Monthly Archives: February 2016

Thoughts and Prayers for God Rejoicing

To Hear God Rejoice Again

I remember August 26th 1979 so well. It was a Sunday afternoon and I went to a church we rented because we weren’t sure that ours would hold all the people who were invited. That’s the day I saw my girl in a white dress she bought at an outlet dress shop in San Francisco. She glowed in that dress. When I saw her coming down the aisle time stopped and my heart raced. I rejoiced over her. She became mine. I never thought, at that moment that I could ever do anything that would bother her let alone cause her grief. I would make her happy for the rest of our days for as long as both should live.

Then life happened. Babies came and bills came and illness came and allergies and flat tires and…and more life in spades. I found out I was a sinner and over the course of many decades there were times when I was too arrogant for bliss to be a possibility. I made decisions that grieved her. At times I am sure she wondered what happened to that blond hair blue eyed Knight in shining armor who was so sweet and tender.

God had to knock that knight off his horse several times and drive some sense into him. He had to humble him. It took a long time. (God’s still working on the “knight” of course) She waited patiently. She trusted and I am sure she prayed – God answered. He’s good at humbling people and answering prayers for it. Now she could rejoice over her knight once again. More importantly, the Knight could rejoice over his bride again. He could see how faithful and loving and beautiful she really was maybe because he had things put back into perspective for himself.

                         Oh Lord give us your perspective on things!!!!

We will at some time probably grieve the ones we love. We are all in the flesh still. To grieve the Lord though, what a loathsome possibility and reality that is. It almost seems like an impossibility in a way. Can God subject Himself to being grieved by an arrogant but lowly man made of dust? The Scriptures declare it so we better not make theological rules that dismiss this fact. By faith we must believe it to be true and deal with it. What a grievous thing thought to grieve God Himself.

                  Oh God as a people we have been grieving you for so long, for millennia I think.

From the fall to Noah and the deep down grieving over us that led to flood/water judgment that seems to pick up again because of the obstinate wilderness wandering and then the awful idol worship of Ahab and Jezebel….it is exasperating to rehearse how many times God’s people let Him down let alone the pagans of the world.

We, as a race have run a course of madness.

                Oh God have mercy. Humble a people now Lord and make them lowly so they may stop     the insanity of actually grieving you – for you are the God of all the earth who only does right by His creation.

The Hope of the Scriptures

Zephaniah 3:12 says “But I will leave in your midst, a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of the Lord.”

This happened because God had removed from their midst the proudly exultant ones. (see Zephaniah 3: 11) God intervened. The result was a humble people and that result was God rejoicing and the absence of further grief and shame in this “people humbled”. Lies and deceit and injustice faded too. The people prospered in this way and God was pleased to the point of loud singing.

                     Oh God! Have mercy again and humble us again!

                     Make us right and we will cause singing instead of weeping in heaven. WE long to hear you sing over us oh God – to sing and shout and exult over a remnant who love you, who appreciates mercy and have put lies and injustice behind. 

                      May we know your presence in our midst and then may we shout “a Mighty one who will save!” Then oh Lord, we will hear the singing. You will rejoice over us with gladness, you will quiet us by your love, and our humbled ears will be able to hear singing from heaven. No grieving, but exultant singing…LOUD!

 

                     Oh Lord that you would again receive pleasure from this humble people and we would no longer suffer the reproach of sin and rebellion. Then we can sing too…with the prophet of old a new song…the song of the redeemed… In humble response to hearing your… rejoice again!

The Lord your God is in your midst,

a mighty one who will save;

he will rejoice over you with gladness;

he will quiet you by his love;

he will exult over you with loud singing.

Zephaniah 3:17