by Henry T. Vriesen
Zephaniah lived at Jerusalem. He was not like Amos or Micah a peasant, but a man from an aristocratic family, a descendant from king Hezekiah. He saw his people turning away from the living God, at a time when the Scythians were pouring into southwestern Asia. It seemed that they also would overwhelm Jerusalem. The future looked dark and gloomy, and the judgment was pending, but Zephaniah believed that the promises of God are sure.
“I will utterly consume,” so the word of the Lord came to Zephaniah, “all things from the land … I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumbling blocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from the face of the land … I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place … and them that worship the host of heaven … and them that swear … by Malcham; and them that are turned back from the Lord; and them that have not sought the Lord nor enquired for him.
The great day of the Lord is near; it is near, and hasteth greatly … That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness … And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord … Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.
Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city! She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the Lord; she drew not near to her God. Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves … her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law. The just Lord is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to life, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.
Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey … In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me … I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord.”For further information on this resource, click here.