-The prophet cries out for a gathering together before the decree takes effect and the burning anger of the LORD comes upon the nation or nations. Zephaniah’s plea is to seek the LORD, humble themselves, carry out His ordinances, seek His righteousness and humility for a possible hiding in the day of the LORD’s anger (Zephaniah 2:3). *Application* “In wrath remember mercy (Habakkuk 3:2).” God will always provide a way out for those who choose to turn to Him in complete dependence and true humility (Jonah 1-4). This is His desire. He is the One who can save and deliver.
-The judgments on the prideful, arrogant, taunting nations (Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, Cherethites “Cretan Philistines,” Canaan, the Philistines, Moab, Ammon, Ethiopia, and Assyria) are given by the prophet for destruction and doom. Especially Moab and Ammon are denounced to become like Sodom and Gomorrah, which has been so destroyed as to never be found even with our modern technology. It is prophesied that they will become a “perpetual desolation (Zephaniah 2:9).” The LORD will be terrifying to them and they will be plundered by the remnant of God’s people for their sinful activities (Zephaniah 2:9-11). *Application* These predictions have come to pass. It is a stark reminder that we cannot oppose God and His people and be blessed. The blessings and favor of God are on the broken and contrite of heart (Psalms 51:7, Isaiah 66:2), not the arrogant and prideful. In our time there is a struggle under way to withdraw support for the nation of Israel for what is perceived to be political gain and world stability. The nation that refuses to bless God’s people will be doomed (Genesis 12:3). The decision is before us as a nation and nations. Who will side with, the godless nations of the world or Yahweh’s chosen?
-One other interesting note. Zephaniah 2:7 says “…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.” *Application* It is unique and inspiring to me that in our present age we see the strength of the nation of Israel along the Mediterranean coastline in places like Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Holon, Ashdod, Netanya, Petah Tikva, Rishon LeZion, and Haifa (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Israeli_cities). The power plant and economic strength of the country is right where the prophet Zephaniah said it would be in these last days as He restores their fortune.
Verse to Memorize: Zephaniah 2:3