This sin Cycle : This happens repetitive in every season till today:
- Dwelling and enjoying in the first Love of God
- Slowly drifting away in temptation
- Falling short of God’s glory
- Repentance to set right the priorities with God.
- Hope and Restoration of Nations and relationship with God.
*Zephaniah – “Yahweh has Hidden”*
This book talks about “the day of the Lord” or “the day of the judgement”.
As we see in every prophetic book, Lord’s people were serving the Lord faithfully and later when they have been given to temptation and during trade and migrants people did comprise on their practices and followed idolatry practices ( In today’s context, it can be something/someone which you lord above God) and Self- indulgence/By being prideful due to their possessions and have lost the reverence to God( In today’s context it can be my selfish pleasures, dependence of self capabilities,works and accomplishments.. rather on dependence on the one who has enabled to finish it).
When God can’t see his own children going astray, He disciplines and brings judgement ( which is very much understandable as our earthly father can’t see his own child falling into a pit, so he corrects us). Sometimes corrections are good so that we repent and are put back on track to fulfil the purposes of God on Earth. Same way, the *Prophet- Zephaniah* was raised to warn the people about the Judgement of God in them which is prepared for their arrogant and sinful acts. The judgement was not for His people but also for all the nations ( as mentioned in Chapter 2) just like in today’s time the invisible virus which is sweeping across nations. and making. people to repent of their shortcomings and the sins of Nations.
When the people (Remnants)
repented and cried out to the Lord, God with his unfailing Love on his people shows compassion:
- God protected His remnants from his judgement/anger. (He mentions people who are humble and righteous are hidden from God’s wrath- Zephaniah:2:3)
2. God’s Judgement fell on rest of the Nations.
In Chapter:3, it clearly states:
- God Judgement on his people and all the nations, human leaders, officials/authorities, religious leaders with fair treatment and would judge equally.2. God calls people for repentance and to fear God and accept correction.3. Anticipation of Hope, God’s intent for people to turn back to His first Love.4. God’s hand of. restoration on Nations and re-union of Kingdoms and salvation of people in all Nations.( Zephaniah:3:16–20).
“The great day of the Lord is near – near and coming quickly. The cry on the day of the Lord is bitter; the Mighty Warrior shouts his battle cry.”
Zephaniah 1:14 NIV
The day of the Lord is near- This shouldn’t. be a threat, but a time to check and to reflect upon our life and to repent, reconcile with God and His people and also, to get prepared for His coming. As the time on earth is temporary, when compared to eternal life. But, the fact we know the eternal joy is to be in the father’s arms keeps us encouraged. So let’s pray together for the situation around us to change.
“Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger.”*
Zephaniah 2:3 NIV
We can only please God by right living and humility and can be saved from God’s correction and restore back the relationship with the Father.
“Do not fear, Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. 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.””
Zephaniah 3:16–17 NIV
From the today’s Bible Reflection,
This book talks about how God’s people drifted away from His love and was doing things displeasing. to Him, which in turn arose God’s anger. So God had to warn his people, just like the earthly father corrects and pulls backs his own child from falling into the pit.
Life at the moment, can be so uncertain, we can see so many loss of lives and dip in economy and fear of future. But God promises over as individuals family, business are YES & AMEN. And definitely, God would Restore back all the losses, double fold.
“The Lord will terrify them as he destroys all the gods in the land. Then nations around the world will worship the Lord, each in their own land.”
Zephaniah 2:11 NLT
I have been reading the book Zephaniah, such a beautiful book:
We could see from this verse, that God is a Jealous God and He seeks for attention and to regain the relationship back to the first Love of God.
Though people went astray and made their own Gods.. but the mankind was created by Him. As He is the creator of all, He doesn’t show partiality and concerned of all. And He is waiting for the redemption of the whole world irrespective, whether a Jew or Gentile. That’s the heart of the Father.
WRITTEN BY: Nivedita Devraj; ????: 23.08.2020