On that day they will say to Jerusalem, “Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. NIV
I don’t remember exactly how old I was when I learned the books of the Bible. I remember the classroom where my Sunday School met, and I remember the sword drills. While I can’t remember exactly how old I was, I know that I was less then nine. When I was nine we changed churches … and I didn’t have that classroom anymore.
I remember practicing the order of the books for hours. I can remember practicing outside and walking through our house, and watching myself in the mirror as I proudly held my Bible and came up with verses for myself to look up as quickly as possible.
When I got to the section of the list that holds Zephaniah, I remember being so thankful, because it rhymed, and, because it was the end. “Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi … Done!” Our teacher had started us learning the New Testament books, so, once we finished the Old Testament, the task was complete.
But in all the years since those memorable sword drills, no one has ever asked me to look up a verse in Zephaniah.
So, this morning, when I found a verse in Zephaniah there in the “fear” listing of my King James concordance, I was pretty pleased. Finally, it would be useful to know where Zephaniah is.
This is a beautiful, beautiful verse. I love the phrase, “He is mighty to save,” which is part of the chorus of one of my favorite praise songs.
But, more than that, I love the imagery here.
When I am truly worried or distraught about an issue, I do feel limp. I remember the last cross-country trip I made to see my friend before she died. When I left, I knew that I would not see her again on this side of heaven. I got on the plane with many things to do … I had been gone from work and had a bag of activities that needed attention. Instead, I sat on the plane from her town to the big city where I laid over and just watched the engine and the wing flaps. My hands were limp.
I wish that at that moment, I had read the book of Zephaniah. Now, more than a year later, I find these verses so comforting, and so true! God does delight in me, in all of us. He has quieted me with His love. And now, I am able to join Him in rejoicing in the gift that is my life.
He IS mighty to save.
That’s what I’ll think about today.