“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. I will gather you who mourn for the appointed festivals; you will be disgraced no more.” – Zephaniah 3:17-18
Cause You came near
From the everlasting
To the world we live
The Father’s only Son
This is one of the songs I really love to sing out. It’s a story in itself. The Father’s only Son, “…who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage”, came near.
Because “all of us like sheep have gone astray; we have turned –everyone- to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). No one looked for God. Rather, it was God who reached out and looked for us.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). This great and awesome God, the Creator of the universe, the One who hangs the earth upon nothing (Job 26:7), chose to send His beloved Son to us out of His great love for us.
I remember a story I once read. There was a man who visited a church and before the pastor gave his sermon for the evening, he invited the man to have a few moments to greet the church and share whatever he felt suitable for the service. The pastor introduced the guest minister as one of his childhood dearest friends. The elderly man stood up, stepped up to the pulpit and began to speak. He told about the story of a father, a son and a friend of the father’s son who went sailing off the Pacific Coast when a furious storm loomed and blocked their way to get back to the shore. The father was an experienced sailor, however, the waves were so high and the father could not keep the boat upright. The boat capsized and the three were swept to the ocean. Grabbing the rescue line, the father had to make the most piercing decision in his life: to which boy he would throw the other end of the life line. The father knew that his son was a Christian and that he would step into eternity with Jesus but the son’s friend was not. As the father yelled out, “I love you, son!”, he threw out the life line to the son’s friend. By the time the son’s friend had reached the capsized boat, the son had disappeared beneath the angry waves. The elderly man likened this story to the great love of God, choosing to sacrifice his son to save his son’s friend. When the service was finished, two teenagers approched the old man. One of the boys politely commented that it was a nice story but it was unrealistic for a father to give up his only son’s life in hopes that the son’s friend would come to know the Lord. The old man understood the young man’s point and replied, “You’ve got a point there. But I want you to know that I understand more than most the pain God must have felt to give up His only Son. You see, I’m that father who lost his son to ocean that day, and my son’s friend that I chose to save is your pastor.”
This is God’s love.
It is indescribable. It’s too deep it cannot be fathomed. This is the love that chose to come and save us. In Zephaniah 3:17, it says, “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.”
He loves us, He delights to save us and in His love He will rejoice over us with singing.
This love produces unspeakable joy and peace that passes all understanding. This love enables us to love as well. “We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19).
May this season bring us closer to the Lover of our soul, the One who loved us and came to save us.