OK. 3 very different chapters. Click here. I am filled with joy knowing that I can open these books, even without a commentary or an overview I can get the general prediction of them. That pleases me, because I have children to raise and teach. God’s Truth is always applicable to our lives.
The Day of the Lord is mentioned over and over. It will be a day of terror and is about to come to Judah and to all the nations. This is a reference to the Babylonian invasion on Judah that will take them into captivity which follows 20 years after Zephaniah is prophesying it.
Chapter 1 God is saying that all sinners will be judged, even the complacent (verse 12). Ouch. After Judah is judged and punished for their idolatry and sins, then the Lord will handle the surrounding nations, Philistines (Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Elkron, Kerethite people), and the Egyptians (Cush). He will punish them for their pride and scorn towards the Lord’s people. Then there will come a day when everyone in their own land will worship the Lord.
The LORD will be awesome to them
when he destroys all the gods of the land.
The nations on every shore will worship him,
every one in its own land. (2:11)
Finally, in chapter 3, I think Zephaniah is referring to The Final Day of Judgement yet to come. It lines up with Revelation; there will be a day when all people will know He is Lord.
Question: If that day were today, and it very well could be. How many of your friends and loved ones would not be saved when the earth is final.
On that day you will not be put to shame
for all the wrongs you have done to me,
because I will remove from this city
those who rejoice in their pride.
Never again will you be haughty
on my holy hill. But I will leave within you
the meek and humble,
who trust in the name of the LORD. (3:11-12)
Now that you have those people in your mind, what are you going to do about it?
It is hard sometimes to see the overall theme in the Prophecy books. The Key is to look at God’s character, not the people. Amos, Obadiah and Naham were all about God’s judgment; Isaiah was about God’s Salvation, Jonah about God’s Love, and now Zephaniah is about God’s Restoration. “The great day of the Lord is near” v 1:14 .
Zephaniah prophesied in the days of King Josiah, who was the great great grandson of Hezekiah (born probably while Manasseh was king, I remember he was a BAD king because I use the middle 3 letters in his name as a reminder).
So the little we do know about Zephaniah was that he was royalty, a prince most likely, in the line of Judah. Fifty years has elapsed since the prophecy of Nahum, and three descendants have taken the throne since Hezekiah, all wicked and idol worshipping. Social injustice is at an all time high, the rich are wealthy and the poor are starving. Idol worship is practiced by most.
Zephaniah will speak of a Loving God, yet a Strong God. Zephaniah will also speak of the doom to come to Nineveh that Nahum prophesied. Moreover, Zephaniah will speak directly of denouncing idolatry. Remember back when Josiah became king and smashed down the alters and idols, I am sure it was from the council of Zephaniah.
This book will end very different than the way it will begin. It begins in sorrow but ends in Glory. Zephaniah will tell:
- That the faithful remnant will be delivered from captivity
- That the Gentile nation will be converted (PTL!!!)
- That one day everyone will worship the Lord, not just in Jerusalem.
You will see in this small book God is SEARCHING out His people. He does this today. Does He find you in that search?