The focus is now on Jerusalem, the holy city. The Lord was hopeful his people would see the light and repent. Yet he calls out the leaders as totally corrupt, treacherous. The people didn’t have a chance if they were putting any trust at all in their leadership. God wanted them to fear him and self-correct their evil ways. They did not. His anger burned.
This passage holds hope and promise to follow God’s wrath. In verse 9, he says he will “purify”….so that all can “worship the Lord together”. Just like a loving father who gets angry with his child for wrongdoing. It is the “wrong” that angers, not the child. God loves us despite our failings, despite our tendency to stray, despite our sin.
He loves us so much that he sent Jesus for our redemption. We are then truly purified, and we should at all times and places now worship God together. Why don’t we? What is holding us back? We can point fingers at those who are influencing us, but God has planted his seed in our hearts and he is eagerly waiting for us, too.
Did any of the prophesies in today’s reading strike a chord with you? Sometimes we struggle with passages like this and want to gloss over them, thinking they don’t apply to us. When we hear the phrase, “fear of the Lord,” it is an example like this that should come to mind.
God has given us a life to live and choices to make. Sometimes our choices are good and pleasing to God, and sometimes they are not. We need to be careful of the latter. God is a jealous god. God desires for us to be in relationship with him, therefore righteous or right with God. Too many people today do also rebel, like the nations in our readings from Zephaniah, and want to deny God.
What about you? How does God fit into your life? Are you living for him and making choices that honor him?
Let’s pray. Father God, forgive me when my selfish heart clouds my perspective. Help me to discern your will for me and live it in a way that is pleasing to you. In this fallen world, I am sometimes overwhelmed with all the corruption and evil. The goodness in people seems to be so clouded. Use me God to help people realize their need for you is greater than their need for possessions or fame. Lord, please bless our business as well so that it can be a vehicle to help others who are struggling. May it be God honoring and draw people to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.