Do not fear, O Zion;
Do not let your hands grow weak.
The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
A warrior who gives victory;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will renew you in his love;
He will exult over you with loud singing
As on a day of festival.
The prophet Zephaniah has proclaimed the wrath and judgement of the Holy God on the idolatrous, those who worship the false gods of the nations around Judah, even those who bow down and swear to the LORD, but also swear by other gods (Zephaniah 1:5). He has foretold the destruction of the great cities that scoff at the distress of Jerusalem. Then he offers hope and promise to those who are humble and lowly, who seek refuge in the name of the LORD, those who seek His righteousness and dwell in His Peace.
In the midst of chaos and uncertainty, disappointment and distress, I am tempted to do just as Jerusalem was doing. I am tempted to bow down to God and then cross my fingers, knock on wood, seek my own protection, pull myself up by the bootstraps, defend my pride, look to the false gods of our own time.
And yet, God still calls. God still invites me to lay all of this aside, to come to Him lowly and humble, to seek my refuge in Him alone, to seek my identity, purpose and worth as His beloved child, to be led by His righteousness, and to dwell in His Peace.
God invites us, even today, to lay aside fear and put our trust in His strength, to know the presence of God With Us, to walk in His victory, to hear with St Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9), to be renewed in His perfect Love, and hear in our hearts the loud singing of the LORD as he rejoices in us with loud singing.
May we hear this song today.