-After denouncing and pronouncing the LORD’s judgment on the surrounding nations, the prophet Zephaniah gives God’s woeful word upon Jerusalem, which is rebellious, defiled, and tyrannical (Zephaniah 3:1). Jerusalem heeded no voice (the prophetic word), accepted no instruction, did not trust in the LORD, and would not draw near to her God (Zephaniah 3:2). Jerusalem’s prophets (false prophets) were reckless and deceitful men and her priests profaned the sanctuary (desecration, disobedience) and treated the law violently (hamas in Hebrew, to knock off). These knew no shame even as the LORD brought His justice to light (Zephaniah 3:5). They disappointed their God because they were eager to corrupt all their works (Zephaniah 3:7) *Application* These qualities are a detriment to any city, cultural, or society. It is no wonder God’s wrath came upon even His own chosen people for these flagrant abuses of His good Name and intentions among them. What we see is a perversion of the good for a prideful deviation, a going away from their God. If you notice any of these qualities in your own life, repent and respect the Sovereign before it is too late and destruction befalls you. He desires to protect, bless and forgive, but we must seek it and ask for it in humility (Zephaniah 3:12).
-God’s indignation will be poured out as all the earth will be devoured by the fire of His zeal (Zephaniah 3:8). At that point He will give the peoples purified lips for the purpose of calling upon the Name of the LORD for salvation and serving Him together shoulder to shoulder (Zephaniah 3:9). The proud, haughty, and self exulting ones will be removed, never again to be on His holy mountain (Jerusalem) (Zephaniah 3:11). *Application* God’s vengeance will leave behind His purification. This is the fact that we see in these verses. Bow low before Him in His presence and realize His power and authority. This is the point of this prophetic message. Reverence the LORD!
-In the remnant of Israel will be holiness with no more fear (Zephaniah 3:13, 16). There will be rejoicing as the LORD takes away His judgments and all enemies (Zephaniah 3:15, 19). He will be in their midst and they will fear distress no more (Zephaniah 3:15). The victory is assured and God will be quiet in His abounding love with shouts of joy (Zephaniah 3:17). They will be regathered into their land and their fortunes will be restored, which will produce praise and glory among all of the peoples of the earth because of the King’s greatness (Zephaniah 3:20). *Application* The turning point here is a beautiful contrast and offers hope for the end result to those who trust and follow the LORD in humility. Never give up your expectation O Christian. God is good and will in the end provide assured victory. (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aj4LqB6xr0w and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBETugAECrA)
Verse to Memorize: Zephaniah 3:17