"The love song of God"

It's Saturday afternoon at Birkenhead Point, a small park on the Parramatta River in Sydney, Australia. Parents play with their toddlers, seagulls fight over fish-and-chip wrappers, and my wife and I sit listening, our ears attuned to the couple.

They are maybe late-40s. She sits quietly, enraptured, gazing into his eyes. He leans casually on his left arm . . . and sings to her.

In his own tongue, without caution or shame, he offers his beloved a sweet love song. In the beauty of that moment I glimpse something divine.

The book of Zephaniah depicts a great and terrible day of the Lord (1:7, 3:8). God may be kind to the "unthankful and wicked" (Luke 6:35-36), but there will come a time when God's patience will come to an end.

In Zephaniah's day, God's people were bowing to the pagan gods Baal and Molech (Zephaniah 1:4-5), whose worship often required prostitution and child sacrifice. Israel had become corrupt and rebellious, her prophets and priests arrogant and profane (3:4). God's wrathful judgment, declared Zephaniah, was coming, and not just on her but on all the nations of the earth (1:2,18, 3:8).

And yet Zephaniah foresees God bringing something beautiful out of that dark day's rubble, a people drawn from all nations who wholeheartedly love Him (3:9-13). To this people He will be like a bridegroom who sweeps up His bride, takes her home, delights in her, and sings to her. "He will rejoice over you with joyful songs" (v.17).

To His creatures, God is Creator and Warrior. But how many of us who love Him see God as beloved Singer, a God of affection with a love song on His lips? , Sheridan Voysey, Our Daily Journey

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