God My Exceeding Joy
"God My Exceeding Joy"
The other night as I was spending time in worship in our basement, this unexpected vision began to play out in my minds eye. I saw Jesus spinning around, dancing with such joy and exuberance that I was almost sure I could reach out and touch Him. Just like that the vision was over, but I couldn't forget this picture and began asking the Lord if I should put this image of Him dancing on canvas. I didn't have to wait long to find out!
The next day as I was reading a daily prayer devotional by Dutch Sheets (www.givehim15.com), I was shocked to say the least to see that his topic of the day happened to be, "Dancing God." In it, he explains the meaning of a little-known verse in the Old Testament that gives a wonderful description of God’s dancing heart toward His kids :
"The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy” (Zephaniah 3:17). In Hebrew, the language in which the Old Testament was written, the word translated “rejoice” is the Hebrew word guwl, which literally means “to spin around under the influence of any violent emotion.” That’s what I said – He dances!
Hebrew is a pictorial language; a word paints a picture or creates an image. With the word picture guwl presents – spinning around emotionally – it’s easy to see why it is translated into English words like joy, rejoice, glad, and delight. But really, do these translations do justice to this awesome little word? No way."
I could have leapt out my chair and danced!! This is exactly what I had seen in my vision! Jesus was "guwl-ing" all around our basement! And if that were not enough, the very next day I was watching episode 4 of season 2 of The Chosen TV series (https://watch.angelstudios.com/thechosen) and what verse do they choose to highlight for this depiction of the man at the pool of Bethseda getting healed......you guessed it....Zephaniah 3:17.
And you can bet they showed the man dancing for pure joy in that episode! I couldn't help but cry with joy with yet another confirmation! Clearly God wanted me to share this side of His nature with you all. Now I wanted to know - which Name of God or attribute would go with this painting. I didn't have to look long before I stumbled upon a title given to God by David in the Psalms.
In Psalm 43, David is a bit overwhelmed to say the least. The unrighteousness around him, injustice and oppression. It would be enough to make anyone want to just throw in the towl. But David knows His God better than that. He wouldn't give into despondency. Instead He prays:
"Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre,O God, my God. Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God."
Can anyone relate? I sure can. Looking around at the world today, there is plenty reason to be praying the same prayer as David. If that is you today, let's check our fears, doubts and all unbelieving thoughts at the door. Let Him be your "Exceeding Joy." One word from Him will calm every storm and turn our bitterness into joyful praises.
Do you see Him dancing over you? In the great story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) the prodigal's Father is meant to depict our Father in Heaven. Dutch Sheets again gives wonderful insight into this passage:
"One of my favorite lexicons says the word “rejoice” (v. 32) in this passage may be re