Don’t Be Complacent
My Lord and my God, be the only leader of my life today. I give myself to You.
Read Zephaniah 1:1–13
The word of the Lord that came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, during the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah:
Judgment on the Whole Earth in the Day of the Lord
2 “I will sweep away everything
from the face of the earth,”
declares the Lord.
3 “I will sweep away both man and beast;
I will sweep away the birds in the sky
and the fish in the sea—
and the idols that cause the wicked to stumble.”
“When I destroy all mankind
on the face of the earth,”
declares the Lord,
4 “I will stretch out my hand against Judah
and against all who live in Jerusalem.
I will destroy every remnant of Baal worship in this place,
the very names of the idolatrous priests—
5 those who bow down on the roofs
to worship the starry host,
those who bow down and swear by the Lord
and who also swear by Molek,
6 those who turn back from following the Lord
and neither seek the Lord nor inquire of him.”
7 Be silent before the Sovereign Lord,
for the day of the Lord is near.
The Lord has prepared a sacrifice;
he has consecrated those he has invited.
8 “On the day of the Lord’s sacrifice
I will punish the officials
and the king’s sons
and all those clad
in foreign clothes.
9 On that day I will punish
all who avoid stepping on the threshold,
who fill the temple of their gods
with violence and deceit.
10 “On that day,”
declares the Lord,
“a cry will go up from the Fish Gate,
wailing from the New Quarter,
and a loud crash from the hills.
11 Wail, you who live in the market district;
all your merchants will be wiped out,
all who trade with silver will be destroyed.
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.’
13 Their wealth will be plundered,
their houses demolished.
Though they build houses,
they will not live in them;
though they plant vineyards,
they will not drink the wine.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectMeditate on Lamentations 3:25: “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.”
The opening to Zephaniah’s prophecy (2,3) is terrifying. Why is God so angry? Why would he contemplate such wholesale destruction?
God is angry about idolatry (4,5). He is furious because his people have been worshipping and following other gods.
Today the word “idol” has come to mean a person we admire or want to be like. Having an “idol” doesn’t seem such a big deal. In the Bible, it usually refers to people worshipping false gods or the sun or moon. Perhaps we don’t worship the stars or turn to other gods, but aren’t we often guilty of neither seeking the Lord nor enquiring of him (6)? Idolatry may be a case of turning for comfort or for guidance to things other than to God.
The people had turned away from the Lord, but nothing had happened to them. God had not punished them. Their lives had gone on as before. So they had come to think that God didn’t care what they did. How often do we, too, become complacent, and think that what we do doesn’t matter to God (12)? Under the new covenant, God isn’t likely to sweep us from the face of the earth, but our sin still matters deeply. The Lord does see and he does care whenever we turn away from him.
Are there any “idols” in your life? How can you dethrone them today and give God his rightful place?
Take time to repent if you have been drifting away from the Lord, and seek forgiveness for any known sins.
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