The Prophets

Zephaniah – Part 3 of 3

Joy Everlasting

In terms of the expectant judgement, it is those who reject God’s ways and say to themselves, “I am, and there is no one else” (2:13), that will face the coming punishment.

“Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled. She listens to no voice; she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the Lord; she does not draw near to her God. I said, ‘Surely you will fear me; you will accept correction. Then your dwelling would not be cut off according to all that I have appointed against you.’ But all the more they were eager to make all their deeds corrupt” (3:1,7).

The world is no different now to what it was then. Man is still rebellious, is adamant in his own way and is unwilling to accept correction. It is true, though, that we are all born at a disadvantage. For as pure as a newborn baby is, we all enter this world tainted by sin and surrounded by temptation. It doesn’t take long for us to discover that some things we do are good and some are bad. Evil lurks in the best of us and good can be found in the worst. We are usually our own worst enemy and every one of us needs the hope of something better than ourselves. God created the ‘something better’ and he created it for you. He offers a life of hope and a life of promise, where peace replaces turmoil and grace replaces shame. If you are willing to turn away from a life of pleasing only yourself, to a life of pleasing God and following his will, then punishment is taken and mercy is given.

“The Lord has taken away the judgements against you; you shall never again fear evil. The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing” (3:17).

When you give yourself to God, he rejoices over you; when the world is noisy and chaotic, he will quiet you by his love; when you doubt that you are worthy, he will sing over you, lifting your spirit to new heights. What a Saviour. This is why I listen for his correction and accept his discipline; I need it and my desire is to serve him fearfully and faithfully.

How blessed we are to have the Spirit who leads us, the Son who prays for us and the Father who rejoices over us.

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