We often sing, “You dance over me, while I am unaware; You sing all around, but I never hear the sound…” without understanding the beautiful theology contained within the lyrics of the song. While I am uncertain about the author’s source of inspiration, the lyrics reflect the words of the prophet Zephaniah:
“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” (3:17).
Zephaniah’s theme is the Day of the Lord. Yahweh, as the divine warrior, intends to raze the earth because of the indifference, apostasy, and rebellion of humanity. However, before the final act of ultimate destruction, Yahweh demonstrates divine grace and offers humanity an opportunity to approach God in humility and seek righteousness and justice. Those who are arrogant and “stagnant of spirit” suffer destruction under the warring hand of Yahweh. Yahweh is “in your midst” as judge and savior. The victory of Yahweh is demonstrated in the destruction of the arrogant and the deliverance of the humble. Those who have been delivered “shout in triumph” and “rejoice and exult” because “the Lord has taken away His judgments” (3:14-15). To “exult” means to celebrate, to leap for joy, and/or to dance about. Those who have been redeemed by the hand of Yahweh dance with joy! (Exodus 15).