Merriment, elation, hoopla, unbridled glee, raucous mirth— that’s how we feel about the grace of God and the God of grace. But that’s also how He feels about us! If you are bothered by what seems to be irreverent rowdiness on the part of God, look closely at what comes next in the text. “He becomes quiet as He reflects on His deep affection for you” (Zeph. 3:17, author paraphrase). This rendering suggests that God is at one moment moved to loud and jubilant delight over you and at the next is reduced to silence as He thinks deeply of His love for you.
Here we see a love that is so deeply felt, so profound, so perfect that words are inadequate, indeed, unnecessary. To put it bluntly, God is speechless! The all-wise God, the “never-at-aloss- for-words-God,” the God with perfect insight into every situation, the God who always speaks correctly and with divine precision, is here moved to utter silence! Such is the impact of His love for you.
People become silent for any number of reasons. They may be confused and keep their mouths shut lest they reveal their ignorance. Others remain quiet out of sheer boredom. But one may choose silence as the fruit of contentment. When we are unhappy and unsatisfied, we bicker, we bark, we bellyache. But when all is well, when life is what it’s supposed to be, we relax in hushed silence. Happiness can express itself not only in loud merriment but also in peaceful quiescence. God is so entirely absorbed in you that He feels no need to say anything!
After the clamorous yet spiritual celebration, it is as if God says, “I love you so much that I can’t find words to express it. You so perfectly satisfy My every desire and fulfill My every wish that I long simply to embrace you in My arms and quietly enjoy your presence.”
One day I was speaking on the telephone with a close friend of mine who was noticeably excited about something she had discovered in God’s Word. It seemed to have opened up to her a whole new vista of spiritual insight. I lost track of the time, but she evidently had been talking, without interruption, for quite a while. I was silent. In fact, she thought I’d hung up!
“Sam, are you still there?” she asked. “Yeah, I’m here. I’m just sitting here enjoying you.” I didn’t think twice about what I’d just said. Barbara, though, was stunned. She had never given any thought to the idea of “being enjoyed” as a person. That someone might actually take real delight in her was new and even a bit unnerving. She never perceived herself as someone who could evoke that sort of response in another person.
There are times when you think God has “hung up” on you. He’s nowhere to be found. Perhaps you suspect He got bored with who you are and what you’re doing and moved on to more intriguing people in His kingdom. No! His silence is not a reflection of disinterest but enjoyment. God is sincerely captivated in His affection for you, and words would only spoil the experience.
-The Singing God