Pricking the Bubble
Heavenly Father, help me recognize how I may have become puffed up with pride or pomposity.
Read Zephaniah 2:12-15
Cush “You Cushites, too, will be slain by my sword.” Assyria He will stretch out his hand against the north and destroy Assyria, leaving Nineveh utterly desolate and dry as the desert.  Flocks and herds will lie down there, creatures of every kind. The desert owl and the screech owl will roost on her columns. Their hooting will echo through the windows, rubble will fill the doorways, the beams of cedar will be exposed.  This is the city of revelry that lived in safety. She said to herself, “I am the one! And there is none besides me.” What a ruin she has become, a lair for wild beasts! All who pass by her scoff and shake their fists. 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 will Assyria's fortunes be reversed?
After referring to Philistia, Moab, and Ammon, Zephaniah goes on to name Judah’s enemies farther away who are due for judgment. Egypt (Cush) is only sporadically aggressive in foreign warfare and is given only two lines here (12). But Assyria, a nation lying across the desert to the northeast, is a world power in Zephaniah’s day and poses a more serious threat. Nineveh, a major city and one-time capital of Assyria, is a place of splendor, filled with a wealthy and powerful population. But that is all going to change. The fine city will be reduced to rubble and become the home of the “hooters and howlers” of the desert (13,14). What a comedown! Nineveh’s attitude (“I am the one! And there is none besides me,” 15) is a raw expression of pride. Some people today may not put it in such bald terms, but their actions express much the same thing: I am the center of my universe, the only person I need to consider, the only pebble on the beach. Pride is a prevalent fault. It is at the root of original sin, and in some degree it affects us all.
How does pride show up in your life? How do you deal with it when it arises?
Think how your life compares with Christ’s humility, and pray that more of him may be reflected in you.