Living for the Day

Posted: October 8, 2015 in Route 66, Zephaniah

Route 66: Zephaniah, “Living for the Day”

When someone says they’re “living for the day,” it can mean any number of things.  Some might mean Carpe Deum, in that they’re seizing the day for everything they can.  Others might mean living with a certain goal in mind, such as some who “live for the weekend.”  Believers in Christ also live for a certain day/goal in mind: the moment we see Jesus face-to-face.  Be it by death or rapture, one day we will look into His eyes, and hopefully hear the blessed words, “Well done, good & faithful servant.”  What a great day that will be! 

Of course, that’s not the only Day that’s mentioned in the Bible.  There is also the Day of the Lord, which usually refers to a time of judgment.  Christians won’t be the only ones to see Jesus; one day, every person will see Him.  Some will see Him only at the moment of their own personal judgment, when they are risen from the dead solely to be judged for their works & sentenced to eternity in hell.  Others will be alive the very day Jesus physically returns to earth in power and glory and wrath.  That is the Day of the Lord, and it’s a day of which the Bible gives much warning.

That’s the idea behind the book of Zephaniah.  The great Day of the LORD (the Day of YHWH) was on the horizon, and people needed to be prepared.  This Day faced not only the Jews, but all the nations of the world, and everyone would have to answer to the holy justice of God.  That thought alone ought to sober someone up pretty quick!  For someone to realize that they will see the wrath of God is a terrible thought.  As the writer of Hebrews notes, it’s a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God (Heb 10:31).  If there is anything that might motivate someone to change their ways & repent, that would be it!

Yet that’s not the only thing that comes with the Day of the Lord.  There’s something that comes after: restoration and blessing.  God’s plan for the world doesn’t include its total obliteration, and then forgetting that it ever existed.  God’s plan for the world certainly includes His judgment, but it goes beyond that.  There is grace for His people.  There is restoration and blessing beyond the things that Israel (or any other nation) can imagine.  How we experience that blessing (by grace through faith in Christ) is the subject of another book, but the idea of that blessing is laid out here.  For now, it was enough to talk about the Day of the Lord, both its reality for all peoples, and the ramifications for what would follow.  God had a plan in mind for His people (and all people who would trust Him), and His plan goes eternally into the future.

The 9th of the Minor Prophets, Zephaniah is seemingly the author of the book that bears his name – much like the other books of the prophets.  His name is related to hiding/concealment, and some possibilities of translation are “The LORD hides / Concealed by God.”  If that’s the case, there’s a bit of irony in the fact that someone hidden by God is actually used to reveal the plans and word of God.  The word of God that was once partially hidden is now revealed to all His people, and they were to take note.

Zephaniah’s name is fairly common, so it’s helpful that the prophet includes so much of his own genealogy in 1:1.  What jumps off the page is his kinship to Hezekiah, who is perhaps THE King Hezekiah who led such wonderful reforms in Jerusalem.  Scholars do debate this a bit, since Hezekiah is not directly labeled here as a “king,” but that might be explained from the label being given later on to Josiah (eliminating the need to repeat it).  If Zephaniah was indeed the great-great-grandson of Hezekiah, it means he is one of the only writing prophets to have royal blood flowing through his veins…a pretty unique perspective indeed.

One detail that is specified is the era in which he wrote: during the “days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah,” (1:1).  Josiah actually had a fairly lengthy reign (640-609 BC), so the question is: when did Zephaniah write during that time?  Again, this is a matter of debate.  Zephaniah does correctly prophesy the destruction of Nineveh (2:13), but that happened fairly late in the period (612BC), so that doesn’t help much.  The larger question is whether or not Zephaniah wrote before or after the most pivotal event that took place during Josiah’s reign: the discovery of the Scripture.

A little history might be helpful…  Although Hezekiah was a great king in Judah, his reforms didn’t last.  His son and grandson that followed him were evil, and once again the nation fell into disarray.  Josiah came to the throne as a young boy (only 8 years old), and although the Bible says that he walked in the ways of his father David (2 Kings 22:2), it seems most likely the people who actually ran the kingdom while he was a child continued in the ways of the men that hired them.  18 years pass, and Josiah gives an errand to the high priest Hilkiah in regards to some renovations going on at the temple.  During the process, the Book of the Law was discovered (2 Kings 22:8).  Perhaps the book of Deuteronomy, it’s a sign of how far away from the Lord the Jews had fallen in that they didn’t even have a single copy of the Scriptures!  In any case, the book was read to Josiah, the king ripped his clothes in shock & mourning, and this began a whole series of reform and spiritual revival in the land.

That brings us back to Zephaniah.  When did the prophet write: before or after the finding of the book?  Arguments can be made either way.  Some point to the numerous quotes of Deuteronomy as evidence that he wrote after the finding – others point to the indictment of Judah’s sin as evidence that he wrote prior to the national reforms.  Perhaps a third suggestion could be made.  What if God gave this prophecy to Zephaniah at the finding of the book?  What if God gave this prophetic word in response to what was discovered in the temple and read to Josiah?  Josiah was obviously struck to the heart by the realization of his people’s sin & need to repent – this may have been part of the method God used to bring him to the point of taking action.  God knew the sins of His people, and He would judge them.  But God also had a future for His people, and He would bless them.  It would have been a confirmation of everything Josiah had just discovered through the book of Deuteronomy.

We might not know the exact details of the writing, but this much is clear: it was the right word at the right time.

Why does Zephaniah matter to the NT Christian?  It matters for many of the same reasons we’ve seen from other OT prophets.  (1) It is the word of God, and inherently has value.  (2) It demonstrates the sovereignty of God over all the world; not just Israel.  (3) It demonstrates the perfect justice of God, even over His own people of Israel.  (4) It demonstrates the mercy of God, particularly the blessings He has in mind for the future.

Interestingly enough, Zephaniah is one of the few OT books never quoted in the NT, although the subject of the Day of the Lord certainly is discussed.  There is nothing in Zephaniah that is contradicted by NT teaching – it simply isn’t referenced.  That’s not to say the Christian has nothing to see in Zephaniah.  In these short 3 chapters, we see a marvelous picture of the character of our God.  He is a God of perfect judgment, and immense grace.  He is a God who promises to dwell in the midst of His people, and to rejoice over His people.  He is a God who promises to roll back every reproach and shame.  He is a God worthy of our worship…He is Jesus the Lord!

It’s one of the smaller books of the OT, only three chapters.  There are also three main sections of the book, although they seem to divide places other than the chapter breaks.  (Remember that chapter & verse breaks are not inspired; they’re just historical helps.)

  • The Day of the Lord Described (1:1-18)
  • The Day of the Lord & the Nations (2:1-3:8)
  • The Day of the Lord & Restoration (3:9-20)


The Day of the Lord Described
Background (1:1)
We’ve already covered much of his background.  He seems to have been a prophet of royal lineage, prophesying during the reign of one of the few truly good kings of Judah, perhaps during the pivotal moment of Josiah’s rule.  On a macro scale, much was going on beyond the borders of Judah.  Their wayward brothers to the north (Israel/Samaria) had already been conquered by the Assyrian empire, and God had miraculously spared the Jews from encountering the same fate.  To the south, Egypt was beginning to assert its power again, being allied with Cush/Ethiopia.  Josiah would actually be killed in a battle against the Egyptians during the time Egypt was trying to assert its influence to areas north of Judah.  The empire of Assyria was starting to crumble at the edges, as Babylon became more and more of a power in the Middle-East.  Less than a generation after Josiah’s death, Babylon would conquer Jerusalem itself and it would be the Jewish turn to experience defeat and captivity.

All that to say, things were close to the end for the kingdom of Judah.  Although God showed mercy to the Jews during the reign of Josiah, their overall judgment was set.  God had warned the people for decades what was going to happen, and He gives one additional warning through Zephaniah.  If the Jews of the current day thought life was chaotic now, they hadn’t seen anything yet.

  • We could say something similar about our own current times.  We look around our own world and see all kinds of chaos.  The United States has by & large fallen away from God, even stopped being a supporter of Israel.  Russia has asserted its power once again, having formed allies in the Middle East that very easily call to mind many of the nations prophesied by Ezekiel.  Islamic terrorism runs rampant, and Christians are persecuted in record numbers.  Yet if people think things are chaotic now, they haven’t seen anything yet!  As with the Jews, God has repeatedly warned us through the Scriptures of what things will happen during the end-times, and it ought to be incredibly clear that is exactly where we find ourselves.  Time is short until the Day of the Lord comes, and people need to be getting ready!

Overview of the Day (1:2-3)
What God describes of that day is terrible and universal.  Zephaniah 1:2–3, "(2) “I will utterly consume everything From the face of the land,” Says the Lord; (3) “I will consume man and beast; I will consume the birds of the heavens, The fish of the sea, And the stumbling blocks along with the wicked. I will cut off man from the face of the land,” Says the Lord."  Notice at this point, God isn’t speaking only of Israel.  “Everything” means everything.  “The fish of the sea” is not limited only to the Sea of Galilee at this point or the Mediterranean; it’s a reference to all fish in all seas all over the earth.  Keep in mind this is exactly how the end of the Great Tribulation is described.  Although 1/3 of the fish die off through early troubles of the Tribulation, the rest of marine life dies during the 2nd of the bowl judgments.  Revelation 16:3, "(3) Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man; and every living creature in the sea died."

What does this tell us?  It tells us that God has a larger judgment in mind than just bringing in Babylon over the Jews.  When the Bible speaks of “the Day of the Lord,” it can reference more than one thing.  On one hand, it can refer to a specific immediate judgment of God that was on the horizon.  On the other hand, it can refer to THE Day when God judges all the world in His righteous wrath.  Still too, it can encompass the series of days (years) that lead up to that final culmination of judgment.  How do we know which is which?  Only by the context.  When the judgment is local, it’s an immediate day; when it’s universal, it’s THE Day.  What we find in Zephaniah is the prophet often going from one to the other, as is the case here.  In vss. 2-3, the judgment is universal, but in vss. 4 & following, it’s local.  Of course from Zephaniah’s perspective, it was all future. [Mountain peaks of prophecy]

The point here?  Nothing & no one will escape the judgment of God.  If that sounds harsh, or like a “turn or burn” message, that’s because it is.  But that is exactly what God says.  God specifically says that He will consume everything and everyone in His judgment.  That may not be a popular message, but it’s not one that can be easily ignored.  If we’re going to preach the Bible, we have to preach ALL of it – including the parts that might be somewhat uncomfortable.  Let that discomfort be used by the Lord, to either break your hearts for those who still reject God, or to break your own heart if you’re the one still rejecting Him.

The Day and the Jews (1:4-18)
The remainder of Ch. 1 describes what the immediate Day of the Lord will look like in the land of Judah.  God specifically mentions this as a judgment against His own people (1:4), as He was aware of their long-entrenched idolatry.  Thus He said He would “cut off every trace of Baal from this place” (1:4).  Although Josiah instituted massive reforms, idolatry had preceded him by generations, and it would quickly rise again after his death.  God would deal with this severely, but perfectly.  The people of Judah were supposed to be the people of YHWH God, and when they broke covenant with Him by worshipping false gods and the “host of heaven” (1:5), God had every legal right as their Covenant God to bring His judgment.

Thus the people would have their mouths shut in that day (1:7) as the wrath of God was poured out.  It is described as a “sacrifice” (1:7-8), which makes sense, considering that a temple sacrifice was symbolic of God’s wrath poured out on sin.  The sacrifice is given as a substitute.  God’s wrath is still satisfied, but something else died in our place.  In this case, the sacrifice was Jerusalem itself.  They had no more substitute because they had abandoned God.  Thus all people everywhere, from every section of the city (1:10) would wail & cry as they experienced the anger of God.  For all those who claimed that God would never act (“The LORD will not do good, Nor will He do evil,” 1:12), they will learn otherwise.  God would act, and the consequences would be devastating.

Zephaniah’s own words state it best: Zephaniah 1:14–17, "(14) The great day of the Lord is near; It is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the Lord is bitter; There the mighty men shall cry out. (15) That day is a day of wrath, A day of trouble and distress, A day of devastation and desolation, A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, (16) A day of trumpet and alarm Against the fortified cities And against the high towers. (17) “I will bring distress upon men, And they shall walk like blind men, Because they have sinned against the Lord; Their blood shall be poured out like dust, And their flesh like refuse.”"

This is a terrible day!  And why did it come?  “Because they have sinned against the Lord.”  God brought the punishment, but the people were the ones who earned it.  Whose fault was it that they experienced the wrath of God?  Their own.

  • It’s no different today.  When people experience the judgment of God, it’s our fault.  Whether it’s the discipline that God puts upon His own children whom He loves, or it’s the punishment He pours upon those who reject Him, all judgment is earned judgment.  God never judges people capriciously or unfairly.  Sometimes we get asked the question (or maybe we ask it ourselves), “Why would a loving God send people to hell just because they don’t believe in Jesus?”  There are a few things wrong with the premise, but most importantly we need to stop blaming God for people going to hell.  It’s not God’s fault!  People don’t go to hell because they don’t believe in Jesus – people go to hell because it’s the punishment due for their sin.  They sinned against God, and hell is the just response.  It was in God’s great mercy that He sent Jesus in the first place.  It would be like blaming a life preserver for someone’s drowning when the person never grabbed hold of the life preserver in the first place.  The Life Preserver is there & has been freely offered to every human – will we hold on to Jesus to escape the death that we earned for ourselves?

The Day of the Lord & the Nations
General Call to Repent (2:1-3)
In light of the description of the Day of the Lord, what ought people do?  Repent!  God had given clear warning, and now it was time for all to heed the call.  Zephaniah 2:3, "(3) Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, Who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden In the day of the Lord’s anger."  There was still time…people didn’t have to experience God’s judgment.  They could experience God’s mercy.  But what would they have to do?  Humble themselves & seek the Lord God as God.

God will judge, but that doesn’t mean God wants to judge.  God’s desire is that people would repent & be saved.  God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but much would rather have people turn from their wicked ways & live.  The way to do that is for people to be meek, to be humble, and to seek the Lord God in true faith and sincerity.  Notice the invitation goes out to all the earth, and they are to seek God according to His covenant name: the Lord/YHWH.  IOW, they are to seek Him in faith, as He has revealed Himself.  They are to seek Him through His Son Jesus, who is the perfect revelation of the Father unto men.

  • It’s not too late for anyone to seek the Lord.  God had proclaimed His judgment through Zephaniah, but He still reached out in grace.  The question was if anyone would heed the call.  Will you?

From this point, God (through Zephaniah) turns His attention to the various nations surrounding Judah.  As we’ve seen so many times through other prophets, God shows His sovereignty over all the nations of the world, including the nations that did not worship Him as God.

The Philistines (2:4-7)
At this point, the Day of the Lord seems to refer to more immediate judgment.  Various cities among the Philistines are named as marked for destruction.  The Philistines who had once occupied the coastal areas would be removed, and the Jews would have that land given to them (2:7).  Interestingly enough, this is still part of the modern-day struggle between the Israelis & Palestinians.  The Palestinians are on land that was given by God to Israel, and legally restored to them in 1948 & 1967.  Yet the Palestinians still rebel, and the Arab nations of the world forced the creation of the refugee camps that now exists in the Gaza Strip.

Moab and Ammon (2:8-11)
These nations are marked for total destruction, just as Sodom and Gomorrah were wiped from the face of the earth (2:9), and historically speaking that is exactly what happened.  The people virtually disappear from history after the rise of the Persian Empire.  These nations had threatened God’s beloved people far too many times, and this was His judgment against them (2:10).

What would be the result of this judgment?  It would be a witness to the greatness and glory of God.  Zephaniah 2:11, "(11) The Lord will be awesome to them, For He will reduce to nothing all the gods of the earth; People shall worship Him, Each one from his place, Indeed all the shores of the nations." Contextually Zephaniah was referring to ancient Moab & Ammon, but he seems to jump forward here to the final judgment over all the earth.  Yet the result of God’s demonstration of power is the recognition and worship of God from every nation of the earth.  At a certain point, people can no longer ignore the God of the Universe.  They will see Him & tremble.  Whether it is trembling in terror or trembling in reverent humility is a choice we make now, but it WILL indeed happen.

Ethiopia (2:12)
Ethiopia receives the briefest of mentions, while nothing is said against Egypt (the nation with whom they were allied).  Other prophets had written about Egypt, but God was aware of Ethiopia’s own sin & involvement.  They had not escaped His attention, and they would be judged as well.

Assyria (2:13-15)
By the time of Zephaniah’s writing, Assyria had already begun to wane as a world power, but the decisive tipping point would come at the destruction of Nineveh, something specifically prophesied here (2:13).  Nineveh had received mercy from God at the preaching of Jonah – they had the proclamation of God’s judgment through the book of Nahum – and they are mentioned once more here by Zephaniah.  It’s as if God is setting up multiple witnesses to His declaration.  This is a sure fact, and their judgment was truly set.

It may be difficult for us to understand how truly monumental this was.  Assyria (whose capital was Nineveh) was THE major superpower of the day.  For them to be brought to total desolation would have been unthinkable for people.  It would be like Europeans in the 1800’s being told of the soon downfall of the British Empire.  At one point, there wasn’t a corner of the world that Britain did not have influence – but it didn’t last.  That would have been a similar mindset in regards to Assyria.  God was speaking of a monumental shift in world politics…and He proved was absolutely right.

  • God’s track record regarding prophecy is 100%.  There’s no area in which His word has failed.  When God prophesies the rise & fall of nations, His word can be trusted.  It’s interesting that within the NT, the United States is not mentioned, but Israel is.  What does that tell us about the nations that come against Israel?  They will ultimately fail.  God’s word will always prove true.

Jerusalem (3:1-7)
Israel does endure today, but that doesn’t mean that God wasn’t aware of the sin of His own people.  The Jews would face their own judgment, and at this point God’s attention shifts back to Jerusalem and the immediate Day of the Lord that they would face.

God declares woe upon her for her disobedience & lack of faith (3:2) – for her pride & lawlessness among princes, prophets, and priests (3:3-4).  God is the righteous one (3:5) who never fails, but the people called by God name were totally unrighteous & unjust.  God had judged other nations for far less, which should have been a warning to Jerusalem, but they ignored it all.

  • Jerusalem was on borrowed time.  So are we.  How many more babies need to be slaughtered in the name of the supposed right-to-choose?  How many more marriages need to be thrown away by Christian & non-Christian alike?  How much pornography can we imbibe without incurring the judgment of God upon our nation?  The list of sins is endless.  The time to humble ourselves & repent is now.

Summary (3:8)
Did you ever hear “Just wait until your father gets home!” Those words strike terror into the hearts of most children.  God basically says the same thing here. “Just wait…it’s coming.”  There is coming a day in which God Himself “rises up for plunder.”  There is coming a day when all the “fierce anger” of God will be on display, and “all the earth shall be devoured” with God’s holy fire.  The Puritan preacher Jonathan Edwards famously preached a sermon entitled “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” (July 8, 1741)  Again, this isn’t how we often want to think about God, but this is exactly how God is in regards to sin.  Sin makes God angry.  How angry?  Angry enough to do something about it.  The anger of God towards sin is so intense that the only thing that satisfies it is the death of God Himself.  That’s why Jesus had to go to the cross.  God was angry with us, and the only thing that could make it right is Jesus’ death on our behalf.  Even our own individual deaths are insufficient.  Why else would hell last for eternity?  The price can never be fully paid!  Not by mere humans…it can only be paid by God Himself, and that’s what Jesus did for us at the cross & resurrection.

Consider this for a moment.  The anger of God highlights the cross of Christ.  We may not like to think of God as being angry, but if God wasn’t angered by sin, He’d have no reason to send His Son.  We’d have no sacrifice, and we would be without hope.  With that in mind, praise God for His righteous anger!  Because He was angry, now we can be saved!

With that in mind, thankfully anger isn’t the only thing God has in store for His people, or even over all the earth.  At some point, once God’s judgment is poured out, God’s anger is satisfied, and He has a glorious future in store…

The Day of the Lord & Restoration
Restoration for the Gentiles (3:9-10)
Although most of what Zephaniah writes in the closing section will apply directly to Israel, it’s interesting that this word begins with a word to the Gentiles.  Zephaniah 3:9, "(9) “For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, That they all may call on the name of the Lord, To serve Him with one accord." This is grander than only the Jews; this is all the world.  At the ancient Tower of Babel, the nations of the world had their single language confused when they first attempted to ascend to God and replace Him.  In the future, once sin has been dealt with in its entirety, God will give one single language again, that all peoples everywhere might praise God in magnificent harmony together.

The whole idea is that no matter where they might be, God knows the people who truly seek Him in sincere worship.  God knows who belongs to Him, despite what nationality they might have.  This may not have made much sense to the Jew, but it makes perfect sense in light of the NT.  In Christ, other nationalities are left behind.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free in Jesus – we are all made one, brought into one body together.  Those who enter the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus will worship Him purely, unified together by the grace of God.

Restoration for the Jews (3:11-13)
God did have specific promises for the Jews.  “In that day” there would no longer be any sin found among His people – there would be no pride on the holy mountain of God (3:11).  The way God invited His people to be in the present is exactly the way they would be in the Kingdom: Zephaniah 3:12, "(12) I will leave in your midst A meek and humble people, And they shall trust in the name of the Lord." That’s what God had desired from them all along, and that is finally the way they would be.  In the meantime, there would be a “remnant of Israel” (3:13) that survived the coming day of judgment.  God would preserve His people, even while He poured out His wrath upon the disobedient nation.

These are fantastic promises, are they not?  What’s the proper response?  Rejoicing…

Rejoicing from the Jews (3:14-17)
In light of all of this, the people had every reason to sing, shout, be glad of heart, and rejoice.  Yes, there was judgment coming in the near future, but there is a far more glorious future that awaited them.  There was coming a day in which all of the judgments of God would be taken away and in which God Himself would dwell in their midst.  To the Jews, this would have read much like the promises Christians turn to from the book of Revelation: Revelation 21:3–4, "(3) And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. (4) And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”" What a glorious day that will be!  What immense joy we will experience…better than words can describe, or that our minds can conceive!  And just think of it: that is the sure promise of God for us.  That is exactly what we can expect as we spend eternity with Jesus.  We have just as much reason to sing & shout!

The truly amazing thing is that it wouldn’t only be the Jews rejoicing; it would also be God.  Zephaniah 3:17, "(17) The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”"  We often think of us singing over God, but how often do we think of Him singing over us?  Does the Almighty God, the Creator of the Universe, actually rejoice over us as His people?  YES!  How utterly amazing is that?  We do not deserve that kind of love, but that is exactly what we receive in Christ.  God promised to do it for Israel, and we have been grafted into those same promises.  Our Heavenly Father who has saved us will rejoice over us.  (That ought to drive us to rejoice over Him all the more!)

Restoration from Captivity (3:18-20)
Most of what Zephaniah wrote of Ch. 3 dealt with the far future (the Millennial Kingdom), but the concluding verses seem to look more to the immediate future of the Jews.  Not that the Millennial Kingdom is out of mind here – there’s a combination of the two.  God promises to gather His people back to the land, who faced the reproach of the nations (3:18).  No matter what land in which they were found, God knew them & would gather them (3:19).  And of course, this came true after the 70 years of Babylonian captivity were completed.  At the same time, God speaks of something beyond this as He speaks of giving fame & praise to the Jews “among all the peoples of the earth” (3:20) – something which was partially fulfilled after the captivity, but will be totally fulfilled in the future kingdom.  Whenever the timeframe (near or far), the Jews had something to look forward to: their restoration by God.

The Day of the Lord is a day of true anger & judgment, and it’s not something anyone will want to experience firsthand.  Although the nations of the world received a taste of it in the past, it’s nothing compared to what will come during the years of the Great Tribulation, leading up to the return of Christ.  But be assured, it is coming.  The key is to be ready.  Heed the warnings of God now, humble yourself, and seek the Lord in sincere faith through Jesus.  Those who do have reason to rejoice…not only in the promises we have in the future, but also in the fact that God rejoices over us.

Have you rejoiced over His rejoicing?  Are you confident in His love for you?  It is a marvelous thing to be loved by the God of the Universe, and that is exactly the promise we have in Christ!

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