[If you haven’t read part 1, you might want to take a couple minutes to do so.]
The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
So, he sings with delight over us. The Old Testament poet told us that we are to “delight ourselves in the Lord,” but unless our delight is rooted in his delight in us it’s just another jaw-clenching spiritual duty instead of a reciprocation of romance. Life is lifted to a more delightful plain when we enjoy his enjoyment of us. Our songs to him are but a reciprocation of his songs about us.
When we hear the Beloved Singer singing love songs to his beloved, our nervous minds and worried hearts are “quieted.” It calms my noisy heart to know that such a Person loves me in such an excessive way. In my busy city therZee is always a din of sirens, car horns, street screamers, and all manner of other racket. But much more unnerving than the external is the internal noise – the din inside me – of angst and anxieties. My attempts to distract myself are unsuccessful; the only thing that quiets the clamor is when “I know and rely on the love God has for me.” My confusing musings slow down and the din diminishes when I attentively listen to his song. He loves me. That’s all that matters at the moment.
“He cried out, ‘It is finished!’” John 19:30
Like Handel, emerging from his self-imposed sequestration to compose “The Messiah,” the actual Messiah himself hung from his cross and cried, “The song is finished!” The anthem is complete, the lyrics and the melody are perfect. The final draft of the love song that the Father had been composing for thousands of years was finished and being sung by the Son.
“May you have power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge…” Ephesians 3:18-19
God’s love is not always well received. Maybe it’s because we don’t understand it or we can’t believe it or because we’re so full of substitutes that we don’t have room for it. Even those of us who believe in his song don’t seem to hear it very well. We have too many other noises vying for our attention, any number of other tunes blaring through our surgically implanted ear buds. To listen to God’s song and receive it as a melody sung about us and to us we’ll have to turn down all other competing din.
But when I stop to listen, really heed without distraction, the Beloved Singer’s serenade resonates in the deepest part of me and purges out abandonment and self-doubt. God’s therapeutic agape incites elation and inspires me to sing along.
[Part 3 coming right up…]