This verse will steal your breath. It might even make you blush.
Oh, the things God has in store for you! His beloved, his bride.
“The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
Wow. No wonder Annette confessed, “I love this verse. It’s a constant reminder that I am important to God.”
So easy to forget that, isn’t it? Whenever the truth of God’s love is yanked from our grasp by a culture that focuses on the negative and majors in being cynical, it’s time to dive into his Word and be refreshed.
“The Lord your God is with you,… Zephaniah 3:17
This is everything we need to know: his name, his relationship with us, and the assurance of his presence. The God of the universe, the one who claimed you long before you claimed him, is “in your midst” (LEB). I’m telling you, he’s “right there with you” (CJB). Right. There.
Just because we can’t see him doesn’t make God any less real. I’m gazing out my living room window at a glorious stream of sunlight pouring across our lawn. Hidden in the trees, a dozen birds are carrying on a musical conversation, while a soft breeze ruffles the summer-green leaves on our old maple.
All of creation points to our Creator. He is real, his works are tangible, and he is here.
He is “present among you” (MSG) all the time. “Living among you” (NLT), day in and day out. The enemy will try to convince you that God has forgotten you, neglected you, abandoned you, turned his back on you, but that’s simply not possible.
The Lord your God is with you. If those were the only words in the Bible, they would be enough. But he gave us so much more.
“…the Mighty Warrior who saves.” Zephaniah 3:17
He’s not idly standing around, this God of ours. He’s fighting our battles. And he’s winning. Our “powerful soldier” (ERV), our “hero” (GW), our “savior” (NLT) never grows weary, never lays down his weapons, celebrating “victory after victory” (CEV) on our behalf.
When you feel defeated, exhausted, depleted, it’s time to step back and give God room in your life to wage war against your enemies. Rest assured—I mean truly rest—knowing “his power gives you victory” (GNT), his “strength shall deliver thee” (KNOX), and he is “the champion who will rescue you” (VOICE).
Nowhere in the Bible are we told, “save yourself.” We can’t do it, try as we might.
God alone rescues. God alone saves.
When Jaimee chose this verse, she said, “In my battle to subdue my insecurities and fears, this verse has become my lifeline!”
Hold on tight, dear one, knowing he will never let go. Never.
“He will take great delight in you;…” Zephaniah 3:17
All at once, the imagery shifts from a strong, mighty warrior to a tender-hearted suitor. Matthew Henry wrote, “God not only loves his saints, but he loves to love them.”
When you’re deeply in love, you think of that person around the clock, yes? You cherish each moment you have together. Your beloved’s face, voice, smile brightens your day. No one matters more to you.
That’s how God feels about you. Not because you are always lovable, but because he is always loving.
“…in his love he will no longer rebuke you,…” Zephaniah 3:17
Okay, I’m just going to say it: I’m not crazy about this translation. Right in the middle of all this love-soaked language comes the sharp word rebuke. Most English translations don’t go there. Instead, they promise, “he will quiet you by his love” (ESV), or “create calm with his love” (CEB), or “rest in his love” (ASV).
The original Hebrew isn’t much help, offering several different meanings for the verb, charash. It all adds up to this: God will hold his peace. He will keep your faults to himself, rather than naming them one by one. “In His love He will be silent and make no mention of past sins, or even recall them” (AMP).
Okay. Now we get it.
When I hold my tongue, rather than scold my husband about leaving his dirty socks on the floor—again—that’s love.
And if my husband doesn’t say a word when a mail-order package arrives from Jessica London—again—that’s love.
Small love, next to God’s love, yet proof that silence is golden.
Quietly, gently, “he will calm all your fears” (NLT) and “give you new life” (NLV) and “show you his love once again” (WYC).
Ocieanna (beautiful name) wrote, “I can’t count how many times this verse has pulled me up and out of the pit of guilt and condemnation and into the joy of the Lord.”
Yes, yes. And this next bit puts me right over the top.
“…but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
God sings. Over us. Oh my.
And it’s not just a metaphor. There are notes involved. “He celebrates and sings because of you” (CEV) and will “delight you with his songs” (MSG). Clearly this is something the Lord enjoys doing, because he promises to “laugh and be happy” (ERV) as he lets loose “shouts of joy” (GW).
Your worthiness, your goodness, your faithfulness isn’t even mentioned here. God loves you because he chooses to. God loves you because it gives him pleasure to do so.
The subject line for my latest Encouragement to Go newsletter was, “Have I told you lately that God loves you?” That’s what this verse tells us—spilling over with joy, filling the air with music. Here’s the whole of it in an exuberant translation that helps us hear his love song:
“The Lord your God
wins victory after victory
and is always with you.
He celebrates and sings
because of you,
and he will refresh your life
with his love.”
Zephaniah 3:17 (NET)
Now it’s your turn:
Does the thought of the Lord singing over you make you smile? tremble? weep? What words would you most want to hear him sing? And how do you imagine that music might sound?
To share your thoughts, add your response under Post a Comment below. Bless you for taking a moment to share what’s on your heart.
Next time we’ll step back into the Psalms and unpack #6 of the verses you love most. Only a few words, but wow, wow, wow.
Your sister, Liz
I’ve thought of the Lord as mighty, my Savior, strong, compassionate, loving, righteous and just, fierce, too many adjectives to mention, but I’ve never thought of Him singing over me. It overwhelms me and drops me to my knees. I imagine His song as a caress, bringing warmth and comfort. Wow, what imagery, what precious thoughts! Thanks once again, Liz, for your amazing unfolding of this verse.
I read this verse this year and cried. I read it a few times. Reading it okay I’m in tears. Tears of joy. God sings over me! Me! Every time I mess up? Every time I don’t? Yes!! Oh my…….
I’m very blessed to have read this verse early this Sunday morning. I’d not realized that God sings for me!! What a wonderful, cozy-warm feeling.
How wonderful to know all of these things. I cannot imagine what it would be like to hear God sing in Heaven. I believe there are notes and sounds we have yet to hear as well as colors and beautiful things. Hearing Him tell us this in His Word is truly beautiful enough.
Thanks for all you wonderful thoughts! Very insightful share for today! I have always loved to sing praises to God, but I never thought about the verses that say He loves to sing and rejoice over us! Wow!
What a sweet reminder on the Sabbath! How easy it is to feel like we have to fight for His love. We are constantly pressured to do something to make ourselves worthy of His love. I love the truth of His Word! What freedom there is to know that I am loved. Just as I sang over my sweet babies when they were little, so He sings over me to quiet my anxious heart and allow me to rest in His love. How amazing is our God!
The paragraph that starts “when you feel defeated…” ministers to me today. I am exhausted and a bit discouraged, wondering how, when, what if. I will step back and let my warrior God fight for me today as I rest. Thanks Liz.
Just soaking in this Word. Reading it speaks comfort to my being. At first I wanted to imagine what My Father’s voice would sound like and then I thought no, my mind so bound by this world would diminish His music. So now I am ready to hear His voice in everything He puts before me.
1st, thanks Liz for giving us an opportunity to share God’s word. I absolutely love Prov. 17:22 – this verse really encourages me and in turn God has put in my heart a BIG desire to encourage others. ( Amp )” a happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing.” If you meet me in person, I’d be smiling and laughing and telling you a cute joke. I try to share laugher everywhere I go, gas station, grocery store, church, etc. and I LOVE doing it. ps. do you know what a dairy farm dropout is called? answer: an udder failure, ha! ha! ha!
I love the fact that God is singing over me. There was a time when I felt no one could love me, but now I know that the Lord of heaven and earth rejoices over me.
Oh, Liz, I love, love, love this Scripture. Beautiful imagery, and such amazing truth behind it. Thanks for all your comments. Yes, I smile at the very thought of the Lord singing over me. I picture Abba, Father singing a soothing lullaby. Lovely thought!
Oh yes! This is one of my favorites, too! I have it memorized and often speak it over my daughters as I am tucking them into bed. Earlier this afternoon I was sitting on the dock having some quiet, prayerful time alone with just the dragonflies zooming around me. Then I heard the a most beautiful birdsong that I didn’t recognize. The song came from nearby in the cattails — a marsh wren. That’s the sweet voice God used in singing over me today.
Early last month, I was given a copy of a thin book signed, by the author, Danielle C. Stammer, called “Singing Over me”. It was passed along to me by one of her church friends, who had come to OKC to help in the aftermath of the May 20th and 31st tornadoes. I read it rather quickly, and I think it was a bit too soon after our loss of our Moore home on May 20th. I was not as fully open to Danielle’s account of her own loss and healing after the May 22, 2011 Joplin, tornado. She took the title of her book from this verse, as she remembered singing over her son as she held him in her arms as flying glass surrounded them, and the mighty wind destroyed the hospital building where they had sought refuge. After reading this verse today, I can reread her words looking back on her own struggle to regain her sense of normalcy. As she held her son, God held her, just as My God held me that day my husband and I watched the ceiling and roof fly over our heads. My Lord was singing over me too, and as this verse reminds us that each day, He continues to be our “ever-loving singing warrior”! We do plan to greet you this Tuesday evening in Edmond, as you introduce your new Bible study, “New Bad Girls of the Bible”.
Small world. I am visiting my son in Edmond from Arizona and will be there Tuesday night as well. Can’t wait. Lifting you up in prayer today for God to keep singing His love over you!
Oh, Becky, what a perfect illustration of the POWER of this verse. Beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing. Praying that you are continuing to recover from your many losses in Moore, OK. You are loved, sister!
As I read other ladies thoughts I too have been blessed to think of God singing over me with His love. It reminds me of when my children were little and I would hold them in my arms and cuddle them close and quietly sing to them. Looking down upon their little faces trusting in me I would often have tears in my eyes at the trust and the honour and sometimes a little fear that meant me being their mother. My singing would calm them and eventually they would be strong enough to climb down off my knee and wander back to their activities. Makes me smile to think that this happens with me when I lean into His arms and rest there knowing He has the answers for my future but for just those moments when I need Him he is my comforter. Holding me close and singing over me with joy. xo God bless Liz and have a wonderful week wherever you go xo
You’ve captured it exactly, Ruth. Lovely. And so comforting.
“He joys over me with singing.” Lizzie, when I am going to sleep at night I love to imagine God doing this, singing me to sleep. I have problems with insomnia, but if I take my cares one by one and cast them on him–eventually the discordant noise is quieted and I can get through and imagine Him singing to me, rocking me in his arms. This is a recent addition to my nightly ritual. Right now things are kind of heavy, I have been laid off and have a lot on my mind; I believe I told you. But a song I hear repeatedly is “Blessings”–
What if your blessings come through raindrops, what if your healing comes through tears, and what if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near; what if my greatest disappointments, or the aching of this life is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy; and what if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the darkest nights, are your mercies in disguise. God bless you, Lizzie. Love you.
Those are Laura Story’s amazing lyrics, and no wonder they minister to you on these sleepless nights, dear Susan. May you drift off hearing his tender voice singing over you, this night and every night.
I too get ‘stymied’ by the verse that God “will rejoice over you (me) with singing.” Can’t wait to hear that Voice!
Thanks so much Liz for a great post…love the photos!
Blessings to you!
Liz, This has been one of my most comforting verse.
Just a few months go I taught my four grandchildren this verse and we put the words to a song…I long to hear The Lord sing over me and have enjoyed many hours of his blessings in many ways. Love your posts.
God Bless Liz.
I struggle with comprehending just how much God loves me. Too many years living with an abusive spouse who spoke horrible words to me. I have been in Christ for 40 years now and you would think I would have worked through it all but in the oh so many ways The Lord blesses me I can become so overwhelmed with the knowledge that He does love me and He cherishes me and this thought of “singing over me in joy” just blows me away…I don’t know what I would like to hear as I would be happy with Him just “humming” over me! I praise Him for His loving kindness toward me!
Oh Liz, those words spoken over you by your abusive husband were straight from the mouth of our enemy. Don’t let that old fart rob you of this intimate moment with God. Your Father not only sings sweet love to you, His little one but He draws you near into His protection as He sings. Soak in it. Love to you, sister!
Liz I feel your pain. I to was in an abusive marriage. I am happy now more than ever! I prayed to God and he gave me the strength and wisdom to know to get out. God love’s you and is with you every second of the day. keep the faith amen. Rosie..
I LOVE this verse. “He will quiet you with His love” … “Quiet” can be a verb, meaning “to remove doubt & fear by focusing on the truth” and I have come to know that He can remove my doubts and fears by reminding me of the Truth … The Savior … The Mighty One who loves me and saves me!
Well said, Susie!
Coming home tonight from a long drive bringing my grandson home I knew God had been with me. I prayed as I drove that we would arrive safe. A close call made me realize that angels do watch out for me and my grandson slept peacefully on as my heart raced for a few moments watching the car swerve next to me. I feel peace when I read this verse and calmness as I acknowledge the fact that God loves me so much that he sings over me. My heart melts when I think of how much love I have for my grandson and can’t begin to fathom how much God loves me. I’m just so thankful that he does.
This is a treasured favorite verse. I put it on labels for pillowcases I made for grandchildren and on baby quilts. In my present season of life I feel that the Lord is singing a line from a worship song that says, “He won’t relent until He has it all, my heart is yours”. He is singing over me to surrender it all. Step back and give Him room to fight the battles that are wearing me out! I am thankful to be reminded that He never grows weary. God has this! Thanks again Liz and can’t wait to see you in Edmond on Tuesday.
Good day, Liz.
I’ve read this verse but never really noticed it.
This morning I am strengthened by it. I have a battle ahead of me. I believe God is fighting for me. The enemy is defeated. Now, I have to walk it out. My friend’s husband has a deep, calm voice. I think God’s voice will be like that when I hear Him aloud.
Blessings to you from Southwest Missouri,
Harvest Lane Cottage
This verse is OVERTHETOP special to me!! Thank you so much for expounding on it. This year I found out my breast cancer had recurred. We had to wait several days on scan results and the first night was awful! I had not prayed about my sleep, which I always do… In all the hoopla, I was exhausted and fell into a fitful sleep. I felt like I was being attacked all night…..huge fear, aches and pains I hadn’t had before…oppressive feelings. I woke up feeling like I had been beaten up. My husband and I prayed much that day and had several close friends and our church family praying. Much peace, knowing that God does NOT give that spirit of fear….. That night, I went to sleep prepared, with so much peace. I woke up several times, but they were peaceful awakenings….and every time I woke, I heard Scripture….different Scriptures…. all.night.long. (don’t even remember what they were). I woke up refreshed and at peace. Later, as I was pondering it and reading Scripture, I came across Zephaniah 3:17. I had read it many times before, but as I read it this time, a light bulb came on and I said, out loud, “So THAT’S what You were doing last night!” I cried (I’m crying right now!!) and thanked the Lord over and over…..He was SINGING over me! He was singing over ME!!! What an amazing and tender God we serve!!
Wow, Deidre. You have described perfectly the difference between hearing the enemy’s voice muttering over us and hearing our heavenly Father’s voice singing over us. Praying for you as God fights on your behalf!
Love this verse! I often include it in birthday cards. Just as we sing happy birthday & celebrate someone’s life, I envision God singing and celebrating me. I am enough. Nothing that I do or don’t do causes this wonderful warrior, savior, loving father to change his everlasting love for me. Ahhh….
This verse gives me hope. Overwhemling, it will take time to let it sink in. But being filled is good and our God is awesome. Come LORD Jesus come!
Ah! I have to remember to be quiet and stop “doing”, so that I can hear His voice and begin to know that He is here, present, giving me His peace and singing a love song to just me! What a blessing this verse has been….especially today!
The world can be such a busy place & so can my mind. To think that God cares enough about us to quiet us with His love but then he goes a step further & rejoices over us with singing no less. I know I don’t deserve either but God does both anyways. The way I imagine God singing here on earth is listening to the beauty of his creation. Right now the birds are a choir that make me smile as I think it’s the sound of God rejoicing. Thank you for sharing your beautiful insight into this verse with us!
Liz I don’t know His words but tucked under His wing, next to His heart. I can almost hear His heart beat from here. And though His words elude me, the love envelops me. I am so proud of my Warrior King, Prince of Peace, Father. I like to think He is proud of me…..not because of what I do but who I am… one of his little girls, dressed in white because of Jesus.
Love you Sister!
Oh, Liz. How beautiful your thoughts on His amazing love. Even though I’ve read this section a million times, it still brings tears to my eyes. Hugs! And thanks for mentioning me!
Wow! When I try to fathom our Lord singing over me-it just brings tears to my heart. I am so humbled that our Lord,God would sing over me. That He would Tell me ah, don’t worry, I am hear. I love you Kathy! Oh, my I just weep. God is sooo good.
” I think my Lord loves me without measure, he sings over me in the night a lullaby that brings peace to my spirit, he talks to me mysteries I do not understand, and during the daylight hours he laughs with me and he shakes his head when I make a mistake and talks to my heart and lets me know so I can confess and move on with Joy and Love , and Hope for eternity. He catches my tears and saves them. He sends his angels to protect me from disaster and he Sings not just for me but all his children ” (he sings to the tune of Psalms 103)
Zephaniah 3:17 is one of my two favorites (Romans 15:13 is my “life” verse), and it’s all because of the idea of God singing over me. When I need comforting, I picture myself sitting on God’s lap in a gigantic rocking chair, just as I cuddled my babies and sang over them. God sings over me, loving me with His comforting presence and song. It’s a beautiful, safe, peaceful place to be!