15 The Lord has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies.The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil.
16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:“Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak.
17 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.
18 I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival, so that you will no longer suffer reproach.
19 Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors.And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.
20 At that time I will bring you in, at the time when I gather you together; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes,” says the Lord.
Sometimes the prophets warned the people, and sometimes they comforted the people. This is a section of comfort. There is no hidden “but you’d better!” in this passage.
It’s typically so hard to apply our debit and credit to the right things. You find a fifty-dollar bill and say “I got lucky!” or “I must be living right!” but when you lose it you say “I guess God didn’t want me to have that.”
We go through our work day trying with all of our might to please a client or your boss, but when they give you a shred of criticism, you get shredded yourself. All the while Jesus is interceding before the Father on our behalf, cheering us on and offering all kinds of spiritual comfort.
Well if you are like me and you have trouble sorting out how your needs are supposed to be met and who gets the credit for what, let me offer you this antidote.
This passage is assuring God’s people of what it’s like to be saved — to be rescued by God Himself with an inextricable salvation. He cares about you! He has cleared away your enemies. Now anything ‘bad’ that happens to you is not for your shame, but to shame the devil with God’s faithfulness. You have nothing to fear.
The Lord is among us, but not like the teacher walking up and down the rows of desks with a ruler to slap the back of your hand. Look at what it says! He is among us to save us and to rejoice over us with gladness. Even if you’ve never had anyone rejoice over you, maybe you’ve rejoiced over something. I’m thinking of the Chinese food I got from a food truck yesterday. Oh. My. Gosh. It was so good. I wanted to make noises and carry on about it. I want to eat it again today.
If I, though I’m a ragamuffin, can rejoice over Chinese food truck food, can you imagine how much God carries on about you for whom He has died? I paid $12. He gave His one and only Son.
God loves you a lot.
He loves you so much that He sings too loud. He doesn’t even care about it being awkward or embarrassing.
May that truth settle into us when we seek the love we need from every other source that will fail. He is overwhelmed and overwhelming all at the same time.