Gather the Outcasts

Today's devotion from Zephaniah 3. Can I just be honest and say that I love the title of today's devotion? God presents Himself as, "a warrior who saves." (Zephaniah 3:17, CSB) That is a pretty cool title. With that in mind, I would imagine a God who is among us as being interested in the best and brightest, the tallest and strongest, those among us who would surely stand out as confident and capable in contrast to the rest of us.

Of course, I've always had a bit of a self-confidence issue. Basically, the issue is that I'm not confident at all. I consistently feel under qualified and rightfully overlooked. I know this will come as a shock to you, but I've never been an athletic specimen. I wasn't the kind of kid you picked first for the team. Academically, I was always a classic underperformer who did just enough to slide by while others applied themselves and became first in class.

I realize that, theologically, I matter to God, but in Zephaniah we have this beautiful picture of God as one who is specifically coming to, "save the lame and gather the outcasts." (Zephaniah 3:19, CSB) Those disenfranchised and tossed to the side, those overlooked by society and avoided by culture, these are not just tagalongs in the salvic work of God. God is intentionally seeking out those cast aside by others.

These verses caught me by surprise and filled me with hope, but they shouldn't have. You see, when Jesus took on flesh to walk among us, He invested in those ostracized by others. He sat with outcasts, reached out to the lame, and embraced those shunned by culture. Jesus loved those who thought they were unloveable. The truth is, they only thought that because the world said it. God never did.

These thoughts don't suddenly fill me with self-confidence. I'm still an overweight guy who laughs at himself before others get the chance. However, I am filled with confidence in my Christ. I am not an afterthought or a tagalong. I'm not an also-saved. He wanted me, specifically, and He the warrior among us who fights for you, too.