Zephaniah, like many of the minor prophets, speaks of the Day of the Lord.
What is the Day of the Lord? A time when God will intervene decisively for judgment and salvation. Things will be made right. It’s the day we long for when we read newspaper headlines of tragedies or when we experience tragedies in our own lives and community. It is the day we long for when we receive the devastating phone call.
We want things to be made right. We want wrong doers to be punished. We want good/honest people to see their reward.
Yet, there is difficulty for the people of God when they hear the words of the Minor Prophets speak of the day of the Lord. The people of Israel often assumed that salvation would come to them and judgment would come to everyone else. Yet, Zephaniah speaks of judgment to those who sin – period. Read Zephaniah and you’ll notice God speak judgment upon Philistia, Moab, Ammon, Cush, Assyria, and Judah (the Southern Kingdom of Israel). The list includes the people of God!
The message of Zephaniah is that the Day of the Lord is near. People will be judged for their sin. Yet, in this message of judgment there is hope. A tremendous amount of hope.
Read Zephaniah 3:8-20. Go ahead. What else do you have to do?
In the midst of judgement …
God purifies those who call on his name.
God purifies those who serve him.
God will deal with the enemies of the people of God.
God will guide those who trust in the name of the LORD.
God will allow his people to be glad and rejoice.
God will take away punishment.
God, the King, is with the people of God.
And that brings us to the key verse:
The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
– Micah 3:17
This passage speaks of God’s care, relationship, love, might, and power.
In moments of tragedy have you felt God’s presence?
Have you felt him save you?
Have you been comforted by his love for you?
Have you been quieted with his love?
Have you heard him singing over you?
God is mighty to save. No matter the circumstance. No matter situation. No matter the sin. You’ve never gone too far. You’ve never sinned too deeply.