The Third Monday of Advent

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Sing, O Daughter of Zion;

shout aloud, O Israel!

Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,

O Daughter of Jerusalem!

    The LORD has taken away your punishment,

he has turned back your enemy.

The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you;

never again will you fear any harm.

    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.”

    “The sorrows for the appointed feasts

I will remove from you;

they are a burden and a reproach to you.

    At that time I will deal

with all who oppressed you;

I will rescue the lame

and gather those who have been scattered.

I will give them praise and honor

in every land where they were put to shame.

    At that time I will gather you;

at that time I will bring you home.

I will give you honor and praise

among all the peoples of the earth

when I restore your fortunes

before your very eyes,”

says the LORD.

Zephaniah 3:14-20

 

The Book of Zephaniah is a short book, written by the great-great grandson of Hezekiah.

Only 53 verses, just 3 chapters, with the first 2 ½ chapters proclaiming God’s judgment on the people for their unfaithful ways. Zephaniah speaks of punishment and destruction. In the 8th verse of Chapter 3 the message is one of warning:

Therefore wait ye upon Me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for My determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all My fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of My jealousy.

God is not pleased with His people because they have turned away from Him but there is hope. Beginning with verse 9 of Chapter 3 God speaks of restoration for His people and verse 14 begins the celebration!

Sing!

Shout!

Be glad and rejoice with all your heart!

  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.

 

On this third Sunday of Advent we light the candle for Christ our JOY! It may be that you are having a difficult time finding joy in this season but the joy of the Lord is not dependent upon happy feelings but being secure in His love. You can have that JOY! The LORD your God is with you, He delights in you, He loves you, and He rejoices over you with singing.

Do you feel unworthy?

You are unworthy but then so are we all.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

Romans 3:23

Do you think that God cannot love you?

But God commendeth His love toward us, in that,

while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us.

 Romans 5:8

 

The LORD your God is with you,

He delights in you,

He loves you,

and He rejoices over you with singing.

You can have the JOY of the LORD!

If I may borrow from the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans:

May the God of hope fill you with all JOY and peace in believing,

that you may abound in hope,

through the power of the Holy Spirit.

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