This section of Zephaniah’s prophecy starts with the word, “Then.” Because this word, then, points to an event or moment in time, what Zephaniah describes becomes an observation of what we’ll see around us. I had to admit it sounded like a very pleasant place, a glimpse of what heaven might be like.
Can you imagine a time when all people speak only positively “so that everyone can worship the Lord together.” No more harsh, hurtful words that separate people, but loving words that bind people together in harmony, praising the Father and creator of all. I can just picture an angel choir making beautiful music.
No more shame because there will be no more rebels to elicit that fear in us. Those arrogant and proud people who were often rude in living their self-absorbed lives will not be there to distract us or make us feel small. Again, we’re going to see such promises fulfilled in heaven one day.
The humble will inherit the kingdom. They’re going to be the ones left behind, known as the remnant. What truly sets them apart is that they “trust in the name of the Lord.” In Zephaniah’s day, and even today, it’s not a majority, but a remnant, who truly trust in God.
This remnant of Israel appears to be able to do no wrong! That’s God’s perfect ideal for them. God knows they are capable of living as he expects. Yet he also knows they will stumble and fall and need to be reminded of what living the “good life” looks like. We stumble because evil us lurking in this world, keeping us stuck in our sinfulness, falling short of God’s perfect will for our lives. It breaks my heart when I think about how much time I’ve wasted not seeking God’s perfect will for my life.
Has that been your experience, too, looking back over the course of your life? That is, you’ve been lured by distractions from God at times into some pretty destructive behaviors. Maybe relationships have been destroyed or time wasted that could have been spent with God. You have your own sin and redemption stories that come to mind.
So, I pictured a tiny slice of what heaven might look like, in terms of how people will act. Maybe you’re reading this text thinking something totally different. Take time to listen for God’s voice to speak to your heart today.
Let’s pray. Lord, thank you for your promise to the remnant of believers who put their trust in you. I want to be in that group. Help me to be more trusting. I have such a hard time letting go of things I think I can control. Help me in knowing what my part is and what I can place in your hands. I know you’ll work with whatever mess I might make. It is such a privilege to be able to get to know you through your word. Speak to my heart today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.