Zephaniah 1:1-3:20 Humility

        Zephaniah 1:1-3-20   July 1 2007

    The period of 696-639 B.C. in Judah was a low
    point in its history (2Kings 21-23). The wicked
    kings Manasseh and Amon had led the nation
    Judah and its people into their lowest spiritual
    state. Then young Josiah became king. Eventually
    he called for reforms and spiritual changes in
    Judah. God Called Zephaniah to assist Josiah in
    the reforms By proclaiming judgment and calling
    the people of Judah to repentance.
    The day also would bring judgment against
    Jerusalem and Judah as well and against all other
    who had sinned against the Lord (Zeph. 1:1-2:3)
    Moab and Ammon on the east, Ethiopia on the south,
    and Assyria to the northeast also were objects of
    God’s universal judgment on all sinful people
    (Zeph. 2:4-3:8)
    People of any age can escape God’s judgment if
    they resist their pride and seek the Lord in humility
    (Zeph. 3:9-20).

    1. Need for Humility (Zeph.1:12-15)

Zeph. 1:12   At that time I will search Jerusalem with
lamps and punish those who are complacent, who are
like wine left on its dregs, who think, ‘The LORD will
do nothing, either good or bad.’ 1:13   Their wealth will
be plundered, their houses demolished. They will build
houses but not live in them; they will plant vineyards
but not drink the wine. 1:14   “The great day of the LORD
is near — near and coming quickly. Listen! The cry on the
day of the LORD will be bitter, the shouting of the warrior
there. 1:15   That day will be a day of wrath, a day of
distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of
darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness,

    Search Jerusalem with lamps. The Babylonians later
    dragged people from houses, streets, sewers and
    tombs, where they had hidden. The Lord will do
    nothing. A typical depiction of the arrogance of the
    wicked ( Psalms 10:11).The assets of those who have
    become wealthy through dishonesty will be exposed
    and plundered (Deut. 28:30). (Zeph.1:14-18) In a
    dramatic passage of great lyrical power, the Lord
    describes the destruction that will sweep the earth
    in the day of God’s wrath.
    Darkness. . . Blackness. (Amos 5:18-20).

    2. Call to Humility (Zeph. 2:1-3)
Zeph. 2:1   Gather together, gather together, O shameful
nation, 2:2   before the appointed time arrives and that
day sweeps on like chaff, before the fierce anger of the
LORD comes upon you, before the day of the LORD’s wrath
comes upon you. 2:3   Seek the LORD, all you humble of the
land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness,
seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day
of the LORD’s anger.

    (Zeph.2:1-3) The prophet’s exhortation to repent. This
    call to repentance and the later indictment of
    Jerusalem for refusal to repent (Zeph. 3:6-8 and note)
    frame the series of judgments that illustratively
    detail God’s acts in the coming day of the Lord
    (Zeph. 2:4-3:5). Like chaff. (Psalms 1:4). Seek the Lord.
    Even though destruction is imminent, there is still
    time to be sheltered from the calamity if only the
    nation will repent. Humble . Those who abandon the
    arrogance of their idolatry and wickedness and humble
    themselves in repentance before God.

    3. Benefits of Humility (Zeph. 3:11-12)
Zeph. 3:11   On that day you will not be put to shame for
all the wrongs you have done to me, because I will remove
from this city those who rejoice in their pride. Never
again will you be haughty on my holy hill. 3:12   But I will
leave within you the meek and humble, who trust in the
name of the LORD.

    (Zeph.3:9-20) A three-stanza oracle (Zeph.3: 9-13,
    14-17, 18-20) announcing redemption that will follow
    God’s judgment. (Zeph.3:9-13) The Lord gives assurance
    that the nations will be purified, the scattered remnant
    restored and Jerusalem purged. (Zeph. 3:9) God’s fearful
    judgment of the nations will effect (or be followed by)
    their purification so that they will call on his name and
    serve him. Israel’s God will be acknowledged by the
    nations, and God’s people will be held in honor by them
    ( Zeph. 3:19-20). Cush. the most distant area imaginable.
    The most widely dispersed will be restored. Bring me
    offerings. Rather than to Baal and Molech (Zeph.1:4-5). 
    Me, / Because. In the Hebrew, this new line begins the
    same as the first line of (Zeph.3: 9). Hence it may be
    better to read: “me ./Then.” Thus (Zeph. 3:9-11) a
    constitute a three-line unit (in Hebrew) and (Zeph.3:11b,
    c-12) a three-line unit. The latter speaks of a purified
    Jerusalem. (Zeph. 3:13) is a summary conclusion. My Holy
    Hill. Mount Zion (Psalms 2:6). No one will make them
    afraid. Quoted verbatim from (Micah 4:4).


        The study of this lesson will help all with some of
    the problems they have as Christians. Some have a
    casual, Sunday-morning-only Christianity. That is the
    extent of their conscious commitment. They allow the
    "faithful few" to do most of the Ministry of their churches.
    Too many members are selfish and want churches to serve
    them instead of taking part and helping their churches
    serve others.
        Some need to realize their goal a Christians is to carry
    out God’s redemptive purposes, not just to be admired as
    good, respectable people. Faithful Christians also need to
    be reminded that humbling themselves before God and
    seeking Him will bring blessing to them and revival in
    their hearts and churches.