Zephaniah 1:14 - 2:3
Zephaniah had cautioned the people of Judah that if they would not repent of their transgressions and return to God, all of Judah would be punished. This whole book is filled with the impending correction to come from God, but with love. The phrase “the day of the Lord” is stated seven times in the book of Zephaniah, and they point to judgment.
In verses 1:14-18:
Zephaniah had warned that the Babylonians would soon come and lay waste to Jerusalem. He was promising that God’s judgment would come to pass. The people had been warned but refused to listen. There is a promised final judgment to come to all mankind (Revelation 20:12-1S). As the Babylonian conquest of Judah had occurred, so is the final Day of Judgment to come. Only those who seek God’s grace and mercy, those who seek forgiveness of their sins shall be saved (Ezekiel 7:16-18; Joel 2:2; Isaiah 2:12-15; Deuteronomy 28:28-29; Psalm 79:3 & 83:10; Jeremiah 8:2 & 9:22; Matthew 15:13-14)
Money in itself is not evil man's lust and greed for money is evil. Money cannot save us from the judgment to come. The love of money can twist a person's mind to do stupid and ridiculous things which will only cause pain, grief, and despair. Christ alone is what can save us. His redemptive work on the Cross of Calvary paid for our sins.
We can turn away from the judgment to come by choosing to accept and follow Christ. Only then can we be prepared for what is to come, for nothing shall separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Deuteronomy 32:21-25; Psalm 49:6-9)
In verses 2:1-3:
Zephaniah calls the country to repentance. A country that does not set their minds and hearts to God and want to do His will, and look for His grace and mercy, will not prosper. Many prophets of the Old Testament proclaimed warnings of punishment and destruction, but they also gave the way to escape and receive protection, by doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God (Micah 6:8). True repentance comes from the shame that we feel from our sins, and that we realize what we have done in our lives condemns us. That is when we seek forgiveness from God.
There was a plea for the people to come to repent. There was and has been adequate warning. There was and is no excuse. The people are to gather together (pray), seek righteousness (repent of sins), and seek meekness (do what is right with humility). We all must pray for forgiveness of our sins and humbly obey God’s will. At the final judgment seat, no one can say “But no one ever told me.” (Ezekiel 33:11, Romans 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9, 2 Kings 22:18-19, 2 Chronicles 7:14-15, Psalm 25:8-9, Jeremiah 47:1-7, Amos, 1:6-8, Psalm 85:1-7)
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