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ZEPHANIAH'S PROPHETIC WISDOM
In the Old Testament book of Zephaniah, the prophet warned the people of Judah that if they refused to repent, the entire nation including the beloved city of Jerusalem, would be lost. The people knew that God would eventually bless them, but Zephaniah made it clear that there would be judgment first, then blessing. This judgment would not be merely punishment for sin, but also a process of purifying the people. Though we live in a fallen world surrounded by evil, we can hope in the perfect kingdom of God to come and we can allow any punishment that touches us now to purify us form sin.
DID YOU KNOW that the prophet Zephaniah predicted the destruction of Nineveh ten years before it happen would be equivalent to predicting the destruction of Tokyo, Moscow, or New York. Nineveh was the ancient Near Easter center for culture, technology, and beauty. It had the greatest libraries, buildings, and a vast irrigation system that created lush gardens in the city. The city wall was 60 miles long, 100 feet high, and over 30 feet wide and was fortified with 1,500 towers. Yet the entire city was destroyed so completely that its very existence was questioned until it was discovered with great difficulty, by 19th century archaeologist. Nineveh had indeed become a desolate and dry as the desert." NIV note: Zeph. 3:12-15
TAKE AWAY POINTS TO CONSIDER
To escape God's judgment we must listen to him, accept his correction, trust him, and seek his guidance. If we accept him as our Lord, we can escape his condemnation.
Don't let material comfort be a barrier to your commitment to God. Prosperity can produce an attitude of proud self-sufficiency. The only antidote is to admit that money won't save us and that we cannot save ourselves. Only God can save us and cure our indifference to spiritual matters.
When people are purged of sin, there is great relief and hope. No matter how difficult our experience now, we can look forward to the day of celebration when God will completely restore us. It will truly be our day of cheer.
"The great day of the Lord is near--near and coming quickly." Zep 1:14
"I have hear the insults of Moab
and the taunts of the Ammonites,
who insulted my people
and made threats against their land.
Therefore, as surely as I live,
declares the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel,
"surely Moab will become like Sodom,
the Ammonites like Gomorrah-
a place of weeds and salt pits,
a wasteland forever.
The remnant of my people will plunder them'
The survivors of my nation will inherit their land."
This is what they will get in return for their pride,
for insulting and mocking the people of the Lord Almighty.
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."
"I have decided to assemble the nations,
to gather the kingdoms
and to pour out my wrath on them--
all my fierce anger.
Then whole world will be consumed
by the fire of my jealous anger.
Then will I purify the lips of the peoples,
that all of them may call on the name of the Lord
and serve him shoulder to shoulder."
The Book of Zephaniah, Life Application Study Study Bible, NIV version, Zondervan Press, notes page 1595
Thomas Jefferson's Prophetic Wisdom
YouTube video by SethAdamSmith