This might seem like an easy answer, but ponder on it for a moment.
With all the judgment of sin we learn about, do we ever consider God joyful? Do we ever consider God smiling, sitting right beside us? Do we ever consider God like a father who has just returned home from work with His arms open wide – waiting for a hug? I’m not certain we do.
Zephaniah had the duty of pronouncing judgement on Judah, but read the words in 3:14 “Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart”. When we rejoice God rejoices with us. When we turn back to Him – He is glad. What danger we face when we treat God as a heartless father always looking to punish. What danger we face when we treat God as a passive father who allows sin. Yes, God will judge, and it will be a great judgement if we choose to live apart from Him. But consider this friends, there is great JOY when we choose to live with Him. Consider His JOY when we choose to accept the Christian life as a life full of His promises. Consider His JOY when we choose to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior.
Zephaniah, the prophet, had no easy task ahead of him. The message in the book of Zephaniah begins as a book of doom. However, it ends with hope with a visual picture of our father in heaven joyful as we choose Him every day. When we turn our outward appearance into a true heartfelt walk with God, He is joyful. God takes care of us when we choose Him. Zephaniah 3:18 “The sorrows for the appointed feasts I will remove from you; they are a burden and a reproach to you”.
Prayer: Dear Lord, You are a wonderful father in heaven. You love us dearly. Help us choose you today. Help us rid our lives of an outward Christian life. Help us live truly as men and women who love you with all our hearts. Lord, when we truly love you and accept your love for us, then we are able to show that love to others. Dear God, remind us that our outward love to others is an example of the love we accept from you. Lord, you are joyful when we choose you. Help us to choose you today. And remind us to pray like it matters for ourselves and for our world. Let your joy reign on earth this day. In the name of Jesus, Amen.