Nevertheless, I do come across it, on occasion. And once past the chapters of judgment and woe, there are real gems to be found. Today’s ruby is from Zephaniah 3:19, a promise, delivered through this prophet, that God will deal with oppressors.
The verse goes on to promise praise and renown, a restoration of fortunes. Oh, if we could just get there! Past the fear of disaster and the rebellion. Past the injustice and the shame, to the refuge that is promised in the Lord. A Lord who “will exult over [us] with joy…will be quiet in His love…will rejoice over [us].”
“He will be quiet in His love.” How many times do we question God’s presence when we don’t “hear” from Him? But here, He is reminding that He is showing us His utmost love when He’s quiet. This can suggest many things. Like He trusts us? Or He wants us to trust Him? There’s a lot in that verse alone.
The second part I love is the promise. There is a promise of a reversal of fortunes and fame. He says that He Himself will gather the outcast, and turn their shame into praise and renown. What would it take for a person’s shame to become their renown? I can’t even imagine. How can those things I carry with me and turn over in my mind, conversations and choices I would take back in an instant, how can those become my fortune?
This is so our God, though! He loves to confound us – just when we think we’re wise – with something so simple. When I think about it, it is just that, my ridiculous mistakes, my relentless, repeated flops that have carved out it me a space to do what it is that I do. I couldn’t be the teacher, mother, wife, friend that I am without those precious learnings. I suppose I do make my “fortune” from my shame, in that sense. Not sure I’m renown, but I’ll leave that to God!