The Prophets

Zephaniah – Part 2 of 3

Judgement Expected

The prophets were sent to remind the people of God’s justice and his mercy, with judgement often referred to as ‘the day of the Lord’. “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” (1:14).From the smallest to the greatest, all must answer for the choices they have made. Sin always demands a sacrifice and atonement must be made – Be silent before the Lord God! The Lord has prepared a sacrifice and consecrated his guests (v7). This reminds me of Abraham with Isaac and the ram that the Lord had already prepared. God has always been preparing his sacrifice in order that we would be consecrated back to him.

The day of the Lord, the appointed time of his judgement, was always in front of the people but it was harnessed with mercy – “Gather together, yes, gather, O shameless nation, before the decree takes effect; before the day passes away like chaff” (2:1). God always has and always will leave an opening for repentance because punishment is a last resort, not a first and the opening is clearly defined –

“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” (v3).

Whether past times, present times or future times, there will always be a remnant of people who love the Lord and follow his ways. A people who will show the goodness and grace of God and reflect his love to the unbelieving generation. They will be witnesses of his blessings and promises; they will be salt and light to an apathetic and self-focused world.

Scripture is clear, time as we know it will end and every person will be ushered into the court of the Lord and the Judge will take his place. We will give account of our choices; we will be judged and we will leave the courtroom through one of two doors – the door to heaven or the door to hell. No-one knows when the appointed time will be but of this I am sure, ‘behold now is the accepted time, behold now is the day of salvation.’

So, before the decree takes effect and before the day passes away, seek the Lord, do his will and live in the light of his mercy.

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