Zephaniah 1:14-18 – This Day

Read Zephaniah 1:14-18

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.

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Zephaniah 1:7-13 – A Moment of Silence

Read Zephaniah 1:7-13

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!

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2 Peter 3:1-7 – Last Days

Read 2 Peter 3:1-7

Peter believed this “last days” discussion to be of utmost importance for us moving forward in faith. He isn’t discussing the “when” or “how” the last days will take place but tells of a sign we can expect. We may even be seeing good examples of Peter’s description today. He said, to expect people to be “mocking the truth and following their own desires.” You can’t turn on a news program or read news on the internet without seeing some group or individual challenging Christians and mocking the truth on which we stand. And with such a self-seeking society, people regularly follow their own desires seeking to “be happy” or to live “their” truth.

The truth Christians profess is Jesus, the Word made flesh. We know there is no other truth, yet we stand by and let other people do their “own thing” in the guise of “freedom.” Certainly, we expect the same courtesy to be able to speak the truth about Jesus, without being criticized or marginalized. Sadly, many Christ-followers keep quiet out of fear because we do take the heat for trusting Jesus.

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2 Peter 2:4-10 – Who God Spares

Read 2 Peter 2:4-10

This text clearly warns about the judgment in store for those false teachers Peter spoke of in our last reading.  If God doesn’t spare the angels, you can bet he’s not going to spare the false teachers. Those folks who try so hard to lead us astray and confuse us with worldly values are being likened to the corrupt people of Noah’s day and the immoral people that surrounded Lot. God will judge sin, and the unrepentant sinner cannot escape.

God loves us all, but he spares only the righteous. Peter gives us examples that illustrate how God has dealt with the ungodly in the past. Amidst the destruction, God has always spared those who stay true to him, like Noah and Lot. God knows the heart of his people. These men were not sinless, but they put their trust in God.

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Obadiah 15-16 – The Day is Coming

Read Obadiah 15-16

What a way to start out this reading! “The day is near when I, the Lord, will judge all godless nations!” Obadiah has focused up to now on Edom, the long-time rival of Israel. But Edom was not the only nation to rejoice at Judah’s fall. All nations will be judged for the way they have treated God’s people. Has the “day,” referred to here, happened yet?

We know Edom ceased to exist as a nation. That land is now divided between present-day southern Israel and Jordan. This part of Obadiah’s prophecy, then, points toward other nations being judged and destroyed. “Yes, all you nations will drink and stagger and disappear from history.”

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