Justin Tucker, LHBC Worship Pastor

Zephaniah 3:17
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.

Our God, a mighty warrior
You’re a consuming fire
In victory You reign
We triumph in Your name
Jesus, our great commander
You conquered death forever
In victory You reign
We triumph in Your name

This is one of my favorite verses in all of the Bible. This verse has been considered the John 3:16 of the Old Testament. This verse sums up the heart of God for His people and it is my prayer that as we walk through this passage today that your life would be transformed by the reality of God’s nearness and the depth of his love for you. Let’s unpack 5 truths that can be taken out of this one verse.

“For the Lord your God is living among you.” Take a moment to let that sink in. God is never far away from us. He is actually with you, wherever you are at, right now. If you are a Christ follower, the Holy Spirit is living inside you and giving you direction and comfort right now. David says the same thing in Psalm 139:7-8: Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! There is no place that we can go that He won’t be there. He is a God that is present. Aren’t you glad for that?

“He is a mighty savior.” One of my favorite translations of this sentence is “He is a mighty warrior that saves.” If you are a follower of Christ, you know that Jesus has already fought and won the battle with death and Hell and has purchased you with His very own blood. His saving grace doesn’t stop there though. He continues to do battle for us each and every day. It is our responsibility to clothe ourselves with the full armor of God, to pray, and to recognize His supreme authority of all of our situations. David, speaks to God rescuing Him in Psalm 40:1-2,  I waited patiently for the Lord;  he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction; out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. If you are still breathing, you are still going to have battles in your life that only God can win. Aren’t you glad to know that you have a mighty savior, that never loses, waging war on your behalf?

“He will take delight in you with gladness.” This simply means that God takes great delight in who you are. He takes joy in who He has created you to be. Our praise is a blessing to Him “Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭103:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬ the usage of the word “praise” in this text means blessing. We get the opportunity to bless God with our worship and He delights in that. With an enemy that wants to do nothing more than steal your joy, to kill your hope, and destroy an intimate relationship with your Heavenly Father, it sure is reassuring to know that the Creator of Heaven and Earth looks down at you and me and sees someone that He values. God believed that you were worth the death of his Son. 

“With his love, he will calm all your fears.” This one can be hard for us sometimes. Fear, worry, anxiety…they are all real things. Sometimes we allow those things to take over in our lives and they get us all wound up and tense. These are the moments that we have to remember that, “the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior.” We have to remember that He is present and He is fighting for us and that He is in control. Do you trust Him enough to take your fears and worries to Him and allow Him to do what only He can? Like any other gift, it has to be received. When we choose not to rest in His love we steal from Him the opportunity to put His power and glory on display. His desire is to bring a quiet peace to the stress and worry of your world. You have God’s peace available to you any time you are willing to surrender your heart and be filled with his presence. 

“He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” This may be my favorite part. Did you know that the God that spoke everything into existence sings songs over you? Not only is He our warrior and our Savior…He is our greatest fan and cheerleader all wrapped into one. In the Bible you will find the greatest love songs ever written and they were written for you and me. They were written so that we may know just how much He loves us and that we would enter into a relationship with Him through Jesus. 

We have one of the greatest honors of being allowed to remind the Church and the world of these truths…we’re not alone, He is fighting our battles alongside us and for us, He has created a space for us that we can rest and have peace in the middle of our fears and anxieties, we actually get to have the honor to bless God through our worship – we get to please Him, and He is our greatest encourager and cheerleader. How awesome is it that the Creator of the universe finds each and every one of us important enough to Him that He gifts us with these truths? Let’s use everyday to remind others just how present, mighty, and loving that God is.

Father, thank you for being present. Thank you for the promise of never leaving or forsaking us. Thank you for saving us from sin and death and thank you for continuing to fight for us each and every day. Thank you for allowing us to worship you and bless you with our praise. Continue to grow us and teach us to bless you in our worship. Thank you for having open arms that we can fall into and rest in full of grace and love when the world is cold and hurtful. Thank you for being our encourager. What a humbling thought it is that you would sing over us. Thank you for Jesus and the sacrifice that He made so that we could be in relationship with you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 3:3- But You oh Lord, are a shield for me; my glory and the lifter of my head.