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.
For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent.
From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.
In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain.
I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord.
The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.
The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.
In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.
The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. ~~ Zephaniah 3:8-17 (KJV)
Despite man’s unfaithfulness and despite the Lord’s anger, there is yet hope. Reading these verses we see that we are told to sing and rejoice.
This is because after the Lord’s day of wrath, there is a recalling of the remnant of the faithful. Those who have been faithful will survive the day of judgment and will be found victorious.
The Lord says He will purify the lips of the peoples. that all of them may call upon His name. This reminds us of the picture of Isaiah.
And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.
Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. ~~ Isaiah 6:4-8 (KJV)
He found himself in the throne room of God, with all the angels. The glory of the Lord was so heavy that he fell on his face saying “woe is me for I am a man of unclean lips.” And an angel took a coal from the altar and touched his lips to purify them. Then he was worthy to speak the name of the Lord as an emissary of God.
Here too, God says He will purify the lips of the people. Those of us who are faithful to God should rejoice in this passage. It means that we will speak the righteousness of God to the nation. We are to be His emissaries in this hurting world. It is our duty and our privilege to speak for the righteousness of God, the love of God, the mercy of God and the wrath of God in equal proportion.
It is only when we tell the whole truth of God that we can be rightfully called His emissaries.
Just as any parent, God grieves over His wandering children. But when we are obedient, He can rejoice over us—with singing.
Open our ears and hearts to learn of You. Purify our lips to tell of You. Send us wherever You wish to spread the good news to all people. Soften our hearts to love all Your children. Give us the grace to be obedient so that You can sing over us.
In Jesus’ most precious name.