Everything Under Scrutiny
Invite the light of the Holy Spirit to shine into your heart as you prepare to read Scripture today.
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:  “I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth,” declares the LORD.  “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,  “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-  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,  those who turn back from following the LORD and neither seek the LORD nor inquire of him.”  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.  “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.  On that day I will punish all who avoid stepping on the threshold, who fill the temple of their gods with violence and deceit.  “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.  Wail, you who live in the market district; all your merchants will be wiped out, all who trade with silver will be destroyed.  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.’  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.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow does Zephaniah warn the spiritually wayward?
Some behavior just will not do. Dallying with idols, for a start (4,5). Idolatry violates the first two commandments (cf. Exod. 20:3-6). Yet during Zephaniah’s time, some in Judah who formerly worshiped the Lord are now worshiping idols (6). What a terrible diversion! Perhaps even more devastating is the situation of those who are “complacent” (12). They are like wine that has been left to sit too long and has collected useless sediment. To the complacent among Zephaniah’s readers, God seems powerless. He is irrelevant and can do nothing, either good or bad. He is a non-god. But actually God is living and powerful. And he is aware of the attitudes about him in Judah. It is like he is going around the city of Jerusalem equipped with a powerful lamp, shining it into people’s lives and searching out the guilty (12). This is a good reminder: Don’t try to hide from God. He will find you out!
Have you become unfaithful to God? Or have you forgotten his judgment?
“Search me, God, and know my heart…. See if there is any offensive way in me” (Psa. 139:23,24).
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