Zephaniah is a tough book. It begins with God promising to “consume all things from off the land.” (1:2). Not only will judge Judah (1:1-18, 3:1-7), He will also judge Gentile nations (2:4-15, 3:8).
But the book ends on a very high note, with God promising to regather Israel, make them a name and a praise among all people of the earth, and to turn back their captivity (3:20).
God’s challenges to his people are to:
- Wait upon my judgment of your enemies (v.8)
- Your shame and pride will be taken away (v.11)
- The afflicted and the humble will trust in the name of the Lord (v.12)
- Sing and shout and rejoice with all your heart in what I am going to do (v.14)
- Don’t be afraid, the Lord is the midst of thee (v.16-17).
One phrase that I really like from Zephaniah 3 is “the Lord is in the midst of thee.” (v.5,15) He lets Israel know that He is there even when all around is corruption and when He returns to set up His kingdom, He will be the main attraction.
For those of us who are saved, we have the Lord in the midst of us as well through the indwelling Holy Spirit. No matter how bad things get, we can rejoice and sing knowing we know the Lord and He is in our lives.