(Today's post by Joshua Jones)
As we discussed yesterday, Zephaniah was a prophet in Old Testament times, around 600 years before the birth of Christ. During the time that he prophesied, idolatry was rampant in the kingdom of Judah. Even though King Josiah had uncovered the Book of the Law, the people were not taking it seriously. In today's passage Zephaniah continues to warn these idolaters, the ones who took other gods and worshipped them, putting them higher than the One True God in their lives, about what was coming for them. God is not to be trifled with, and He will not tolerate his people not obeying his commands.
In the second chapter, Zephaniah speaks against the enemies of Judah. He reminds the people of Judah that they will be restored and warns their enemies that God would utterly destroy them, making them as Sodom and Gomorrah. (2:9) However, at the end of his proclamation of God's coming wrath, Zephaniah writes:
“This is the exultant city that lived securely,
that said in her heart, “I am, and there is no one else.”
What a desolation she has become, a lair for wild beasts!
Everyone who passes by her hisses and shakes his fist.
Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled, the oppressing city!
She listens to no voice; she accepts no correction.
She does not trust in the Lord; she does not draw near to her God.“
As I read through today's passage, there were moments when I thought, “Man, I am glad that I chose the right side. Being destroyed by God does not sound like something that I want to be a part of.” However, this last passage hit me like snow hits Atlanta: hard and fast, with a lot of discomfort.
Zephaniah warns those who live as if there lives are their own, the ones who rebel against God in their actions and in their heart. He warns those who don't listen to His correction, and those who don't trust in Him or draw near to Him. This warning is one that we all have to pay attention to. Yes, as believers in Christ, our actions have been forgiven- not trying to say that our actions determine our eternal fate.
However, if we live our lives not accepting the correction of God, not trusting in Him, and not drawing near to Him, Zephaniah says that we are just like God's enemies that he will destroy. Yesterday, we discussed the worship of other gods as idolatry. Today, I would pose the question: Have you set yourself up as an idol without knowing it? Do you follow your own bidding, instead of God's? Do you draw near to yourself, or do you draw near to God?
God is jealous. (Ex. 20:4-5) He wants your worship, and your trust. We cannot do it on our own!Turn to Him today!