Bible Reading / Book By Book: Proverbs to Luke
Day 50 / Zephaniah 3
Zephaniah preached during the reign of Josiah. We read about him back in 2 Kings 22 and 23. Josiah is a good king, but Judah is continuing its disobedience to God. As we have seen before, Zephaniah is sent with a message of judgment. Our chapter today ends with hope that God will one day restore his people to righteousness and return them to God’s protection. That day will come when Christ returns.
God tells us the end of the story is a good one! We have to live through lots of people ignoring God and God needing to deal with rebellion, but in the end, there is hope. I’m so glad to be part of the side that will ultimately win.
Zephaniah 3 (NASB)
Woe to Jerusalem and the Nations
3 Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled,
The tyrannical city!
2 She heeded no voice,
She accepted no instruction.
She did not trust in the Lord,
She did not draw near to her God.
3 Her princes within her are roaring lions,
Her judges are wolves at evening;
They leave nothing for the morning.
4 Her prophets are reckless, treacherous men;
Her priests have profaned the sanctuary.
They have done violence to the law.
5 The Lord is righteous within her;
He will do no injustice.
Every morning He brings His justice to light;
He does not fail.
But the unjust knows no shame.
6 “I have cut off nations;
Their corner towers are in ruins.
I have made their streets desolate,
With no one passing by;
Their cities are laid waste,
Without a man, without an inhabitant.
7 “I said, ‘Surely you will revere Me,
So her dwelling will not be cut off
According to all that I have appointed concerning her.
But they were eager to corrupt all their deeds.
8 “Therefore wait for Me,” declares the Lord,
“For the day when I rise up as a witness.
Indeed, My decision is to gather nations,
To assemble kingdoms,
To pour out on them My indignation,
All My burning anger;
For all the earth will be devoured
By the fire of My zeal.
9 “For then I will give to the peoples purified lips,
That all of them may call on the name of the Lord,
To serve Him shoulder to shoulder.
10 “From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia
My worshipers, My dispersed ones,
Will bring My offerings.
11 “In that day you will feel no shame
Because of all your deeds
By which you have rebelled against Me;
For then I will remove from your midst
Your proud, exulting ones,
And you will never again be haughty
On My holy mountain.
A Remnant of Israel
12 “But I will leave among you
A humble and lowly people,
And they will take refuge in the name of the Lord.
13 “The remnant of Israel will do no wrong
And tell no lies,
Nor will a deceitful tongue
Be found in their mouths;
For they will feed and lie down
With no one to make them tremble.”
14 Shout for joy, O daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has taken away His judgments against you,
He has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
You will fear disaster no more.
16 In that day it will be said to Jerusalem:
“Do not be afraid, O Zion;
Do not let your hands fall limp.
17 “The Lord your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.
18 “I will gather those who grieve about the appointed feasts—
They came from you, O Zion;
The reproach of exile is a burden on [h]them.
19 “Behold, I am going to deal at that time
With all your oppressors,
I will save the lame
And gather the outcast,
And I will turn their shame into praise and renown
In all the earth.
20 “At that time I will bring you in,
Even at the time when I gather you together;
Indeed, I will give you renown and praise
Among all the peoples of the earth,
When I restore your fortunes before your eyes,”
Says the Lord.