Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
May 7, 2020
Pastor Rick Kabrick
He traces his lineage back to his great–great–grandfather, Hezekiah, king of Judah.
After the good king Hezekiah, there was Manasseh (causing to forget) the worst king, then the grandson of Hezekiah his name was Amon and then came Josiah who was just a boy.
ZEP 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.
These Pastors water down GOD’s love, making it sickening rather than stimulating, causing it to sound like a sentimental feeling rather than an abiding concern for the object of the love.
When HE sees that it is best for us to go down through the valley of suffering, that it will best for our eternal welfare.
JOH 15:1–2: “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”
The prophecy of Zephaniah presents the love of GOD. HE is a GOD of love, but make no mistake, HE is also a GOD of judgment.
Baal and the idols are going to go. You can get rid of them in righteousness or I will get rid of them in judgment.
GOD addresses the royalty of Judah in a way they aren’t used to hearing. He tells them to “shut up” and listen to HIS pronouncement of judgment.
This also describes the actual route the Babylonians would take as they came through Jerusalem in the invasion.
The people regarded all religions as equally true.
The so called enlightened regarded all religions as equally false.
The politicians regarded all religions as equally useful.
The repetition of all these similar descriptions emphasizes how bad it will be. And that was but a hint of how bad the tribulation will be.
Men trust in silver and gold or anything else they consider wealth, but it will do them no good on the day of GOD’s wrath. Human strength, human structures and human resources are all worthless for protecting one from GOD’s judgment.
All the announcement of judgment in the previous chapter is understood as a warning and as an invitation to repentance. Here the prophet pleads with the nation to repent before it is too late.
The devil’s most powerful lie isn’t that there is no GOD, or no Bible, or no Truth – his most powerful lie is that there is no hurry.
Nevertheless, today is the day of salvation.
GOD completed the circle of judgment against Israel’s neighbors by looking at Assyria and her capital city of Nineveh, which would be made a desolate city fit only for the habitation of animals and birds.
Zephaniah never mentions why the nations were ripe for judgment. Perhaps he assumed we’ve already read Amos and Isaiah and Nahum, which described the sins of these neighboring nations.
From the way that Zephaniah 2 ended we perhaps hoped that this oppressing city was Nineveh. From the references to her prophets, her priests, and the sanctuary and the law, we learn that Jerusalem was the oppressing city.
The people of Jerusalem would not listen to the good prophets who were pleading for repentance. The four groups mentioned (princes, judges, prophets and priests) had all forsaken their intended function of preserving the society.
The worst offence was saved for last. GOD has always longed for a relationship with HIS people, but they rejected HIS desire and went their own way, so she has not drawn near to her God.
When we consider who and what HE is, how much HE loves us, and what HE has done for us. And then consider who we are, it is the only thing that makes sense right? The reality that HE loves us and makes a way for us to have a relationship with HIM is truly overwhelming. It is beyond our comprehension.
The LORD is in your midst. As a believer, you know the LORD is with you.
Spurgeon wrote: “Faulty as the Church is, the LORD rejoices in her. While we mourn, as well we may, yet we do not sorrow as those that are without hope; for GOD does not sorrow, HIS heart is glad, and HE is said to rejoice with joy”
GOD will bless the Jews and bring the remnant back to Jerusalem (MY holy mountain). And there will be justice and peace in the land (3:11-13). There will be no shame either.
It will be “a day of wrath; a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements”.