The prophet speaks for God, “I will utterly consume all things from off the face of the ground, saith Jehovah. I will consume man and beast; I will consume the birds of the heavens, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the face of the ground, saith Jehovah.” Zephaniah 1:2-3 ASV 1901. He did not foretell the end of the world as you and I know it. Rather it was God’s judgment upon the whole world surrounding Judah. The days Zedekiah walked the earth were in the reign of Josiah, the last good king of Jerusalem. The prophet warned of the conquering Chaldeans. The people of the Jewish world were going to fall because of her idolatries. False gods of invented religions led to the eventual decline and fall of the Jews.
God’s judgment is imminent; Zephaniah preaches. It is coming upon every rank. Whether that be princes, thieves, or those who capitalize on business ventures. All were going to see their demise. It would be a dark and frightful day. No deliverance for them was in sight. Repent and remain with Jehovah’s word, was the prophet’s plea. He called the Jews to turn back to God, to seek the Lord, that they may be hidden in the day of the Lord. The Almighty is going to judge the near and the far nations as well. He will execute wrath upon Philistia, upon Moab and Ammon, yes upon all the gods of the earth too. The world powers of his day would see their demise. Judgment would be upon the mighty Ethiopians and vehemently upon Assyria and Nineveh. Since God punishes the heathen He will not spare Judah, Zedekiah reasons. Jerusalem is a polluted city – all classes were tainted with idolatry and sin. Jehovah was keeping the world abreast of His sovereignty to rise and destroy any nation at His behest. Yet, there is good news.
After the judgment, salvation and glorification is to be for the remnant. From among the rebellious heathen the righteous would surface like the cream to the top. While her society was changed, she remained the chosen of God. Israel is to be restored and Zephaniah gave such reassurance to the innocent who remained close to God. The Final Judgment Day of the Lord is coming still. Will you preach and warn as did Zephaniah? Will you be restored along with the innocent. God will judge the world. Lets you and I trust in Him to bring us through as His remnant of all history.
- Donny Weimar