Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Zephanian Meditation

Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away the judgments against you; He has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil. (Zephaniah 3:14-15)

Sing and rejoice! These are the commands of the text! Exult with all your heart! This is what I am suppose to do, this is the command from God! And why should I do these things? The answer to that is fourfold.

1)“The Lord has taken away the judgments against you…” Lest I forget, God quickly reminds me of His grace and my nature! I am a child of iniquity. Born in sin and corrupt from the very moment of my existence. “Behold I was brought forth in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5). I am, as Paul says, “by nature a child of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3). But I rejoice because, “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ- by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5). This is my rejoicing, God’s grace has saved me! I am now, thanks to Christ’s death and His acting as a propitiation for my sins, free from condemnation. NO longer are God’s righteous and just judgments against me! “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

2)“He has cleared away your enemies…” I rejoice in the Lord because He “executes judgment for me” (Micah 7:9). My enemies, the sins of my flesh and the temptations of this world, are cleared way! God sweeps them off the face of the earth, and though they plague me now He has destroyed their power to bind me and one day will destroy them completely! I rejoice because I no longer have to succumb to the temptation and the sins of this world but I am free, in Christ, to choose life and obedience! I am free now not to be satisfied in the lust of the flesh but to be satisfied in Christ! I rejoice in this!

3)“The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst…” This is the greatest truth to rejoice in! The King is in my midst. I am a lowly peasant and once a rebel to the King and yet He is now in my midst! The God spoke, saying, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). This is no ordinary King, it is, as the text says, the King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ! “Risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in [the] gospel” (2 Timothy 2:8). I rejoice because in my midst is my Savior, my King, my Redeemer, my Defender, and my Friend! This I rejoice in! Psalm 16:11, “You have made known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

4) “You shall never again fear evil.” What great news! I am free from fear! Christ is sufficient for me and I do not fear the wrath of God or the wrath of man! For me to “die is gain!” “What shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:35, 37

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