36 Zephaniah - crosstraining.us

ZEPHANIAH 36 Zephaniah Judah (Northern Kingdom already in Assyrian exile) 2 Prophet Obadiah Joel Est. Year BC From / To Period 848 / 841 Pre-Exile 835 / 835

Pre-Exile Jonah Amos Hosea 782 / 753 760 / 753 755 / 715 Pre-Exile Pre-Exile Pre-Exile Assyria Israel Israel lsaiah

740 / 680 Pre-Exile Judah Micah 735 / 700 Pre-Exile Judah, Israel in Exile Judah Nahum Zephaniah Jeremiah Habakkuk

664 / 654 632 / 628 627 / 580 609 / 605 Pre-Exile Judah, Israel in Exile Pre-Exile Judah, Israel in Exile Pre-Exile Judah, Israel in Exile Pre-Exile Judah, Israel in Exile Daniel Ezekiel 605 / 535 593 / 571 Judah also In Exile Judah also In Exile

Haggai Zechariah Malachi 520 / 520 520 / 480 432 / 424 Post-Exile Post-Exile Post-Exile Address Edom Judah Assyria Judah

Judah Judah Judah Judah Returned Jew Returned Jew Returned Jew 3 The Book of Zephaniah Wrath Coming Upon Judah 1:1 2:3 Wrath Upon All Nations 2:4 3:8 West, East: Philistia, Moab, Ammon South, North: Ethiopia, Assyria After Wrath, Healing 3:9 3:10

Conversion of Gentile nations Restoration of Covenant People 4 Zephaniah OUTLINE Key theme: The coming day of the Lord Key verses: Zephaniah 1:14; 2:3 I. THE DAY OF THE LORD AND THE JEWS (1:1 2:3) A. Pictures of that great day. 1. Like a flood 1:26 2. Like a great sacrifice 1:713 3. Like a battle 1:1518 B. Plea to seek the Lord 2:13 II. THE DAY OF THE LORD AND THE GENTILES

(2:415) A. Philistia 2:47 B. Moab and Ammon 2:811 C. Cush 2:12 D. Assyria 2:1315 III. THE DAY OF THE LORD AND THE KINGDOM A. Jerusalem: Gods jealous anger 3:18 B. The Gentiles: graciousness and forgiveness 3:1120 C. The remnant: bounteous blessing 3:1120 1. The sinners removed 3:1113 2. The believers rejoicing 3:1417 3. The land restored 3:1820 (3:120) 5 Zephaniah 1:1-6

1:1 The word of the LORD which came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah: 1:2 "I will completely remove all things From the face of the earth," declares the LORD. 1:3 "I will remove man and beast; I will remove the birds of the sky And the fish of the sea, And the ruins along with the wicked; And I will cut off man from the face of the earth," declares the LORD. 1:4 "So I will stretch out My hand against Judah And against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, And the names of the idolatrous priests along with the priests. 1:5 "And those who bow down on the housetops to the host of heaven, And those who bow down and swear to the LORD and yet swear by Milcom, 1:6 And those who have turned back from following the LORD, And those who have not sought the LORD or inquired of Him.

6 Zephaniah 1:7-12 1:7 Be silent before the Lord GOD! For the day of the LORD is near, For the LORD has prepared a sacrifice, He has consecrated His guests. 1:8 "Then it will come about on the day of the LORD'S sacrifice That I will punish the princes, the king's sons And all who clothe themselves with foreign garments. 1:9 "And I will punish on that day all who leap on the temple threshold, Who fill the house of their lord with violence and deceit. 1:10 "On that day," declares the LORD, "There will be the sound of a cry from the Fish Gate, A wail from the Second Quarter, And a loud crash from the hills. 1:11 "Wail, O inhabitants of the Mortar, For all the people of Canaan will be silenced; All who weigh out silver will be cut off. 1:12 "It will come about at that time That I will search Jerusalem

with lamps, And I will punish the men Who are stagnant in spirit, Who say in their hearts, 'The LORD will not do good or evil!' 7 Zephaniah 1:13-18 1:13 "Moreover, their wealth will become plunder And their houses desolate; Yes, they will build houses but not inhabit them, And plant vineyards but not drink their wine." 1:14 Near is the great day of the LORD, Near and coming very quickly; Listen, the day of the LORD! In it the warrior cries out bitterly. 1:15 A day of wrath is that day, A day of trouble and distress, A day of destruction and desolation, A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness, 1:16 A day of trumpet and battle cry Against the fortified cities And the high corner towers. 1:17 I will bring distress on men So that they will walk like the blind, Because they have sinned against the LORD; And their blood will be

poured out like dust And their flesh like dung. 1:18 Neither their silver nor their gold Will be able to deliver them On the day of the LORD'S wrath; And all the earth will be devoured In the fire of His jealousy, For He will make a complete end, Indeed a terrifying one, Of all the inhabitants of the earth. 8 Zephaniah 2:1-5 2:1 Gather yourselves together, yes, gather, O nation without shame, 2:2 Before the decree takes effect-- The day passes like the chaff-Before the burning anger of the LORD comes upon you, Before the day of the LORD'S anger comes upon you. 2:3 Seek the LORD, All you humble of the earth Who have carried out His ordinances; Seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden In the day of the LORD'S anger. 2:4 For Gaza will be abandoned And Ashkelon a desolation; Ashdod will be driven out at noon And Ekron will be uprooted.

2:5 Woe to the inhabitants of the seacoast, The nation of the Cherethites! The word of the LORD is against you, O Canaan, land of the Philistines; And I will destroy you So that there will be no inhabitant. 9 Zephaniah 2:6-10 2:6 So the seacoast will be pastures, With caves for shepherds and folds for flocks. 2:7 And the coast will be For the remnant of the house of Judah, They will pasture on it. In the houses of Ashkelon they will lie down at evening; For the LORD their God will care for them And restore their fortune. 2:8 "I have heard the taunting of Moab And the revilings of the sons of Ammon, With which they have taunted My people And become arrogant against their territory. 2:9 "Therefore, as I live," declares the LORD of hosts, The God of

Israel, "Surely Moab will be like Sodom And the sons of Ammon like Gomorrah-- A place possessed by nettles and salt pits, And a perpetual desolation. The remnant of My people will plunder them And the remainder of My nation will inherit them." 2:10 This they will have in return for their pride, because they have taunted and become arrogant against the people of the LORD of hosts. 10 Zephaniah 2:11-15 2:11 The LORD will be terrifying to them, for He will starve all the gods of the earth; and all the coastlands of the nations will bow down to Him, everyone from his own place. 2:12 "You also, O Ethiopians, will be slain by My sword." 2:13 And He will stretch out His hand against the north And destroy Assyria, And He will make Nineveh a desolation, Parched like the wilderness.

2:14 Flocks will lie down in her midst, All beasts which range in herds; Both the pelican and the hedgehog Will lodge in the tops of her pillars; Birds will sing in the window, Desolation will be on the threshold; For He has laid bare the cedar work. 2:15 This is the exultant city Which dwells securely, Who says in her heart, "I am, and there is no one besides me." How she has become a desolation, A resting place for beasts! Everyone who passes by her will hiss And wave his hand in contempt. 11 Zephaniah 3:1-7 3:1 Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled, The tyrannical city! 3:2 She heeded no voice, She accepted no instruction. She did not trust in the LORD, She did not draw near to her God. 3:3 Her princes within her are roaring lions, Her judges are wolves at evening; They leave nothing for the morning. 3:4 Her prophets are reckless, treacherous men; Her priests have

profaned the sanctuary. They have done violence to the law. 3:5 The LORD is righteous within her; He will do no injustice. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He does not fail. But the unjust knows no shame. 3:6 "I have cut off nations; Their corner towers are in ruins. I have made their streets desolate, With no one passing by; Their cities are laid waste, Without a man, without an inhabitant. 3:7 "I said, 'Surely you will revere Me, Accept instruction.' So her dwelling will not be cut off According to all that I have appointed concerning her. But they were eager to corrupt all their deeds. 12 Zephaniah 3:8-12 3:8 "Therefore wait for Me," declares the LORD, "For the day when I rise up as a witness. Indeed, My decision is to gather nations, To assemble kingdoms, To pour out on them My indignation, All My burning anger; For all the earth will be devoured By the fire of My

zeal. 3:9 "For then I will give to the peoples purified lips, That all of them may call on the name of the LORD, To serve Him shoulder to shoulder. 3:10 "From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My worshipers, My dispersed ones, Will bring My offerings. 3:11 "In that day you will feel no shame Because of all your deeds By which you have rebelled against Me; For then I will remove from your midst Your proud, exulting ones, And you will never again be haughty On My holy mountain. 3:12 "But I will leave among you A humble and lowly people, And they will take refuge in the name of the LORD. 13 Zephaniah 3:13-17 3:13 "The remnant of Israel will do no wrong And tell no lies, Nor will a deceitful tongue Be found in their mouths; For they will feed and

lie down With no one to make them tremble. 3:14 Shout for joy, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! 3:15 The LORD has taken away His judgments against you, He has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; You will fear disaster no more. 3:16 In that day it will be said to Jerusalem: "Do not be afraid, O Zion; Do not let your hands fall limp. 3:17 "The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. 14 Zephaniah 3:18-20 3:18 "I will gather those who grieve about the appointed feasts-They came from you, O Zion; The reproach of exile is a burden on them. 3:19 "Behold, I am going to deal at that time With all your

oppressors, I will save the lame And gather the outcast, And I will turn their shame into praise and renown In all the earth. 3:20 "At that time I will bring you in, Even at the time when I gather you together; Indeed, I will give you renown and praise Among all the peoples of the earth, When I restore your fortunes before your eyes," Says the LORD. 15 The Minor Prophets Southern Kingdom Northern Kingdom Other Hosea Joel Joel Amos Obadiah

Jonah Micah Micah Nahum Habakkuk Habakkuk Zephaniah Zephaniah Haggai Haggai Zechariah Zechariah Malachi Malachi Hosea Amos Obadiah Jonah Nahum Introduction

Zephaniah means Whom the Lord hides (or protects). He was born during the latter part of the reign of Manasseh (686-642 b.c.); 2 Kgs 21:16. Zephaniah was a contemporary of Jeremiah. 16 Zephaniah: Zephaniahs prophecy was given after Josiahs revival, for these reasons: 1) Cutting off the remnant of Baal worship implied that a religious awakening was in progress (Zeph 1:4). 2) Jeremiah, who prophesied long after 622 (as well as before), de- scribed Judahs religious and moral condition much as did Zephaniah Jer 8:2; 19:13 with Zeph 1:5; Jer 5:2, 7 with Zeph 1:5b;

Jer 8:8-9 with Zeph 3:4 3) The fact that the kings sons wore foreign apparel suggests that they were old enough to make their own choices (Zeph 1:8). 17 Zephaniah: Dating Authentication 4) Zephaniahs frequent quotations of the Law suggest that he was using the sources discovered by Hilkiah Zeph 1:13 with Deut 28:30, 39; Zeph 1:15 with Deut 4:11; Zeph 1:17 with Deut 28:29; Zeph.2:2 with Deut 28:15-62 5) Zephaniahs message of impending judgment would be appropri-ate for those who spurned the religious revival under Josiah. Thus his prophecy was given sometime after the time of

Josiahs revival in 622 b.c., but before the destruction of Nineveh in 612 b.c. which Zephaniah indicated was still in existence then as the capital of the Assyrian Empire (Zeph 2:13). 18 Zephaniah: Dating Authentication Judah was benefiting from a power vacuum among the superpowers of the day, so much so that King Josiah extended his influence militarily as far north as Naphtali. Assyria which had carried off the 10 Northern tribes in 722 b.c., under Sargon II was rapidly suffering eclipse. When Sinsharishkun (623-612 b.c.), Ashurbanipals son, was reigning over Assyria, the Neo-Babylonian Empire began to emerge under Nabopolassar in 626. Also the Medes, under Cyaxares II in 625, pulled out from under Assyrian authority.

The collapse of the Assyrian Empire was delayed as the Egyptians under Psamtik I (664-609 b.c.) allied with them, but a coalition of Medes and Babylonians destroyed Assyrias capital city, Nineveh, in 612. 19 Zephaniah: Historical Setting 20 Zephaniah: Historical Setting Before Josiahs reign, Manasseh (695-642 b.c.) and Manassehs son Amon (642-640 b.c.) had introduced wicked practices into Judah. Josiah was encouraged to remove Assyrian religious practices from Judah. As a result Judah prospered politically.

Manasseh built altars to Baal and worshiped the sun, moon, and stars. He built altars to these stellar objects and placed them in the temple courts (2 Kings 21:4-5) He made a carved Asherah pole (an image of the goddess Asherah) and placed it in the temple (2 Kgs 21:7). Child sacrifice and astrology prospered (2 Kgs 21:6; 23:10-11) King Amon, who may have been named after an Egyptian deity, continued his fathers policies until his assassination (2 Kgs 21:19-26; 2 Chr 33:21-25). Josiah succeeded Amon in 640 b.c. at the age of 8. In 632, at age 16, Josiah began to seek after the God of his forefather David. In 628, Josiah started a reform movement in which much of the idolatry was purged from Jerusalem and Judah. About that time Jeremiah (627 b.c.) commenced his ministry and Judah moved toward independence from Assyria with a

potential revival of the idea of an undivided kingdom like that of David and Solomon. 21 Zephaniah: Historical Setting Then in the 18th year of Josiahs reign (622 b.c.) a copy of the Law was discovered by Hilkiah the high priest (2 Kgs 22:3-8). This accentuated the religious renewal, including a new enthusiasm for celebrating the Passover (2 Kgs 23:1-25; 2 Chr 35:3ff). Unfortunately the promising reform movement was superficial for it did not deeply affect the politico-religious life of the nation. Worship of Yahweh was reestablished, but idolatry was not entirely removed. This may also explain why the Priests had removed the

Ark of the Covenant and sought protection under Pharaoh Necho (2 Chr 35:3ff). 22 Zephaniah: Historical Setting Both Zephaniah and Jeremiah prophesied to a politically prospering people of coming judgment because Josiahs reform movement still went unheeded. Baal was again being worshiped (Jer 19:5; 32:35). This may be why the Ark spent several centuries on Elephantine Island in Egypt before being moved to Tana Kirkos Island on Lake Tana, Ethiopia. (Note: Pharaoh Necho was Ethiopian.) 23 Zephaniah: Historical Setting

One of the problems in many of the Old Testament prophecies is the juxtaposition of the immediate and far horizons (e.g., Daniel 11, before and after verse 36, et al). There are 1,845 references to Christs rule on the earth in the Old Testament. A total of 17 OT books give prominence to the event. Of 216 chapters in the New Testament, there are 318 references to the Second Coming. It is mentioned in 23 of the 27 books (exceptions are the 3 single-chapter letters to private individuals and Galatians) For every prophecy relating to His first coming, there are eight treating His Second Coming. 24 Zephaniah: Day of the Lord

The phrase The Day of the Lord occurs 7 times in this book. Judgment would begin with Gods people, Israel (Isa 2:5-3:26; Ezek 13:5; Joel 1:15; 2:1, 11; Zeph 1:7, 14; Zech 14:1). It would begin with a battle cry as the Lord summoned His enemies to prepare for battle (Isa 13:3-5; Ezek 30:2,3; Joel 1:15). It would be a day of darkness (Ezek 30:3) and fire (Zeph 1:18; Mal 4:1) It would be a day of cataclysmic events (Isa 34:4), when the earth would tremble (Joel 2:1-11). 25 Zephaniah: Day of the Lord 26 Zephaniah: Day of the Lord

The Day of the Lord sometimes involves the judgment of Gods people, including: the Northern Kingdom (at the hands of the Assyrians; Amos 5:18, 20); and Judah (at the hands of the Babylonians; Lam 1:12; 2:1, 2122; Ezek 7:19; 13:5; Zeph 2:2-3). Sometimes this judgment appears in the context of a more universal judgment on all nations (Isa 2:12; Zep 1:18). These examples of the Lords intervention in history prefigure that final time period when He will annihilate His enemies on a more universal scale and restore Israel. 27 Zephaniah: Day of the Lord The Day of the Lord, however, as other Scriptures show, will include other events: 1) Before Israels enemies will be destroyed they will plunder

and devastate Israel (Zech 14:1-2). This will be a time of anguish for Israel (Zeph 1:7-18; Dan. 12:1) Jesus called this time period (the Great Tribulation) a time of great distress for the nation (Mt 24:21). 2) After the Lord will destroy His enemies (at Messiahs return) the day of the Lord will include a time of blessing for Israel, known as the Millennium (Obad 15; Obad 21). 3) Then, after the Millennium the day of the Lord will also include the destruction of the present heavens and earth and the making of new heavens and a new earth (2 Pet 3:10, 12-13). The Day of the Lord will thus be a lengthy time period including both judgment and blessing. It will begin soon after the Rapture and will include the seven-year Tribulation, the return of the Messiah, the Millennium, and

the making of the new heavens and new earth. In the Day of the Lord, Babylon (Isa 13:1, 6, 9), Egypt (Jer 46:10-11), Edom (Obad 1,15), and other nations (Joel 2:31; 3:14; Obad 14) would be laid waste as God intervened to punish sin that had come to a climax. 28 Zephaniah: Day of the Lord The Day of the Lord will begin with the Tribulation period, The time of Jacobs Trouble: In OT: Jer 30:7; Isa 24:20-21; 26:20-21; 34:1-3; Joel 1:15; 2:2; Amos 5:18; Zeph 1:14-18; in NT: Rev 6:16-17; 11:18; 14:19; 15:1, 7; 16:5-7; 19:1, 2; and, it would embrace the entire Millennium. It was spoken of as: a day of visitation (1 Pet 2:12);

a day of judgment (2 Pet 2:9); and, a day of wrath (Rev 6:17). 29 Zephaniah: Day of the Lord 30 Chiasmic Structure Judgment on all the earth Judgment on Judah and Jerusalem 1:4-2:3 Judgment on the surrounding nations 2:4-15 Judgment on Jerusalem 3:1-7 1:2-3

31 Zephaniah 1 A warning of impending judgment The judgment announced Zeph 1:2-6 The judgment defined Zeph 1:7-13 The judgment described Zeph 1:14-18 32 Decree of

Cyrus Babylon 1st Siege Persian Empire Decree of Artaxerxes 2nd Siege Triggers the 70 Weeks of Daniel 3rd Siege Servitude of the Nation Desolations of Jerusalem Jeremiah Zephaniah Daniel Ezekiel

2nd Chronicles Esther Haggai Ezra Zechariah Nehemiah Malachi The day of the Lord is an important biblical concept that we must take seriously, because it tells us where things are going and how theyre going to end. During the day of the Lord, God will send tribulation to the world,

judge the nations, save His people Israel, and then establish His righteous kingdom. God warns the world that judgment is coming, and its foolish for anybody to be unprepared. Where will you hide on that great day? (Zeph. 2:3). 33 Zephaniah 1-2 THERES A GREAT DAY COMING! 34 Zephaniah 1-2 THERES A GREAT DAY COMING! You would expect that Zephaniah, the great-great-grandson of King Hezekiah, to be living comfortably in Jerusalem, enjoying a life of ease.

Instead, you find him ministering as Gods prophet, which was a dangerous calling. His contemporary, Jeremiah, was arrested and put in a filthy cistern for admonishing the leaders of Judah to surrender to the Babylonians. God had shown Zephaniah that judgment was coming upon Judah in the form of the Babylonian captivity, and the prophet had to share this message with the people. However, Babylons invasion of Judah was but a weak example of what would occur on that final day of the Lord, which would sweep over all the earth. 35 Zephaniah 1-2 THERES A GREAT DAY COMING! Zephaniah opened his book by presenting three graphic pictures

of the day of the Lord. The first picture is that of a devastating universal flood (Zep 1:23). The Hebrew word translated consume in the KJV means to sweep away completely. The picture is that of total devastation of all that God created and is probably a reference to Noahs flood. You find similar wording in Gen. 6:7; 7:4; 9:810. 36 Zephaniah 1-2 THERES A GREAT DAY COMING! God gave man dominion over the fish, the fowl, and the beasts (1:28; Ps. 8:78), but man lost that dominion when Adam disobeyed God. Through Jesus Christ, mans lost dominion will one day be restored (Heb. 2:59).

God will not only destroy His creation, but He will also destroy the idols that people worship the stumbling blocks that offend the Lord (Ezek. 14:18). When God stretches out His hand, it means that judgment is coming (Isa. 9:12, 17, 21). In Zephaniahs day, idolatry was rife in Judah, thanks to the evil influence of King Manasseh. 1] The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. Zephaniah identifies himself better than any of the other minor prophets four generations, the great-great-grandson of Hezekiah and thus of royal blood. 37

Zeph 1:1 Kings of Judah 1] The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. Ahaz Hezekiah: 12th king of Judah; son of the unbelieving Ahaz; ascended the throne at the age of 25 in 726 b.c. Of his faithfulness it is written: He trusted in the Lord God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him, for he clave to the Lord, and departed not from following Him but kept His commandments (2 Kgs 18:5). 38

Zeph 1:1 Kings of Judah 39 Zeph 1:1 1] The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. Manasseh: Son born to Hezekiah 12 years before his death. Manassehs reign was the longest of the reigns of Judahs kings, 55 years (2 Kgs 21:1-18; 2 Chr 33:1-20). He filled Jerusalem with blood: Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah that whosoever heareth it both his ears shall tingle, and I

wilt stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria and the plummet of the house of Ahab (i.e. I will destroy it as I did Samaria and Ahab), and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, turning it upside down, (2 Kgs 21:13, 16; 24:4). Kings of Judah 1] The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. Amon: Possibly the name was given by Manasseh, when an idolater, from the Egyptian god. He reigned from 642 b.c. to 640 b.c. (2 Kgs 21:19; 2 Chr 33:20). His own servants conspired and slew him in his own house, and in their turn were slain by the people, who raised his son Josiah to the throne.

40 Zeph 1:1 41 Jehoahaz Jehoiakim Jehoiachin Zedediah Bad News Losers: Deterioration leads to Babylonian Captivity Kings of Judah 42

Zeph 1:1 1] The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. Josiah He had royal blood in his veins, but more important, he had the message of God on his lips. Josiah came to the throne at the age of eight, and at the age of sixteen he committed himself to the Lord. Religious idolatry was rampant because his father, Amon, had reverted to Manassehs (55 years of) earlier evil practices. When he was twenty, he began a great reformation in the land, pulling down the idols and judging the false priests and prophets. He then began to rebuild the temple and led the nation in a celebration of the Passover.

Kings of Judah 43 Zeph 1:1 1] The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. ...in the days of Josiah: Zephaniah was the swan song of the Davidic kingdom and he is credited with giving impetus to the revival during the reign of Josiah, the happiest in Judahs experience. Zephaniah saw deeper: he saw the hearts of the people, and he knew that their religious zeal was not sincere. The reforms were shallow; the people got rid of the idols in their homes, but not the idols in their hearts. The rulers of the land were still greedy and disobedient, The city of Jerusalem was the source of all kinds of wickedness

in the land. Kings of Judah 1] The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. Even today, many believers lack discernment and think that every religious movement is a genuine work of the Lord. Sometimes outward reformation only prepares the way for a work of the devil (Mt 12:4345). 44 Zeph 1:1 Kings of Judah

1] The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. Huldah Chuldah The Prophetess. The king, high priest, counselors, etc., appealed to her rather than to the priests, Levites, or Jeremiah; Her word was accepted by all as the word of Yahweh (2 Kgs 22:14-20; 2 Ch 34:22-29). 45 Zeph 1:1 Assyria 1] The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the

son of Amon, king of Judah. In 721 b.c., under Sargon II (722-705 b.c.) Assyria overran the Northern Kingdom and deported them throughout their empire (2 Kgs 17). Residents of the upper classes of people in Babylonia and Syria were then settled in the cities of Samaria. This manner of mixing peoples had been instituted by Tiglath-pileser III as a means of minimizing the chances of rebellion among the subjugated peoples; 2 Kgs 17:24. These merged peoples became the Samaritans of the later years (Jn 4:9, etc.). 46 Zeph 1:1 Assyria 47

Zeph 1:1 1] The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. Sargon had scarcely completed the overthrow of Israel when he was faced with the rebellion in Babylonia. No sooner had this been put down when he became entangled in campaigns in Asia Minor and Urartu (ancient Armenia). When he died, he was followed on the throne successively by: Sennacherib (705-681 b.c.), Esarhaddon (680-669 b.c.), and Ashurbanipal (669-633 b.c.). Assyria 48

Zeph 1:1 1] The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. Sennecharib likewise became involved in suppressing revolts as far west as Cilicia, where he captured the city of Tarsus in 698 b.c. He was murdered by his sons. Esarhaddon succeeded him, and was faced with considerable opposition from peoples to the north: the Cimmerians and Scythians. In the course of time, however, he ultimately succeeded in his invasions of Egypt. Ashurbanipal, his successor, relentlessly subjugated Egypt. Upon his death the might of Assyria began to wane and his successors could do little to quell the forces against them. Assyria

49 Zeph 1:1 1] The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. In 614 b.c. the Babylonians, aided by the Medes, overthrew the Assyrian capital of Asshur and in 612 b.c. Nineveh suffered a similar fate. When Assyria began to decline in the face of the emergence of the Babylonians, Egypt fought two major battles against the Babylonians at Carchemish (modern Jerablus). They were nominally victorious in the first encounter (during which Josiah was tragically killed; 2 Kgs 23:29-30; 2 Chr 35:20-27; Jer 46) but were severely beaten by Nebuchadnezzar in 606 b.c., establishing Babylonian supremacy in the region. It was the invasion by the Babylonians that Zephaniah predicted in the

forthcoming passages (Zeph 1:10-17; 2:4-7, et al.). utterly consume 50 Zeph 1:2 2] I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the LORD. ...utterly consume: Utterly scrape the land. As we move further into this prophecy, we will recognize that this judgment covers more than just the land of Israel. It is a worldwide devastation that is predicted here. The Book of Revelation confirms this and places the time of this judgment as the Great Tribulation Period. During that period, this earth will absolutely be denuded by the judgments that will come upon it. This will occur right before God brings in the millennial

kingdom and renews the earth. man, beast, fowl, fishes 51 Zeph 1:3 3] I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumbling blocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the LORD. Zephaniah blends the near and far prophetic views together. The immediate judgment of Judah prefigures a far greater worldwide time of trouble to come upon Israel and the nations of the world (Dan 12:1; Mt 24:21; Rev 8:1-20:3 Jer 30:5-7; Joel 3:2-17). This would all be preparatory to Israels final restoration and

kingdom blessing (Jer 30:8-9; Joel 3:18-21; Amos 9:11-15; Zeph 3:1420; Hag 2:20-23; Zech 8:20-21; 14:16-21; Mal 4:1-4; Acts 1:6; Rom 11:25-36; Rev 20:4-6). man, beast, fowl, fishes 3] I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumbling blocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the LORD. man, beast, fowl, fishes These four are in reverse order from Creation: fish, Gen 1:20a birds, Gen 1:20b livestock and wild animals, Gen 1:24 and man Gen 1:26. 52

Zeph 1:3 53 Zeph 1:4 4] I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests; Judah and Jerusalem are to be singled out for judgment. In Zephaniahs day, idolatry was rife in Judah, thanks to the evil influence of King Manasseh. The prophet names two of the false gods that had captured the hearts of the people: Baal, the rain god of the Canaanites (Zeph. 1:4), and Malcom (Milcom, Molech), the terrible god of the Ammonites (1 Kings 11:33; Amos 5:26). The people also worshipped the host of heaven (Deut. 4:19; Jer.

19:13; 32:29) following the godless example of the idolatrous priests (Chemarim in Zeph. 1:4; see 2 Kings 23:5, 8; Hos. 10:5). 4] I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests; Chermarims means black priests. The root of the Hebrew word means either black, referring to the color of their robes (Jewish priests wore white), or zealous, referring to the frenzy of their religious ceremonies as they prostrated themselves before their gods. 54 Zeph 1:4

4] I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests; The Scriptures, beginning with the Book of Judges, teach a philosophy of human government, which you will find was true of Gods people and which has been true of every nation. 1) The first step in a nations decline is Religious Apostasy, a turning from the living and true God. 2) The second step downward for a nation is Immorality. 3) The third step downward is Political Anarchy. 55 Zeph 1:4 The Church of Laodicea 56

Zeph 1:4 4] I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests; This betrayal of Christ in the name of Christianity is one reason for the moral and spiritual malaise with which this country is afflicted. Judgment begins with the household of God (1 Pet 4:17). Churches no longer influence the development of national character. In our culture, there is no longer any connection between character and destiny. People go to church mainly because of an impulse to participate in a service of entertainment, not because of any spiritual guidance they expect from the clergyman. the church of the Laodiceans

57 Rev 3:14-22 14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. Five Reasons for the Decline and Fall of Rome 1) The undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home as the basis of society; 2) Higher and higher taxes; the spending of public money for free bread and circuses; 3) The mad craze for pleasure; sports and entertainments (ever more violent); 4) The building of great armaments, even though the enemy was within; 5) The decay of religion, fading into mere form, losing power to guide the people. [Source: Gibbon (a non-Christian historian).] 58

Zeph 1: the Decline and Fall of Rome 59 Zeph 1:5 5] And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship and that swear by the LORD, and that swear by Malcham; ...host of heaven (Baalim, astral deities): the sun, moon, stars... Mars! Baal (Mars) was the son of El, in the Canaanite pantheon, the god of war. His sister-consort was Anath. Malcham is the name of Molech, the god of the Ammonites. Sacrifice of children in Hinom Valley...while they still professed Temple worship. We also sacrifice children, in the Holy of Holies: ye are the

temple of God. After Zephaniah said that God would remove the false priests, he then referred to three forms of idolatrous worship, introducing each of them by the phrase those who. First, he noted the worshipers of stellar bodies, people who bow down on flat housetops (Jer 19:13; 2:29) as starworshipers through which the powers of nature were supposedly harnessed. The sun, moon, and stars were regarded as deities. Though God had clearly warned against this practice (Deut 4:19), Manasseh led the way in this perversion also (2 Kgs 21:3, 5; 2 Kgs 23:4-5). 60 Zeph 1:5 Three Forms of Idolatry 61

Zeph 1:5 Three Forms of Idolatry After Zephaniah said that God would remove the false priests, he then referred to three forms of idolatrous worship, introducing each of them by the phrase those who. Second, Zephaniah mentioned those who attempted to combine the worship of Yahweh with the worship of Molech, a form of religious syncretism. Molech was the chief god of the Ammonites (1 Kgs 11:33), a people east of the Dead Sea (Zeph 2:8-9). Jeremiah, a contemporary of Zephaniah, said the Jews were sacrificing children to Molech (Jer. 32:35; 2 Kgs 16:3; 21:6). The Hebrew Malkm (Zeph 1:5) is a variant spelling of Molech. To swear by a deity meant to pronounce an oath under the threat of punishment by that deity if one failed to carry out his oath. 62

Zeph 1:5 Three Forms of Idolatry After Zephaniah said that God would remove the false priests, he then referred to three forms of idolatrous worship, introducing each of them by the phrase those who. Third, the prophet spoke of others who were religiously indifferent and unconcerned about worshiping the true God (v. 6), even though they may not have been worshiping other gods. 63 Zeph 1:6 6] And them that are turned back from the LORD; and those that have not sought the LORD, nor enquired for him. Two groups: 1) Those who had known the truth and departed; backsliders 2) Those who are indifferent: the unsaved.

Ecumenical strategies are abhorrent to a jealous God, who puts His Word even above His name (Ps 138:2) It is easy to lose sight of the fact that Gods people had been blessed above all other nations. It was their base ingratitude to Him that finally brings down His wrath. Any form of greed or covetousness is regarded by God as idolatry (Col 3:5). We become like the gods we worship (Ps 135:18). 64 Zeph 1:6 6] And them that are turned back from the LORD; and those that have not sought the LORD, nor enquired for him. These idolaters may have claimed that they were still faithfully

worshipping Jehovah, the true and living God, but Jehovah will not share worship or glory with any other god. In turning to idols, the people had turned away from the Lord and were not seeking Him or His blessing. They were guilty of sins of commission (worshipping idols) and omission (ignoring the Lord). 6] And them that are turned back from the LORD; and those that have not sought the LORD, nor enquired for him. If Satan has any part of your heart, he will have it all; If the Lord have but half offered to Him, He will have none. 65 Zeph 1:6 Nonlinearities The second picture is that of a great sacrifice. Since the Jewish people were accustomed to attending communal sacrifices (1 Sam. 9:11), this image was familiar

to them. But this sacrifice would be different, for it was God who was hosting the sacrifice. His guests were the Babylonians; and the sacrifices to be offered were the people of Judah! No wonder the prophet called for silence as he contemplated such an awesome event! (Amos 6:10; 8:3; Hab. 2:20) Other instances of judgment depicted as sacrifice include: Isa 34:57; Jer 46:10; Eze 39:1719; Rev 19:1721. 66 Zeph 1:7-13 7] Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests. Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: The lack of reverence for God today:

the notion that Jesus is sort of a buddy; that God is the man upstairs; that we can indulge in casualness about our Creation and our Redemption 67 Zeph 1:7 7] Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests. ...the day of the Lord: first mention in this book. It will begin when the Church leaves this Earth. The 1st of 19 references in Zephaniah to the day, that day, a day, the day of the Lords wrath, and similar phrases referring to the day of the Lord. Here, there is no definite article; this is but a precursor; Rv

1:10 ...the Lord hath prepared a sacrifice...: Biting sarcasm? His guests will be the sacrifice Guests ( vs. the called ones = Zeph 2:3?). 68 Zeph 1:7 69 Zeph 1:8 8] And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORDS sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the kings children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel. You would expect the royal family and the religious leaders of the land to be the honored guests at Gods feast, but they are the ones to be sacrificed! In addition to the idolaters, Judahs royalty were also the objects of Gods

scorn; they included princes Jer. 36:12; Hos 8:4 (officers of the kings court;), Josiahs sons, and the aristocracy They evidenced their disobedience by wearing the latest fashions from Nineveh and Babylon (foreign clothes). The Lord had made some stipulations about Israelite dress (Num 15:38; Deut 22:1112). Adopting foreign dress outwardly most likely implied that they also had absorbed foreign values and practices inwardly. 70 Zeph 1:8 8] And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORDS sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the kings children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel. Zedekiahs children killed, his eyes put out...2 Kgs 24-25 [Jer 32:4;

Ezek 12:13]. Huldah the prophetess had intimated that which Zephaniah now more expressly foretells (2 Kgs 22:20). Josiahs sons were certainly punished: His son Jehoahaz reigned only three months and then was captured by Pharaoh Neco II and taken to Egypt (2 Kgs 23:31-34). Josiahs wicked son Jehoiakim, who reigned for 11 years (2 Kgs 23:36) was defeated by Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kgs 24:1-2); Jehoiakims son Jehoiachin reigned only three months in 597 and was taken captive to Babylon (2 Kgs 24:8-16). Judahs last king, Zedekiah, another of Josiahs sons, was blinded by Nebuchadnezzar and taken to Babylon (2 Kgs 24:18-25:7). 71 Zeph 1:9 9] In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters houses with violence and deceit.

...leap on the threshold: In imitation of the Philistine fear of not treading on the threshold, This superstition arose from the head and hands of Dagon being broken off on the threshold before the ark (1 Sam 5:4,5, Ezek 9:3; 10:4; 46:2; 47:1). This was viewed superstitiously as the abode of demons, thus a place of particular danger. In Roman times, it finds expression in carrying a bride across the threshold, etc. 72 Zeph 1:9 9] In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters houses with violence and deceit. Perhaps those that leap on the threshold describes the haste

with which the covetous Jews left their houses to go out to exploit the poor and acquire wealth to devote to their false gods. The prophets condemned the rich for their brutal treatment of the poor in the land. 10] And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that there shall be the noise of a cry from the fish gate, and an howling from the second, and a great crashing from the hills. Zephaniah must have been a resident in Jerusalem - he knew the layout of the city. When the Babylonians, Gods guests, would come to the sacrificial feast, they would enter the city, plunder it, and then destroy it. The Fish Gate was where the fishermen had their markets; The second quarter was where the rich people lived in their fashionable houses, built from the wages owed to poor laborers.

73 Zeph 1:10 10] And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that there shall be the noise of a cry from the fish gate, and an howling from the second, and a great crashing from the hills. ...the fish gate = Damascus Gate. 74 Zeph 1:10

75 Zeph 1:11 11] Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off. Maktesh = mortar, or deep hollow, possibly because the district lay in a part of Jerusalem that was in a natural depression. It was the market and business district of the city where the merchants and bankers were located - the Tyropean Valley, cheesemakers valley along the temple where the Wailing Wall is today. But perhaps there is a double meaning here: God would deal with His people the way women pound grain in a mortar. 76

Zeph 1:12 12] And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil. ...search Jerusalem with candles: the search for leaven on Passover The city would be destroyed, and the merchants wealth confiscated. So thoroughly would the Babylonians do their work that they would search the city carefully and find even the people who were hiding. Josephus wrote about a later invasion in which the citys aristocracy were literally dragged from the sewer system where they hid for fear of death. 77

Zeph 1:12 12] And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil. ...settled on their lees: hardened or crusted; They were like wine that sits undisturbed for a long time (Jer. 48:11; Amos 6:1) and congeals because it isnt poured from vessel to vessel to get rid of the bitter dregs. The worship of false gods had polluted the nation, and the pure wine had become bitter. The tragedy is that the invasion could have been avoided if the people had not been so complacent and indifferent toward what God was saying through His prophets. Judah was certain that the Lord was on their side because they were Gods covenant people.

13] Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof. After grapes are squeezed, wine is allowed to stand in a vat so the accumulation of sediment can settle to the bottom. If it stands too long, it becomes thick and syrupy and unpalatable. The people of Jerusalem is compared to the dregs proverbially settles on their lees (Jer 48:11), illustrating their stagnancy and inability to have moved in time. [Spiritual indifference in our day?]. 78 Zeph 1:13 14] The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD:

the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. The prophets third picture of the day of the Lord is that of a great battle. vv.14-18 goes beyond the local, prefiguring, invasion The description is a vivid one: You can hear the cries of the captives and the shouts of the warriors; You can see thunderclouds of judgment and flashes of lightning; You behold the victims blood poured out like cheap dust and their entrails like filth (v. 17 niv). 79 Zeph 1:14 80 Zeph 1:14

14] The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. ...is near: Grammatically this verse stresses the word near, which is first in the sentence in Hebrew (near in v. 7, where it also appears in this emphatic position). The fearful wrath of God was to come on the nation quickly. The Great Tribulation is yet future. In Zephaniahs day, after Josiah ruled, there never arose another good king Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedediah: every one corrupt. 81 Zeph 1:14 14] The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD:

the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. Zephaniah wrote shortly after 622 b.c., the year of Josiahs partial revival, their day of the Lord was in fact imminent. In 605 b.c., only 17 years after Josiahs revival, Judah under Jehoiakim became a vassal of Babylon and many of Judahs best young men were deported. Under Jehoiakims equally wicked successor, Jehoiachin, the city was again besieged by Nebuchadnezzar in 597 b.c. and some 10,000 Jews were deported. Under Zedekiah the city was under a long siege by Nebuchadnezzar and was finally destroyed in the summer of 586 b.c. 82 Zeph 1:14 14] The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and

hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. Verses 14b-16 describe the physical characteristics of that awful day, Verses 17-18 describe the personal trauma of that judgment. cry there bitterly: The concept of the Wailing Wall would come into existence. 15] That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, ...wasteness and desolation: shoah and haAvm. umeshoah similar sounds convey the alliteration of Destruction, Distress, Desolation, and Darkness [Feinberg]. 83

Zeph 1:15 16] A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. ...trumpet and alarm: Sound the alarm; but it is against the fenced cities, etc. The trumpets precede the bowls: Rev 8ff 84 Zeph 1:16 17] And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. What a scene of destruction and carnage, and all because the nation refused to submit to the word of the Lord.

85 Zeph 1:17 86 Zeph 1:18 18] Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORDS wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land. The fire of Gods jealous zeal would consume everything, and no one would escape. The Hebrew word translated jealously (1:18; 3:8) means to be hot, to be inflamed. Gods jealousy is not like human envy, for what could God envy when He has everything?

He is jealous over His name and His glory, and His anger is aroused when His people worship other gods (Ex. 34:14; Ps. 78:58; 79:5). God is jealous over His people and wants their wholehearted love and devotion. 87 Zeph 1:18 18] Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORDS wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land. Even the wealthy would not be able to ransom their lives, and the enemy would take away their ill-gotten riches. 88

Zeph 1:18 18] Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORDS wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land. What Zephaniah described here is but an illustration of what will happen in the end times when Gods judgment falls on a wicked world, only that final day of the Lord will be far more terrible (Rev. 6-19). There will be cosmic disturbances that will affect the course of nature and cause people to cry out for a place to hide (Amos 5:18; 8:9; Joel 2:12, 10, 3032; Rev. 6:1217). God not only judges His own people, but also the nations. He is gracious, and not willing that any should perish. He sends out a final call before judgment.

1] Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; It is not that He does not love them; It is because of their shameless sin. 89 Zeph 2:1 2] Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORDS anger come upon you. Note the tone of urgency here. Repentance before the judgment comes, before its too late. Judge not. Just going to church doesnt make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car. Every saint has a PAST...

Every sinner has a FUTURE! 90 Zeph 2:2 91 I was shocked, confused, bewildered As I entered Heavens door, Not by the beauty of it all, Nor the lights or its decor. But it was the folks in Heaven Who made me sputter and gasp The thieves, the liars, the sinners, The alcoholics and the trash. There stood the kid from seventh grade Who swiped my lunch money twice. Next to him was my old neighbor

Herb, who I always thought Who never said anything nice. Was rotting away in hell, Was sitting pretty on cloud nine, Looking incredibly well. A Snapshot of Heaven I nudged Jesus, Whats the deal? I would love to hear Your take. Howd all these sinners get up here? God mustve made a mistake. And why is everyone so quiet, So somber -- give me a clue. Hush, child, He said, theyre all in shock. No one thought theyd be seeing you. 92

Zeph 2:3 the LORDS anger. 3] Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORDS anger. ...shall be hid in the day of the Lords anger: Most modern English translations use some form of the word shelter which gives both the idea of hiding and that of protection (JB, NAB, NEB, NIV, NJV). Perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the wrath of the Lord: A remez? A hint of something deeper Rev 3:10. A Rapture hint? OT Remezim: Is 26:19-21; Ps 27:5; Zep 2:3: Ye shall be hid. Ye shall be preserved in the time of judgment. This recalls the prophets name, which means: Whom the Lord hides. 93

Zeph 2:3 Whats In a Name? 3] Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORDS anger. They would be sheltered lit., hidden, concealed, from... sathar, to hide, conceal carefully; a synonym of... tsaphan to hide, treasure, or store up, hide from discovery; which is associated with the name Zephaniah: Tsephanyah, Jehovah has protected, treasured Protected from...the impending doom of Gods anger (Zep 2:2). 94 Zeph 2:3 Old Testament Allusions? 3] Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek

meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORDS anger. Isaiah 26:19-21 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain. Psalm 27:5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. 3] Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the

LORDS anger. Enoch and the Flood of Noah (Gen 5:24). Isaacs Absence after his offering (Gen 22:19 24:62). Ruth during the Threshing Floor Scene (Ruth 3:7-9). Daniels absence from the Fiery Furnace (Daniel 3). 95 95 Zeph 2:3 Old Testament Patterns 96 96 Zeph 2:3 3 Groups Facing Flood of Noah 3] Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORDS anger.

Those that perished in the Flood Those preserved through the Flood Those removed prior to the Flood Enoch Born on: Hag Shavuot * Enoch Translated on : Hag Shavuot * Church born on: Hag Shavuot * * = Feast of Weeks, Harvest, Pentecost 3] Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORDS anger. Lesson: Avoid exclusionary truth (e.g., hyperdispensationalism?) The Gospels only apply to rejecting Israelites? (Rom 15:4; 2 Tim 3:16; et al.). Spiritual gifts only until canon complete? Canon incomplete? (Rev 10:3,4). Inoculation: a mild dose to make one immune to the real thing. Remedy: Whole Counsel of God (Acts 20:27).

Dont be willingly ignorant: (2 Pet 3:3-6). 97 Zeph 2:3 Exclusionary Truth 98 Zeph 2:3 3] Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORDS anger. Unless you know Jesus Christ as your own Savior, you will have no place to hide. This explains why the prophet closed this message with a plea for the people to repent of their sins and turn to the Lord for His forgiveness.

Like the prophet Joel (2:16), he told them to call a solemn assembly and seek the Lord. 3] Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORDS anger. Zephaniah especially called upon the godly remnant (you meek of the earth) to pray and seek Gods face, perhaps referring to the promise in 2 Ch 7:14. But even if the majority of the nation followed false gods and turned away from the Lord, God would still protect His own precious remnant when the day of Judgment comes (Mal. 3:1618). 99 Zeph 2:3

3] Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORDS anger. Zephaniah and Jeremiah ministered during the same period in history, Both of them begged the rulers to trust God and turn from sin, but the kings, officials, and priests refused to obey. God would have rescued the nation at the last minute, but the leaders were insensitive to Gods call and disobedient to His Word. 100 Zeph 2:3 101 Zeph 2:3

3] Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORDS anger. The Lord did spare a godly remnant that stayed true to Him throughout the seventy years of captivity. They were a company of the committed, who became the nucleus of the restored nation when they returned to the land. In every period in history it is the godly remnant that keeps the light burning when it seems as if the darkness is about to cover the earth. God is keeping His book of remembrance (Mal. 3:1617), and you and I want our names in that book. The Day of the Lord and the Gentiles Gods judgment begins in the house of the Lord (1 Peter 4:17), which explains why Zephaniah started with the

people of Judah; Now he explains how the day of the Lord will affect the Gentile nations surrounding Judah. Though they were never given Gods law as were the Jews (Ps. 147:1920), the Gentiles are still responsible before God; God has revealed Himself to them in creation and conscience (Rom. 1:18). 102 Zeph 2:4-15 The Day of the Lord and the Gentiles Furthermore, these nations had not always treated the Jews kindly, and now the time had arrived for God to judge them. The nations named may represent all the Gentiles, since these nations correspond to the four points of the compass:

Assyria (north), Cush (south), Moab and Ammon (east), and Philistia (west). During the great day of the Lord, all the nations of the earth will taste the judgment of God. 103 Zeph 2:4-15 4] For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up. The Doom of Israels neighbors (from Zeph 2:4 - 3:8). God is not a local deity: Philistines in the west v.57 Moabites and Ammonites in the east

Ethiopians in the south v.12 Assyrians in the north v.1315 v.811 104 104 Zeph 2:4 Judgment of the Nations Philistia 4] For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up. The Philistines were ancient enemies of the Jews (Gen. 2021, 26). According to Amos 1:68, they took Jewish people captive from cities in southern Judah and sold them to

other nations as slaves. But the time would come when their populous cities would be empty and their land left desolate, a place for shepherds to feed their flocks. Their coastal cities, made wealthy by vast shipping enterprises, would be destroyed by the enemy and left in ruins. 105 Zeph 2:4 4] For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up. Nebuchadnezzar invaded Philistia and conquered it, and the only remnant of that great nation left today is the name Palestine, which comes from Philistine (Ezek. 25:15 28:26).

However, the Jews will inhabit the land of the Philistines when the kingdom is established, and the Lord will enable them to live in peace. Zephaniah will later have more to say about this when he describes the kingdom blessings (Zeph. 3:920). 106 Zeph 2:4 Philistia Zeph 2:4 Philistines 4] For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up. Four of the cities of the Philistines Gath, the 5th, had already been destroyed by the Assyrian

king Sargon II in 711 b.c. Gaza is certainly problematic today and Ashkelon is a desolation. The present Ashkelon is not over the ruins of the old city. Zeph 2:5 Philistines 5] Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the LORD is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant. The Cherethites were a people (of Hamitic descent) came from the island of Crete (Deu 2:23; Jer 47:4; Amo 9:7) migrants who came to be known as Philistines (which means emigration (Ps 83). Zeph 2:6

Philistines 6] And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks. ...cottages: Rather, dwellings with cisterns (that is, watertanks dug in the earth) for shepherds. The Hebrew for dug cisterns, Ceroth, seems a play on sounds, alluding to their name Cherethites (Zeph 2:5): Their land shall become what their national name implies, a land of cisterns. Instead of a thick population and tillage, the region shall become a pasturage for nomad shepherds flocks. Zeph 2:7 Philistines 7] And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of

Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the LORD their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity. You can visit the beaches and apartments at Ashkelon and see this. However, they may yet be driven from this area before the final fulfillment. Now Zephaniah turns to the east: 8] I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the revilings of the children of Ammon, whereby they have reproached my people, and magnified themselves against their border. The Moabites and Ammonites originated from Lots incestuous union with his two daughters (Gen. 19:3038) They were hateful enemies of the Jews (Num. 22; Judg. 3, 10; 1 Sam. 11:15; 2 Sam. 12:26ff.). These two arrogant nations would end up like Sodom and Gomorrah, wiped off the face of the earth

(Gen. 19; note the connection here with Lot). No more would they insult either the nation of Israel or Israels God. Amos 1:13-2:3 - evidence of the wickedness and inhumanity of these two nations. The prophet promised that the Jews would occupy the land of their enemies when the kingdom is established (Eze 25:111). 111 Zeph 2: 8 Moab and Ammon Zeph 2:9 Moab & Ammon 9] Therefore as I live, saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the

residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall possess them. Here the implication seems to be that hard words spoken against Israel as the Lords people are in effect spoken against the Lord himself. ...saltpits: Found at the south of the Dead Sea. The water overflows in the spring, and salt is left by the evaporation (Judg 9:45; Ps 107:34). Zeph 2:9 Moab & Ammon 9] Therefore as I live, saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall possess them.

These nations consistently opposed Gods people: Moab: Num 22:1-6; 25:1-8; Jud 3:12ff; 2 Kgs 3:4ff; 2 Chr 20:1ff; Ezek 25:8. Ammon: Judg 11:4-33; 1 Sam 11:1-11; 2 Sam 10:1-14; 2 Chr 20:1ff; Neh 2:10, 19; 4:3-23; Jer 40:14. Their land, which for centuries had been noted for its fertility, would become a desolate waste. The Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan is one of the poorest countries in existence. 114 Zeph 2:10-11 10] This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the LORD of hosts. 11] The LORD will be terrible unto them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship him, every

one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen. Pride, against the Jew. The plight of the Edomites They will be judged for their pride and arrogance (Isa 16:6), gross immorality, idolatry (1 Kgs 11:7), and psychopathic inhumanity (2 Kgs 3:26-27). 115 Zeph 2:10-11 10] This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the LORD of hosts. 11] The LORD will be terrible unto them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen. The danger among believers today: a pride of race;

a pride of face; a pride of grace. Paul said he had nothing to glory in. If he had none, then certainly we have none! Seek: righteousness. Meekness. 116 Zeph 2:10-11 10] This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the LORD of hosts. 11] The LORD will be terrible unto them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen. ...famish all the gods of the earth: Which gods are these? ...all the idols of the heathens:

Who / What might be included in these? Cush - Ethiopians 12] Ye Ethiopians also, ye shall be slain by my sword. This nation was located in the upper Nile region. These are the descendants of Cush (Gen 10:6), including eastern Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, etc. Ethiopia had been a great nation even ruling Egypt (720654 b.c.); At times it threatened the well-being of Judah (2 Kgs 19:9; 2 Chr 14:9-13; Isa 37:9). She was to be ravaged by war; the sword; Zeph 3:10. Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian soldiers conquered this ancient nation (Ezek. 30:45). 117 Zeph 2:12

Assyria 13] And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness. Until the rise of Babylon, Assyria had been the dominant power, a ruthless people who were notorious for their pride and their cruelty to their enemies. A century and a half before, God had sent the prophet Jonah to Assyrias capital city of Nineveh to warn them of Gods judgment, and the people had repented, but successive generations went back to the old pagan ways, and Nineveh was destroyed in 612. Within the next few years, the once great Assyrian Empire simply vanished from the face of the earth, and Zephaniah saw it coming. 118

Zephaniah 2:13-15 Assyria 119 Zeph 2:13 13] And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness. The judgment is worldwide. To the north: Assyria had been dominant for centuries. Zephaniahs prophecies were in advance of the MedoBabylonian attacks. ...Nineveh: Nineveh is one of the oldest cities in the world (Gen 10:11). In Zephaniahs day it was deemed impregnable. Xenophonthe ancient Greek historian, reported that its walls stood 100 ft. high, and 50 ft. thick.

They were surrounded , by a moat 150 ft wide, and protected by 1200 towers. Nineveh 13] And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness. Diodorus Siculus refers to a legend that stated that the city would not be taken until the river became its enemy (Nahum 1:8; 2:6; 3:13, 15). History records that when the Medes and Babylonians attacked Nineveh, there was a sudden rise in the level of the Tigris River. Water began to soften the sun-dried bricks, a section of the wall collapsed, causing a breach in the defenses and the once-proud city was soon overrun and destroyed. 120

Zeph 2:13 Nineveh 121 Zeph 2:13 13] And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness. Nineveh was destroyed by Cyaxares and Nabopolassar, 625 bc The Scythian hordes, by an inroad into Media and then in the southwest of Asia are thought by many to be the forces described by Zephaniah, as the invaders of Judea, rather than the Chaldeans. For a while they interrupted Cyaxares operations; but he finally succeeded.

Arbaces and Belesis previously subverted the Assyrian empire under Sardanapalus (that is, Pul?) in 877 b.c. Nineveh 14] And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he shall uncover the cedar work. Their buildings are to be torn down. ...cormorant: by some, pelican (Ps 102:6; Isa 34:11). ...bittern: Maurer translates, the hedgehog; Henderson, the porcupine (Isa 14:23). 122 Zeph 2:14

123 qaath The first term is qaath which is translated vulture (RSV), cormorant (KJV) pelican (RV, JB) jackdaw (BJ, NJV) screech owl (NAB) horned owl (NEB) desert owl (NIV)

RSV BJ KJV JB RV NAB NEB NIV NJV Revised Standard Version La Bible de Jerusalem King James Version Jerusalem Bible Revised Version New American Bible New English Bible New International Version

New Jewish Version The qaath is found in a list of unclean birds in Leviticus 11:18 and Deuteronomy 14:17. It is also mentioned as inhabiting deserted places in Psalm 102:6 and Isaiah 34:11. This seems to make it unlikely that a water bird like the cormorant or pelican is intended, or a scavenger like the vulture. 124 qippod The second uncertain word is qippod, which is translated

hedgehog (RSV, BJ) bittern ([JV) heron (JB) porcupine (RV) desert owl (NAB) ruffed bustard (NEB) screech owl (N IV) owl (NJV) RSV BJ KJV JB RV NAB

NEB NIV NJV Revised Standard Version La Bible de Jerusalem King James Version Jerusalem Bible Revised Version New American Bible New English Bible New International Version New Jewish Version Nineveh 125 Zeph 2:15

15] This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand. Because Nineveh thought it was an impregnable city, her citizens were careless and carefree when Zephaniah made his prediction, but God brought both the people and their city down into the dust of defeat. (Nahum and Isa. 45; 47:10.) Nothing then seemed more improbable than that the capital of so vast an empire should be so totally destroyed that its site is difficult to discover. When Alexander the Great marched his armies up the TigrisEuphrates Valley, Nineveh had been so completely covered that they were unaware that beneath their feet lay the once mighty city of Nimrod (Gen 10:8-11). Yet so it is, as the prophet foretold. 126

Zeph 2:15 15] This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand. Ninevah was large, having with its suburban areas a of 60 miles and a population of at least 120,000. A city 60 miles in circumference, with walls 100 feet high, so thick that 3 chariots could go abreast on them, and with 1,200 towers, In addition to an extensive outer wall there was an inner wall with an 8-mile circumference, 50 feet thick and 100 feet high. Between the two walls was enough farmland to support the huge population 15] This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how

is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand. The picture of Ninevehs destruction is completed as the prophet reiterated that the city, though apparently quite secure, would be shamed. Its king was arrogant because of its supposed impregnability (Isa 10:12). It was known as the carefree city, as its populace felt it lived in complete safety. 127 Zeph 2:15 128 Zeph 2:15

15] This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand. Ninevehs claim (there is none besides me) was no idle boast! For approximately 200 years she was superior in strength to any other city of her time. An attack on the outer wall, begun in 614 b.c. by the Medes and Babylonians, and a combination of trickery by the attackers, carelessness by the attacked, and a natural disaster, finally brought victory to the attackers (Nah 1:10; 2:3-5; 3:11). Implications 129 Zeph 2:15

15] This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand. The precision of these prophecies are startling preview of the overthrow of the worlds nations in the end times. God has judged the nations in the past, and He will judge them in the future. America, too, is ripe. 130 Zephaniah 2:15 15] This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie

down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand. Since the predictions about the destruction of these nations have all come true, isnt it reasonable to assume that Zephaniahs other predictions will also be fulfilled? Each of these local invasions and conquests was a precursor of the end times day of the Lord, which will come upon the whole world. When the day of the Lord has run its course, Israel will be delivered, and the Lord will establish His glorious kingdom on the earth. 131 Zephaniah 2:15 15] This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie

down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand. Before we leave Zephaniah 1 and 2, we must note some practical truths that apply to believers today. First, God judges His people when they deliberately disobey His law. His people are to be different from the other nations and not imitate their ways or worship their gods (Num. 23:9; Ex. 33:16; Deut. 32:8). Be not conformed to this world is an admonition for all believers today (Rom. 12:2; see 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1). 132 Zephaniah 2:15 15] This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie

down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand. Second, Gods promise to Abraham still stands: Those who bless Israel, God will bless; those who curse Israel, God will curse (Gen. 12:13). The nations that have sinned against God by mistreating the Jews can expect Him to judge them. 133 Zephaniah 2:15 15] This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand. Finally, Gods Word is true and will be fulfilled in its time. Gods people can claim His promises and know that their God

will be faithful, and Gods enemies can be sure that His words of warning carry costly penalties. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb. 10:31). The sins of Jerusalem (v. 1-5). Failure to learn from the example of the fate of other cities (v. 6-7). The universal Day of Judgment (v.8; 1:2-3, 17-18). Renewal of the gentile nations after the judgment (v. 9-10). The Israeli Survivors (v. 11-13). 134 Zephaniah 3 135 Zeph 3: THE GLORY OF THE KINGDOM

The prophets consistently close their books with messages of hope Hope is a great motivation for obedience. The prophets wanted to encourage Gods people to submit to Gods will and do what He commanded. Gods covenant blessings come to His people only when they obey His covenant conditions. Hope expresses confidence in the faithfulness of God. The Lord will keep His promises and one day establish the kingdom. Since God will keep His promises, we ought to be faithful obeying His Word. If we obey, God will be faithful to chasten; If we confess, He will be faithful to forgive. Hope is an encouragement to the faithful remnant who remain faithful to Him. 136 THE COMPANY OF THE COMMITTED

Its difficult to belong to that company of the committed who stand true to the Lord and His Word no matter what others may do or say. Knowing that God would one day defeat their enemies and reign in righteousness would encourage the believers remnant to persist in their faithful walk with the Lord. One of the key truths found in the Minor Prophets is the presence of a godly remnant in times of moral and spiritual decay. This remnant is a small group of people whose devotion to the Lord can make a difference in the nation. If God had found as many as 10 righteous people in Sodom, He would have spared the whole city (Ge 18:32)! 137 THE COMPANY OF THE COMMITTED Israel was at its lowest ebb during the period of the Judges.

Yet God could always find a dedicated man or woman to lead His armies to deliver His people. Elijah thought he was the only faithful person left in the land, but God informed him that He had seven thousand who hadnt bowed the knee to Baal (1 Kings 19:18). Unless the Lord of hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been made like Gomorrah (Isa. 1:9 nkjv). Becoming a part of the the company of the committed is a choice we make. The company of the committed are people who are truly concerned about the will of the Lord and the character of their country, people who are distressed by evil and want to do something about it. The prophet Ezekiel had a vision of the remnant in his day: Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that

sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof (Ezek. 9:4). The NIV translates sigh and cry as grieve and lament. 138 THE COMPANY OF THE COMMITTED Whoever wrote Psalm 119 belonged to the sighers and criers of his day. Indignation grips me because of the wicked, who have forsaken your law (v. 53 niv); I am a companion of all those who fear you, and of those who keep Your precepts (v. 63 nkjv). He was an encouragement to others who belonged to the company of the committed, Those who fear You will be glad when they see me, because I have hoped in Your word (v. 74 nkjv). And he told the careless sinners in the land,

Depart from me, you evildoers, for I will keep the commandments of my God! (v. 115 nkjv). 139 THE COMPANY OF THE COMMITTED These are not people motivated by anger so much as by anguish. Anguish is what the company of the committed feel as they behold the moral and spiritual decline of the nation. Rivers of water run down from my eyes, because men do not keep Your law (Ps. 119:136 nkjv). Trouble and anguish have overtaken me, yet Your commandments are my delights (v. 143 nkjv). Theres a place for righteous anger in the Christian life (Ep 4:26), but anger alone may do more harm than good. For the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God (James 1:20 nkjv).

When righteous anger is mingled with compassion, you have anguish 140 THE COMPANY OF THE COMMITTED Each of the prophets whose writings we have studied are good examples for us to follow. First, they were totally committed to the Lord. Amos was an ordinary farmer and shepherd, untrained in the schools of the prophets; yet God called him to deliver His message at a strategic time in history. God calls laypeople to serve Him in significant places, people who have no professional ministerial training, yet who are doing great things for the glory of the Lord. 141

THE COMPANY OF THE COMMITTED Robert Murray MCheyne wrote, It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God. This statement isnt a criticism of ministerial education. God often lays hold of untrained people and trains them in His own way to accomplish His work. Theres a place in Gods vineyard for a brilliant Jonathan Edwards and also for a D. L. Moody, who probably had the equivalent of a sixth-grade education. 142 THE COMPANY OF THE COMMITTED The company of the committed is made up of people who are separated from sin (Rom. 12:12; 2 Cor. 6:14 7:1),

but who are not isolated from the real world. They arent holier than thou in their attitude toward sinners. They have the courage to be different (but not odd) and to walk the narrow road no matter what it may cost them. They are people who pray consistently for those in authority (1 Tim. 2:14). It does no good to write letters and protest if we arent praying for those leading our nation. 143 THE COMPANY OF THE COMMITTED Second, the company of the committed is composed of people who have a proper fear of God in their hearts. The prophets certainly teach the love of God toward His people and toward lost sinners, but they also remind us that

our God is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29). They believed the Word of God and knew that judgment was coming to the land. The only nation on earth that is in a special covenant relationship with God is the nation of Israel. While many of the founding fathers of the United States of America were God-fearing men, the people of the United States cant claim special privileges from God because of their citizenship. 144 THE COMPANY OF THE COMMITTED What we have are the promises of God for those of His people who will obey 2Ch 7:14 and intercede for their country. God works in response to believing prayer, and believing prayer must be based on the Word of God. The fear of the Lord is the fear that conquers every fear.

John Wesley said, Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen, such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of God on earth. He was describing the company of the committed. 145 THE COMPANY OF THE COMMITTED 146 THE COMPANY OF THE COMMITTED Third, the company of the committed is a company composed of believers who realize that God wants His people to flock together and not try to do everything alone.

The most dangerous believers are those who arent accountable to anybody but do whatever they please and think theyre serving God. They write angry letters to government officials, media people, and even local pastors, and often they dont sign their names. They seem to feel that God has called them to set everything right in the world, even though they often dont really understand the problems theyre trying to solve. 147 THE COMPANY OF THE COMMITTED Instead of belonging to the company of the committed, theyre charter members of the company of the confused. Mal 3:16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those

who fear the Lord and who meditate in His name (nkjv). A good description of the kind of company God is seeking. When you study the one another statements of the New Testament, you discover how much Christians need one another and need to minister to one another. It has well been said that you cant raise one Christian any more than you can raise one bee. Every local church has its weaknesses and faults, but it is where the family of God gathers and thats where we belong. Nobody was born into a perfect family. Yet we love our brothers and sisters and try to ignore the things that irritate us. When Jesus sent out the twelve apostles, He sent them out two by two, because two are better than one (Eccl. 4:9). People who are a part of the company of the committed dont try to go it alone.

They love one another, Pray for one another, and Seek to encourage one another. 148 THE COMPANY OF THE COMMITTED 149 THE COMPANY OF THE COMMITTED The company of the committed realize the importance of righteousness and justice in the land. Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people (Prov. 14:34 nkjv). The believers in the company of the committed seek to be salt and light in the land (Matt. 5:1316) and do all they can to prevent decay and dispel darkness.

The influence of their character, conduct, and witness promotes righteousness, whether its in their daily work, the way they vote or pay their taxes, their example, the way they raise their children, or how they invest their time and money. Nehemiah is a person who exemplifies what it means to be in the company of the committed. When he heard about the tragic condition of Jerusalem, he sat down and wept, knelt down and prayed, and then stood up and worked to change things (Neh. 1 2). He could have excused himself by arguing, Its not my fault that Jerusalem is in ruins, or I have a job to do right here in the palace. Nehemiah never read the words of Edmund Burke, but he lived by them:

It is necessary only for the good man to do nothing for evil to triumph. 150 THE COMPANY OF THE COMMITTED 151 THE COMPANY OF THE COMMITTED When you read the book of Nehemiah, you meet a man who enlisted the help of the Jewish leaders and rallied the common people to rebuild the wall of the city. He didnt try to do it alone. He was a man of prayer who trusted God to supply the needs and defeat the enemies around Jerusalem. In 52 days, the job was done, and the song of praise from Jerusalem could be heard for miles.

The company of the committed know the importance of good leadership in the nation. Everything rises and falls with leadership, claims Dr. Lee Roberson, and hes right. During the times of the prophets, the leaders of Israel and Judah were too often selfish, disobedient to Gods law, and unwilling to trust Him for the wisdom and help that they needed. The prophets warned the kings, princes, and priests that their sins would ruin the nation, but the men refused to listen. After Judah was ravaged and Jerusalem and the temple ruined, Jeremiah wrote that it had been caused by the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests (Lam. 4:13). 152

THE COMPANY OF THE COMMITTED 153 THE COMPANY OF THE COMMITTED A democracy is not a theocracy, where the king is Gods representative on earth; nor is a pluralistic society the same as the homogeneous society of the Jewish people, who were all governed by the same moral code. But leaders in a democracy should still be expected to be men and women of character, who practice honesty and integrity and who genuinely care for their people. Someone has said that A politician is concerned about his party and asks, Is it popular? The diplomat is concerned with policy and asks, Is it safe? The statesman is concerned about the good of the nation

and asks, Is it right? 154 THE COMPANY OF THE COMMITTED Edward Everett Hale, author of The Man without a Country, wrote, I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. A good motto for the company of the committed. Add to it the great words of Paul: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure (Phil. 4:13; 2:13 nkjv). Its time to be concerned. Its time to be committed.

155 Zeph 3:18 Jerusalem: Gods Jealous Anger Jerusalem is commonly called the Holy City, Nehemiah 11:1, 18; Isaiah 48:2; 52:1; Daniel 9:24; Matthew 4:5; 27:53; Revelation 11:2; 21:2; 22:19. In Zephaniahs day, the city didnt manifest much holiness! Isaiah (1:21ff.), Jeremiah (29:12ff.), and Ezekiel (4-6, 9) gave the same assessment in their day. Even the Gentiles called Jerusalem the rebellious and wicked city (Ezra 4:12, 15), and they could cite proof for their statement. Instead of being holy, the city was filthy and polluted because of shameful sin; Instead of bringing peace (Jerusalem means city of peace), the city was guilty of rebellion and oppression.

God gave His people the revelation of Himself in His Word and His mighty acts, yet they didnt believe Him or seek Him. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you doubleminded (James 4:8 nkjv). 156 Zeph 3:12 A sinning people 1] Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city! Woe to her...: Clearly identified as Jerusalem ( v.4,14). They had the Temple. Privilege creates responsibility. [Where does that put us?] Ro 3:16: Destruction and misery are in their ways. ...filthy and polluted: Pollution is on the inside: Pornography is the garbage of the ungodly.

Obscenity and violence are the garbage of the worlds entertainment. Immorality arises whenever people are treated like things and things are valued as if they were people. 157 Zeph 3:1 2] She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God. God had sent judgment: 185,000 Assyrians outside their walls scared the daylights out of them (2 Kgs 18 -19). God relieved them, but they received not correction. How about America? Riots, fires, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes yet we continue in our arrogance (and our debts),

denying the God of our heritage and flaunting our sin (Isa 5:18ff). 158 Zeph 3:2 Princes and Judges 3] Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow. Corruption among her princes and judges: God expected the civil and religious leaders of the land to take His Word seriously and lead the people in the way of righteousness. Instead, the leaders acted like ravenous beasts in the way they oppressed the people and took what they wanted from them.

Insatiable greed, devouring all in ravenous appetites, leaving nothing till the morning...sound familiar? 159 Zeph 3:3 Prophets 160 Zeph 3:4 4] Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law. The prophets were unfaithful to the Lord and His Word and dealt treacherously with the people. By their lives they brought disrespect upon the Temple, the

sanctuary of God. They didnt proclaim Gods truth; they only preached what the people wanted to hear. You do violence to the law when it is not interpreted accurately, or even left untaught. These were the theological liberals of their day. How many pastors really know the Word of God? Many resort to psychology rather than the sufficiency of Christ Priests 161 Zeph 3:4 4] Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law. The very ministry of the priests was toxic, polluting the sanctuary!

Mat 23:25-28 25 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26 "You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. 27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. 28 "So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Instead of serving God for His glory, the priests twisted the law to please themselves and gain what they wanted. Priests 162

Zeph 3:4 4] Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law. The tragedy is that God had spoken to His people and corrected them in discipline, and yet they wouldnt listen or obey (Zeph. 3:2). If in spite of these things you do not accept my correction but continue to be hostile toward me, I myself will be hostile toward you and will afflict you for your sins seven times over (Lev. 26:2324 niv). This was the message of Jeremiah to the city of Jerusalem even while Babylon was poised to attack (Jer. 2:30; 5:3; 7:8; 17:23; 32:33). 5] The just LORD is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no

shame. Gods name was identified with the city and the temple (2 Sam. 7:13; 1 Kings 5:5; Neh. 1:9), Both were represented Him Both had become cesspools of iniquity. God would have to act in judgment for His own names sake. The wicked officials met at the city gate morning after morning to transact their evil business, and the Lord was there to behold their deeds. How patiently He waited, and yet they would not repent and turn to Him for cleansing! 163 Zeph 3:5 A righteous God 164 Zeph 3:5

5] The just LORD is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame. ...no shame: What ever happened to shame? There always has been immorality but it had the sensitivity to remain hidden, not publicly condoned. Now iniquity was practiced openly without shame. In the name of political correctness and inclusiveness, Broadmindedness has become a synonym for condoning sin. It was the social acceptance of homosexuality that brought down Sodom and Gomorrah. 6] I have cut off the nations: their towers are desolate; I made their streets waste, that none passeth by: their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, that there is none inhabitant. The Jews were more guilty than were the Gentiles because

the Lord had given Israel more truth and more blessing. The people were sinning against a flood of light. Gods judgment of the other nations should have awakened the Jews to their peril, but they paid no attention. After all, they thought, they were Gods covenant people, and He would protect them from their enemies. They forgot that covenant privileges also involved covenant responsibilities. 165 Zeph 3:6 A righteous God The Coming Climax 6] I have cut off the nations: their towers are desolate; I made their streets waste, that none passeth by: their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, that there is none inhabitant.

Since the Lord reminded His people that He had judged the Gentiles and cut off nations He was able to cut Judah off as well. When studying the glory that was Rome, it is easy to see why they were confident that it would live forever. Yet when you view the ancient ruins, and the stones worn by chariot wheels, it is hard to imagine the great cities of yesterday. What about New York or Los Angeles? 166 Zeph 3:6 7] I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction; so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them: but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings. The warnings of judgment seem to have little effect.

The Jews were more guilty than the Gentiles because the Lord had given Israel more truth and more blessing. The people were openly sinning in a floodlight of truth. Gods judgment of the other nations should have awakened the Jews to their peril, but they paid no attention. They thought that because they were Gods covenant people, He would protect them from their enemies regardless of their own disobedience and willful sinning. They forgot that covenant privileges also involved covenant responsibilities. 167 Zeph 3:7 168 Zeph 3:8 A righteous God

8] Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. The Lord describes a courtroom scene in which He stands to testify against His people. While the impending Babylonian captivity is in view there is also an end-times application pointing to the Battle of Armageddon, when the nations of the world converge against Jerusalem. God will pour out His wrath upon these nations, deliver His people, and establish His kingdom (Zech. 14:19). 8] Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured

with the fire of my jealousy. ...all the earth: The Planet Earth is moving toward a definite appointment with a jealous God (Ps 2; Rev 16:13-16). His jealous anger will burn like fire against all who resist His truth and disobey His Word. The terrible day of the Lord will dawn, and there will be no escape (Zeph. 1:2 ff.) 169 Zeph 3:8 9] For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. ...then: The word then signifies a major pivot in the prophets message both in tone and in content ...a pure language:

Language that is pure? (free of blasphemies, etc.) Or pure Hebrew? (True today...) Kingdom age language? (Zech 14:9; Isa 2:2-3; Zech 8:2023; Joel 2:28-32; Hab 2:14). The confusion of Babel to be undone?? 170 Zeph 3:9 9] For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. For then I will give to the peoples purified lips, That all of them may call on the name of the LORD, To serve Him shoulder to shoulder. Zephaniah 3:9 NAS Instead, pure lips may simply mean the renewal of once defiled speech. The words spoken by ones lips reflect his inner life (Is 6:5-7) As a result the nations, turning to reverential trust in God, will

call on the name of the Lord and will evidence their dependence on Him by their united service (shoulder to shoulder). 171 Zeph 3:9 172 Zeph 3:9 The Gentiles: Gods Gracious Forgiveness 9] For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. Gods call of Abraham involved bringing Gods blessing to the whole world (Gen. 12:13). God accomplished this by giving the Jews the knowledge of the

true God, the written Word of God, and the Savior, Jesus Christ (Rom. 9:15). They were to share these blessings with the Gentiles. The Jews were supposed to magnify the Lords name before the Gentiles. Instead, they imitated the pagan nations and disgraced Gods name (Isa. 52:5; Rom. 2:24). 173 Zeph 3:9 The Gentiles: Gods Gracious Forgiveness 9] For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. The court of the Gentiles in the Jewish temple was supposed to be the place where Gentiles could talk with Jews about the true God and even pray to Him,

Israels religious leaders made that area into a market for selling sacrifices and exchanging money. What kind of testimony was that to the outsiders who were earnestly seeking the truth? The Gentiles: Gods Gracious Forgiveness 9] For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. God promises that the Gentiles shall be converted. Instead of calling on their false gods, the Gentiles will call upon the true and living God and have their lips purified. Since what we say with our lips comes from the heart (Matt. 12:3435), Cleansed lips indicate forgiven sin and a cleansed heart (Isa. 6:18). 174

Zeph 3:9 The Gentiles: Gods Gracious Forgiveness 9] For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. The Gentiles will do much more than call on the Lord and receive His cleansing; They will also serve the Lord as one people and no longer be divided (serve Him shoulder to shoulder, niv). 175 Zeph 3:9 The Gentiles: Gods Gracious Forgiveness 9] For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve

him with one consent. The prophets teach that during the Kingdom Age the Gentiles will go to Jerusalem to worship and serve the Lord (Isa. 2:1-5; 4:1-6; Ezek. 40-48; Zech. 14:9 ff.). The prophets had to use language and images that the people of their day understood, but if these predictions are not to be take literally its difficult to understand why the prophets (especially Ezekiel 40-48) wrote in such great detail. 176 Zeph 3:9 9] For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. 10] From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine

offering. The God of Israel will be the Lord of all the earth, and the Gentile nations will honor and serve Him. Along with the scattered Israelites who return to their land, the Gentiles will bring the Lord offerings and be called His worshippers. 177 Zeph 3:9-10 Worshippers 178 Zeph 3:9-10 Worshippers 9] For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. 10] From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the

daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. Before the Lords death on the cross, there was a vast difference in the relationship of Jews and Gentiles to each other and to our Lord. But the middle wall that separated them has now been taken down (Eph. 2:11), Now, both can share in the spiritual blessings that come through faith in Christ. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich unto all who call upon Him. For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Rom. 10:1213 nkjv). This miracle of Gods grace will be demonstrated in the Kingdom Age as the Gentile nations trust and worship the God of Israel. 10] From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. ...my suppliants: Falashas means migrant, or stranger. comes from the same root as Philistine ...shall bring mine offering: Some believe that the Ark of

the Covenant is hidden in Ethiopia (Acts 8). Legend: Menelik I, switching a replica with the real one in the days of Solomon, etc. Highly doubtful and improbable; however 2 Chr 35 179 Zeph 3:10 The Return 180 Zeph 3:10 10] From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. The return of the Ethiopian Jews in 1991 made history.

In 36 hours, 14,000 Jews were flown to Israel. On the Jewish Sabbath, May 24, and continuing non-stop for 36 hours, a total of 34 El Al jumbo jets and Hercules C-130s seats removed to accommodate the maximum number of Ethiopians. Some of the rows of 10 seats had 18 people crammed into them. [David Allen Lewis, Can Israel Survive in a Hostile World?, p. 240.] On May 24, 1991, a 747 carried 1,086 on just one flight, and landed with two more than they started with: two babies were born enroute, making a total of 1,088! The Remnant: Gods Bounteous Blessing 11] In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. When the terrible day of the Lord is over, Israel will be a new

nation. The Jews will look by faith upon the Messiah whom they crucified, believe in Him, and enter into a new life in the promised kingdom. 181 Zeph 3:1120 182 Zeph 3:11 Sin will be removed 11] In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. The Jews wont have to be put to shame because, when they

see Christ, They will be ashamed of what they did to the Lord and will mourn over their transgressions (Zech 12:10- 13:1). It will be a time of deep repentance and confession that will lead to salvation. God will especially deal with the pride of Israel that for centuries had kept them from submitting humbly to the righteousness of God that comes only by faith in Christ (Rom. 9:30-10:13; Phil. 3:112). 183 Zeph 3:11 Pride destroyed 11] In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain.

...no more be haughty...: The meek shall inherit the earth. There will be no place on Gods holy hill for proud sinners who think they can earn Gods salvation by their good works. Gods judgment comes on shameless immorality. Gods own can never reach a place where they are satisfied in sin. If you can live in sin and be happy you can be sure that you are not a child of God. The prodigal son was never happy in the pigpen. He was absent from his place of blessing but he never lost his sonship! 12] I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD. The three Babylonian deportations left the poor, afflicted, and crippled in Jerusalem. God is pledged to take care of the poor (Mt 5:3,5). In contrast to the proud sinners will be the believing remnant, the meek and humble, who trust in the name of the Lord

(Zeph. 3:12 niv). Faith in Christ will make everything new so that the people will no longer disobey God or practice deception. All love of idolatry will be taken from their hearts, for idols are lies and to worship them is to practice deception. 184 Zeph 3:12 Sin will be removed 13] The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid. During the years of their worldwide dispersion, in many places the Jews have been subjected to threats and intimidation, even fearing for their lives (Deut. 28:6368),

That will end when God establishes the kingdom and Christ reigns over the nations. 185 Zeph 3:1113 13] The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid. ...they shall feed and lie down: Employing the metaphor of a shepherd with his sheep (Ps 23; Jn 10). For the first time in centuries, the Jews will be able to enjoy their meals and their sleep, for all their enemies will have been defeated. The preserved company standing with the Lamb on Mount Zion when the glory is about to be displayed (Rv 14:15). [Ironside, H. A.: Notes on the Minor Prophets. Neptune,

NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1909, S. 317] 186 Zeph 3:13 187 Zeph 3:14 Gods people rejoice, singing 14] Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. This image of the motherhood of God assures forgiven sinners that God is with them, that He loves them, and that they have nothing to fear. Other passages that speak of the motherhood of God Isa 49:1416; 66:13; Mat 23:3739. Psa 131 see 1Th 2:78. The people of God sing and shout because of all that God has done for them.

He has taken away their punishment, defeated their enemies, and come to dwell with them. They have Gods presence with them and Gods power working for them (Zeph. 3:17). 14] Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. ...be glad and rejoice with all the heart: The book of Zephaniah concludes with a paragraph different in tone from the whole of the rest of the book. The faithful minority have passed through the punishment of the nation. This paragraph is similar in outlook to such passages as Isa 52:710; 54:18; Zech 2:10; 9:9. 188 Zeph 3:14

189 Zeph 3:15 Jesus is King and Lord 15] The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. The Lord has guaranteed that the people of Israel will never again be afraid. Because the Lord is the King of Israel, His people will have nothing to fear. When Pilate presented a suffering Jesus to the Jewish leaders, they rejected Him and shouted, We have no king but Caesar (John 19:15). 15] The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.

The Hebrew verbs here are in the past (the so-called prophetic perfect), but they really refer to events which are still future. The Jewish people will joyfully acknowledge that Jesus Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Phil 2:911) Instead of standing dejectedly like defeated prisoners of war, the Jews will enthusiastically shout Gods praises. 190 Zeph 3:15 16] In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. In that day: The opening words mark explicitly that the prophet is speaking about the future 191

Zeph 3:16 192 Zeph 3:17 God rejoices with singing 17] The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. This depicts the Lord singing over His children and finding joy in their presence. God holds them next to His heart like a loving mother holds a baby; He quiets them with His love singing to them! Our God is a singing God. God the Son sang at the close of the Passover Feast, and then went to the garden to pray (Matt. 26:30). He also sang after His triumphant resurrection from the dead (Ps. 22:22; Heb. 2:12). God the Spirit sings today through the hearts and lips of Christians

who praise God in the Spirit (Eph. 5:1821). 17] The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. ...mighty = gibbor, valiant warrior. ...he will save = yoshua, who saves, as Boaz, ish gibbor hayil, the mighty man who redeemed the land back to Naomi and took a Gentile bride in his acts of redemption. ...he will rest in his love: Zephaniah is called the prophet of love because of this verse. 193 Zeph 3:17 18] I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it

was a burden. The burden of having her children in exile was a reproach to the city of Jerusalem (Zech 12:10). 194 Zeph 3:18 195 Zeph 3:19 The nation will be restored 19] Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. During the seventy years of captivity in Babylon and during their worldwide dispersion among the Gentiles after AD 70, devout Jews were not able to celebrate their appointed feasts (Lv 23).

Since the destruction of the temple in AD 70, the Jewish people have had no temple, altar, priesthood, or sacrifice (Ho 3:45). The types and symbols of the Old Testament law have all been fulfilled in Christ, including the feasts and sacrifices (Heb. 10), Zephaniah intimates that these feasts will be restored in the Kingdom Age, Zechariah 14:1621 seems to support this interpretation. 196 Zeph 3:19 The nation will be restored 19] Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. Why would the Lord restore religious practices that have now been fulfilled? Possibly as a means of teaching Israel the meaning of the

doctrine of salvation through Jesus Christ. The feasts described in Leviticus 23 picture salvation history, from the slaying of the Passover lamb (John 1:29) to the day of Atonement (the cleansing of Israel) and the Feast of Tabernacles (the Kingdom Age). 197 Zeph 3:19 The nation will be restored 19] Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. The prophet Ezekiel describes in great detail the structure and services of a great temple in Israel (Ezek. 40 - 48), including the offering of the Levitical sacrifices. Just as the Old Testament types looked forward to the coming of the Savior, perhaps during the Kingdom Age these rituals

will look back to His finished work. Just like celebrating the Lords Supper celebrating communion is a remembrance ceremony for the Church. 20] At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD. Gods promise is that: His scattered people will be gathered, His lame people will be rescued, and His sinful people will be forgiven and no longer bear the shame of their wicked deeds. I will bring you home is Gods gracious promise - He will keep it. Where once the Jewish nation brought shame and disgrace to Gods name and were poor witnesses to the Gentiles, Then Israel will bring honor and praise to the Lord their God and reveal to the Gentile nations the glory of His name. Israel will receive honor from the Gentiles and give the glory to

the Lord. 198 Zeph 3:20 The nation will be restored 199 Zeph 3:20 The nation will be restored 20] At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD. The state of Israel was born on May 14, 1948, but that event, significant as it is, was not the fulfillment of Gods promise to regather His people and restore their fortunes. That promise will be fulfilled in the end times, after the Jews have experienced the day of the Lord and been prepared to

see their Messiah. Then Gods promises will be fulfilled, Gods people Israel will be restored and bring worldwide glory to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 200 Zeph 3:20 The nation will be restored 20] At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD. There is a present-day practical lesson here for any of Gods people who have strayed from His will and have experienced His chastening. When you come to Him with a broken heart, confessing your sins, He will receive you the way a loving mother receives a

disobedient child. He will love you and even sing to you! He will bring peace to your heart and quiet you in His love. We suffer for our disobedience; and sometimes we carry the scars of that disobedience for the rest of our lives. But, the Lord will forgive us (1 John 1:9), cleanse us, forget our sins, and restore us into His loving fellowship. 201 Zeph 3:20 The nation will be restored 20] At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD. There are consequences to forgiven sin; Though God in His grace cleanses us, God in His government says, You will reap what you have sown. After King David confessed his sin, the prophet Nathan

assured him that the Lord had put away his sin, but the rest of his days, David suffered the tragic consequences of what he had done (2 Sam. 12:115). 202 Zeph 3:20 The nation will be restored 20] At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD. When God establishes His kingdom on earth, He will restore His people, renew the land, and give His people a new beginning that will cause them to forget their past disobedience and focus on praising the Lord and glorifying His name. Jehovah is the God of hope. He can fill us with all joy and peace in believing so that

we can abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:13 nkjv). Is that your experience today? 203 The Millennial Kingdom Unger highlights a seven-fold description: 1) An era of supreme and exhilarating joy (Zeph 3:14); 2) An era when the Lords judgments against Israel will have been removed (Zeph 3:15a); 3) Favored with the personal presence of the Lord (Zeph 3:15b); 4) A time when Israel will not experience evil or fear (Zeph 3:15c- 17a); 5) A time when the Lord will rejoice over Israel as the special object of His love (Zeph 3:17b); 6) Represent the gathering together of the saved remnant (Zeph 3:18); 7) Preceded by the Lords judgment of Israels oppressors and

the exaltation of the saved remnant (Zeph 3:19-20). [Unger, Ungers Commentary on the Old Testament, Moody Press, Chicago, IL, 1981, 2:1939-40.] 204 ZEPHANIAH IN HIS TIME If the Hezekiah named in Zephaniah 1:1 is King Hezekiah (715 686), then the prophet Zephaniah was his great-great-grandson. His name means Jehovah hides (i.e., Jehovah protects) and describes Gods ministry of protection for His faithful people when the day of His anger arrives (2:3). Zephaniahs major theme is the day of the Lord, that period of time when God will judge the nations and usher in His righteous kingdom. Strictly speaking, any time of divine judgment could be called the day of the Lord. Local judgments were but examples of the

final day of the Lord to occur in the end times. This theme is found in almost all the prophets, but it is particularly evident in Joel and Zephaniah. The great day of the Lord is near (Zeph. 1:14 niv). The Scriptures reveal very little about Zephaniahs personal life. He ministered in Judah during the time of King Josiah (640609), who led the nation in a religious reformation triggered by the finding of the book of the law in the temple in the year 622 (2Ch 34:14) Some students call this Josiahs revival, but its doubtful that revival is the best word. Certainly the people put away their false gods and returned to the worship of Jehovah, but their motivation was not spiritual. Since the king commanded them to abandon the foreign gods, the people obeyed more from a fear of the king than a love for the Lord.

205 ZEPHANIAH IN HIS TIME 206 ZEPHANIAH IN HIS TIME The changes were only on the surface of the nation; the peoples hearts were still devoted to the false gods. No sooner was Josiah dead than the nation reverted to their old ways. What they experienced was a surface reformation but not a deep revival. Its likely that Zephaniah preached prior to this reformation, or he would have said something about it in his book. Jeremiah and Zephaniah were contemporaries.

Politically, the times were in ferment. Assyria was losing its power, the Scythians were invading from the north, and Babylon had become the leading empire. King Manasseh (697642) had led the people of Judah deeper and deeper into idolatry and the adoption of foreign ideas and customs, and Josiah had sought to reverse this trend. King Josiah died on the battlefield before his work was finished, and his successors on the throne allowed the people to return to their sinful ways. 207 ZEPHANIAH IN HIS TIME 208 YOU IN YOUR TIME

It does us little good to learn about the times of the Minor Prophets if we dont do something in our own times. Situations vary from nation to nation, but the statistics for my own country arent too encouraging. Since 1960, the rate of births to unmarried teenagers increased 200%. Since 1960, violent crime has increased by 560%. The fastest growing segment of the criminal population is children. Between 1982 and 1991, the arrest rate for juvenile murder increased 93%. The average child will watch up to 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of violence on TV by the time he or she leaves grade school. 8 out of 10 Americans can expect to be the victim of violent crime at least once in their lives. Since 1960, teen suicides have more than tripled. It is now the second leading cause of death among teens. The top problems in high schools are alcohol and drug

abuse, pregnancy, suicide, rape, and robbery. As go the homes, churches, and schools, so goes the nation. Statistics taken from the Index of Leading Cultural Indicators by William J. Bennett (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994). 209 YOU IN YOUR TIME

Recently Viewed Presentations

  • Artificial Intelligence, Vision, and Robotics

    Artificial Intelligence, Vision, and Robotics

    Artificial Intelligence, Vision, and Robotics Making computers think like humans
  • Foundations of Biology

    Foundations of Biology

    Are mitochondria really just bacterial symbionts? Timothy G. Standish, Ph. D. Outline Mitochondria - A very brief overview Endosymbiosis - Theory and evidence Archaezoa - Eukaryotes lacking mitochondria Gene expression - Mitochondrial proteins coded in the nucleus Mitochondrial genetic codes...
  • Psych 229: Language Acquisition

    Psych 229: Language Acquisition

    Arial MS Pゴシック Osaka Comic Sans MS Times New Roman Blank Presentation Microsoft Clip Gallery Psych 56L/ Ling 51: Acquisition of Language Announcements Slide 3 Slide 4 Slide 5 Same problem the child faces A little more context…
  • Chapter 6  Ancient India Section Notes Geography and

    Chapter 6 Ancient India Section Notes Geography and

    Chapter 6 Visual Summary Harappan Art ... Wrote Vedic texts, which were their thoughts about the Vedas Evolving Beliefs The Vedas, Upanishads, and other Vedic texts began blending with beliefs from different cultures, creating Hinduism. Hinduism Many deities Reincarnation: could...
  • Cloud Computing: Trend Watch for Libraries

    Cloud Computing: Trend Watch for Libraries

    Microsoft Skydrive (7GB+) ... Access to API's. ... Exposes Web services and other API's. Facilitates the services libraries offer to their users. Platform. General infrastructure for library automation. Consistent with the concept of Platform as a Service .
  • Gray Oral Reading Test 5th Edition - Mary Anderson's Portfolio

    Gray Oral Reading Test 5th Edition - Mary Anderson's Portfolio

    5th edition published in 2012 by Pearson/Psychcorp. Authors: J. Lee Wiederholt and Brian R. Bryant. Description of the Test. Consists of examiners manual, student book (form A and form B) that is read aloud. Form A examiner record booklet (25...
  • Horticulture CD Unit B1 - 9 - Seneca High School

    Horticulture CD Unit B1 - 9 - Seneca High School

    The covering of the greenhouse is referred to as the glazing. Considerations include: Durability Light transmission Cost Heating costs Flexible sheets of polyethylene are stretched over the greenhouse framework. Structured sheets, including polycarbonate, acrylic, and fiberglass, which are made with...
  • First Year Information Session - University of Waterloo

    First Year Information Session - University of Waterloo

    All of ACTSC 372, ACTSC 445, STAT 340, AFM 102 and CS 476. - ACTSC 372 will count as the other course on the "Two additional courses chosen from" list and ACTSC 445 will count as one of the "Three...