August 6, 2017. Zephaniah 1-3
In Order. Judgement or Redemption
Zephaniah is really a book in the Bible, a short one of only 3 chapters. But wow is it a book that is blunt and gets straight to the point. The very first chapter starts out with the judgement on the earth in the day of the Lord.
1:2 I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth,” declares the Lord.
1:15 That day will be a day of wrath – a day of distress and anguis, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness –
That is scary. This is cause for fear. Yes our God is a kind and loving God, one who is merciful and shows us grace, but he is a jealous God. He is our Heavenly Father, and like any good father boundaries and rules have been set, and when disobeyed there are consequences. Zephaniah wrote these warnings to every nation, giving them a heads up as to what was coming, but he ends these three short chapters with one of hope and love.
3:15 The Lord has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm.
16 On that day they will say to Jerusalem, “Do not fear, Zion; do not let your hand hang limp.
17 The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
The Mighty Warrior has come to save you and wants to rejoice with you. He does not want to destroy you, he wants to save you. Many know the verse John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
But continue reading onto the next verse, 17
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
We live in a very sinful world, one that is selfish and scary. A world that many do not acknowledge a living God, or who have decided other gods are more important. It is a world that one day, will be punished for the decisions it has made, but there is always hope. That hope and that relief and that freedom from fear are found in the one true living God and he wants to rejoice over you if you will only but accept him. We are given the choice, judgement or redemption.