Today is Day 70 in our journey through the Bible in 90 days.
Although Zephaniah comes after Habakkuk, chronologically, he came before our buddy, Hab. His ministry took place during Josiah’s reign – the last of the righteous kings of Judah. He was also ministering at the same time as Jeremiah, Habakkuk, and Nahum – a very messy, disobedient time in Judah’s history.
There are a few examples of “multiple prophecy” in the book of Zephaniah. He foretold of God’s coming judgment, which was fulfilled in part during the coming exile, but will also be fulfilled in the future as well. The same goes for his prophecy of the restoration of God’s people. It was fulfilled in part at the return from exile, but also will one day be fulfilled in heaven! I can’t wait for that day!
In chapter 1, he addresses an issue that is very prevalent in today’s society as well…
“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.'” – Zephaniah 1:12
Complacency is a silent killer. Too many people would rather sit back and do nothing than vigilantly fight and contend for the faith. They’re also convinced that like them, God won’t do anything either. They are wrong. Like that verse said, God is on the hunt for them. Yikes!
One phrase that may have been familiar in Zephaniah is “the day of the Lord.” You may remember it from the book of Joel. You can find it in Zephaniah 1:14. It warns of the coming day of God’s judgment. Although the book opens with that warning, it closes with God’s ultimate desire: restoration. We’ve talked about that throughout the prophets, and again, God reminds His people of it…
“Sing, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away your judgments,
He has cast out your enemy.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
You shall see disaster no more.” – Zephaniah 3:14-15
The day of the Lord is coming. Get ready! You don’t want to be on the wrong side!