2:4