Posted by dneuendorf

 

 

Shout for joy, O daughter of Zion!

Shout in triumph, O Israel!

Rejoice and exult with all your heart,

O daughter of Jerusalem!

The LORD has taken away His judgments against you,

He has cleared away your enemies.

The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;

You will fear disaster no more.
Zephaniah 3:14-20

We don’t “shout for joy” a lot in church, do we? Is it because we’re not joyful? I don’t think so.

It could be shyness, or just the idea that shouting is more appropriate for a sports stadium than a church. Maybe we consider the kind of joy we have at a basketball game to be a little different than the joy we feel in church. Or maybe, and here I’m just guessing, maybe we don’t often think very much about what we really have to be joyful about.

The verse above is translated differently in other versions of the Bible. It could be “Give praise!” or “Sing!” or “Cry aloud!” or “Exult!” But in every case the psalmist seems to assume that the good news we have received is something that should make us express our joy.

We don’t have to shout. We don’t have to cry out loud. You might prefer to sing. But whether shouting or singing or crying out or exulting, when we realize what God has done for us we will respond enthusiastically. When we truly see what God has done, we must respond somehow!

God has taken away his judgment against us. It’s like being acquitted in court, declared not guilty. Our enemies, those who accused us, have been cleared away. They’ve been driven from the courtroom. So we will “fear disaster no more.”

Like a prisoner who has been released from certain death, how would you react?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, you have emptied me of sin and guilt. Now fill my heart with gratitude, and fill my lips with praise. Let me see your salvation and rejoice. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.