For an introduction to this series, click here.
Nov. 19, 2006
Remember that I was living in Boonville, Mo., at the time I wrote this. This must have been a bad day.
Zephaniah packs a lot into his little book. He pronounces judgment on Israel and Jerusalem in Chapter 1. He pronounces judgment on Israel's enemies in Chapter 2. In Chapter 3 he briefly summarizes what he has said in the first two chapters and then speaks of Israel's glorious future. I often wonder why the Lord put so many prophets in the Bible who were saying a lot of the same things. But then I look at myself and I realize that I too need to hear the same things over again, about the sin in my life and the simple truth of the Gospel.
One of the things Zephaniah points out that is different from the other prophets is that he points out the Jews' low view of God as part of the reason for their punishment:
“At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men who are complacent, those who say in their hearts, ‘The LORD will not do good, nor will he do ill.’" (1:12)
Too many people, including myself from time to time, get the idea that God does not care, and that whatever happens in my life is all up to me. It's easy to think that, especially when God seems so far away at times. Our responsibility is not to make things happen by ourselves, it is to allow the Lord to work His will in our lives. I'm not saying it's easy- in fact it's terribly hard, or at least it is for me. I wish I was back home in Poplar Bluff. But the Lord would not let me stay down there. I tried and tried to find a job, and nothing worked until I applied up here. I'm not even sure why I am up here, but I know that I am where the Lord wants me to be right now. Not that I hate it here, but it's not home.