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Zephaniah's Lesson

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Introduction

Greetings...
The book of Zephaniah is one of those books where many, in “Christendom” today look only at the last chapter or so and ignore the rest.
Doom and gloom for those
People don’t want to think of God as a “God of wrath” but for God to be just He must be both merciful and vengeful.
God’s wrath is often characterized as our first point which is...

The Day Of The Lord

The judgment on the guilty was coming soon.

It was “at hand.”
Zephaniah 1:7 NKJV
7 Be silent in the presence of the Lord God; For the day of the Lord is at hand, For the Lord has prepared a sacrifice; He has invited His guests.
It was “near.”
Zephaniah 1:14 ESV
14 The great day of the Lord is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the Lord is bitter; the mighty man cries aloud there.

The Day of the Lord is a reminder of God’s justice.

Wrath, distress, anguish, ruin, devastation, darkness, gloom, clouds, thick darkness, trumpet blasts and battle cries.
Zephaniah 1:15–16 ESV
15 A day of wrath is that day, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, 16 a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements.
History bore this truth out.
That day came to the proud and haughty.
Isaiah 2:12 ESV
12 For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up—and it shall be brought low;
That day came with destruction from the Almighty.
Isaiah 13:6 ESV
6 Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; as destruction from the Almighty it will come!
Is
That day came with howling and woe.
Ezekiel 30:2–3 ESV
2 “Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord God: “Wail, ‘Alas for the day!’ 3 For the day is near, the day of the Lord is near; it will be a day of clouds, a time of doom for the nations.
Ezekiel 30:3 NKJV
3 For the day is near, Even the day of the Lord is near; It will be a day of clouds, the time of the Gentiles.
That day none escaped its effects.
Lamentations 2:22 ESV
22 You summoned as if to a festival day my terrors on every side, and on the day of the anger of the Lord no one escaped or survived; those whom I held and raised my enemy destroyed.

Summery

Throughout the Bible, the “Day of the Lord” has always been a day of judgment. Whether it’s the Jews awaiting judgment from God through the Assyrians first and then the Babylonians or the world awaiting judgment from Christ today (; ).
The Day of the Lord is a day we must be ready for ().

The Redeemed Remnant

The remnant is a reminder of God’s mercy.

The remnant would be made up of those that would seek the Lord in humility and follow His commands.
Zephaniah 2:3 ESV
3 Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who do his just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the Lord.
The remnant would not find doom and gloom but deliverance.
Zephaniah 3:14–17 ESV
14 Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! 15 The Lord has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil. 16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. 17 The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zeph
Zephaniah 3:18–20 ESV
18 I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival, so that you will no longer suffer reproach. 19 Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. 20 At that time I will bring you in, at the time when I gather you together; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes,” says the Lord.

Summery

Zephaniah demonstrates God’s willingness to show mercy and redeem His people even though they don’t deserve it.

Conclusion

When one closely studies the book of Zephaniah and the message found within its pages it doesn’t take long for us to have a healthy dose of “fearing the Lord” and yet you walk away from the study having God’s longsuffering and mercy imprinted on your mind as well.
I supposed this is the point that sin in our lives should cause us to “fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” () but that God’s mercy should motivate us to “cast out fear for love” ().
Invitation
1 John 4:8 ESV
8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 John 4:18 ESV
18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
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