Tomorrow we will add the Book of Zephaniah to our reading.
The purpose of the Book of Zephaniah was to shake the people of JUDAH out of their complacency and URGE them to return to God.
The author was Zephaniah and this was probably written near the end of his ministry (640-621 B.C.) when King Josiah’s great reforms began to take place. King Josiah was a good King in Judah. He was the great great grandson of Hezekiah (the greatest King of Judah) possibly born during Manasseh’s reign (a very bad King of Judah) to Manasseh’s son Amon (another bad King of Judah) and to him was born Josiah.
It is hard sometimes to see the overall theme in the Prophecy books. So HOW do we see what is really important? First, pray and ASK The Lord to reveal to you what HE would have you know and absorb personally. Second, it is important to search for God’s character in EVERYthing we read and not focus so much on the people (except Jesus of course.) Amos, Obadiah and Nahum were all about God’s JUDGEMENT; Isaiah was about God’s SALVATION, Jonah about God’s LOVE, and now Zephaniah is about God’s RESTORATION. “The great day of the Lord is near” v 1:14 .
So the little we do know about Zephaniah was that he was royalty, a prince most likely, in the line of Judah. Fifty years has elapsed since the prophecy of Nahum, and three descendants have taken the throne since Hezekiah, two of whom were wicked and idol worshipping. Social injustice was at an all time high, the rich are wealthy and the poor are starving. Idol worship was practiced by most….including sacrificing their children to their gods as a form of worship as well as sex with others at their alters to their gods as another form of worship.
Zephaniah will speak of a Loving God, yet a Strong God. He will also speak of the doom to come to Nineveh that Nahum prophesied. And as you will also see that Zephaniah will not mince words …. speak very directly and clearly of denouncing idolatry. Remember back when Josiah became king and smashed down the alters and idols, I am sure it was from the council of Zephaniah.
This book will end very different than the way it will begin. It begins in sorrow but ends in Glory. Zephaniah will tell:
That the faithful REMNANT will be delivered from captivity
That the GENTILE nation will be converted (HALLELUJAH!!!)
That one day EVERYONE will worship the Lord, not just in Jerusalem!!
In this small 3 chapter book you will see that God is SEARCHING out His people….JUST as HE does this TODAY. Does He find you in that search?
Sharing HIS love