The universal judgment is spelled out in a little more detail here. It is thought that the nations mentioned represent the whole world, each being in a different geographical direction (Egypt/Ethiopian to the south; Assyria to the north; Philistia to the west; and Moab/Ammon to the east.) What did the other nations do? They disrespected their creator. You can’t taunt or insult God or his people without consequence. God will have the final word.
Pride is another divisive quality that God will punish. “They will receive the wages of their pride, for they have scoffed at the people of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” Here we see that those people who balk at us, look down on us for our faith and ridicule our belief system will see consequences. We don’t have to fight that battle; God has our back!
Continue reading “Zephaniah 2:4-15 – I Will Survive”
What does repentance look like? Zephaniah shows us in today’s reading. This is not only meant for the remnant of faithful ones who are wanting to stay true to God in the days before the exile, but to us as well. The prescription for living is not hard, unless you have a hard time humbling yourself and being obedient to God’s will.
Many will choose the independence this world offers. The evil one wants us to believe there is freedom in those choices. Rather, it’s a death sentence with no hope for eternity. Is it hard for you to humbly obey God?
Continue reading “Zephaniah 2:1-3 – Act Now!”
Zephaniah’s oracle now shifts focus to “all” people, not just rebellious Judah. Churches today have coupled this passage with New Testament passages speaking of the final judgment. You may even recognize some of these images have become the lyrics in hymns and worship songs.
This day will be a day of bitter tears, men crying out, all while the Lord’s anger is poured out on all people. It’s not a pleasant picture at all. Yet, it is destruction we can anticipate will happen when the Lord’s Day finally arrives. Will we see it in our lifetime? Only God knows.
Continue reading “Zephaniah 1:14-18 – This Day”
Zephaniah asserts that judgment day is coming soon, and he is not referring to the end times here but to a specific time in history yet to come for those first hearing his words. Zephaniah is not the only prophet talking about it either. God is using many “mouthpieces” to get the message out that he is not happy with his people.
It’s good to take a moment of silence in our own day to take an account of what’s going on in our lives. Do our actions glorify God or disappoint him? Do we see chaos, worry, doubt, thrill, busyness, fear, loneliness, great success, embarrassing failures? What is happening in your life right now? Is God part of the picture? If not, invite him in!
Continue reading “Zephaniah 1:7-13 – A Moment of Silence”
Zephaniah was a contemporary of Jeremiah and would have spoken God’s words during the reign of King Josiah. You’ll recall when King Josiah learned of the scrolls containing God’s law, great reforms began to help the people of Judah to return to God. Zephaniah would help shake the people of Judah out of their complacency and understand the hope they could cling to comes from God.
Zephaniah doesn’t sugar coat the radical message from God but gets right to the point. God’s wrath will sweep away everything and crush Jerusalem and Judah. Even his own creation will suffer. God’s anger has been fueled by all the idol worship that fills the land.
Continue reading “Zephaniah 1:1-6 – God’s Wrath”