“The day of the Lord, said Zephaniah, would have severe consequences for the sinners in Judah, and Zephaniah exhorted the people to repent by seeking the Lord in humility. Following worldwide judgment, there would be a new era of blessing for the nations and for Israel. Zephaniah’s picture of the people’s new relationship with the Lord is one of the most beautiful in all of Scripture: “God will rejoice over you with gladness.” From Zephaniah we learn that God cannot tolerate the worship of other gods alongside Him, nor can He tolerate violence, fraud, complacency, haughtiness, lying, or deceit. God has absolute power to judge and destroy because He created all things, but He does not use this power in an arbitrary way; He uses it to respond to evil and injustice or to idolatry and false worship. We also learn from Zephaniah that God responds to true and sincere repentance. God loves His people who serve Him humbly.” (HCSB)

In regards to 2:1-3, “Faith in God involves the intellect but so much more. The mind that acknowledges God sees His high standards and becomes aware of the distance between the actions of human beings and God’s requirements. In this section, the prophet called on Israel to “seek the LORD.” This could refer to desiring to “inquire of Him” or to turning to Him in repentance. These actions are the opposite of indifference to the Lord and abandoning Him.”

3:15-17: “The LORD has removed your punishment; He has turned back your enemy. The King of Israel, the LORD, is among you; you need no longer fear harm. On that day it will be said to Jerusalem: “Do not fear; Zion, do not let your hands grow weak. The LORD your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will bring you quietness with His love. He will delight in you with shouts of joy.” Zephaniah’s poetic language depicts the Lord as a warrior, whose shouts for joy mark the festive celebration of victory in battle. When we give our weaknesses to God, He gives us His strength. No matter what battle we may be going through in this life, if we put our faith in God, we can be assured that He will triumph. As a friend of mine has said, “Jesus loves the hell out of me.” When Jesus is in our lives, there is no room for evil.

Advertisements