- Zeph. 1:1-3:20
- 2 Chron. 34:3-7
The prophet Zephaniah was a descendent of king Hezekiah, and a relative of king Josiah. GOD called Zephaniah to preach a message to Judah regarding the coming judgment against all peoples of the earth. GOD was fed up with the wickedness of the nations, including His own special people, and He was preparing a day of judgment where He would purge the lands of such evil. While the book of Zephaniah contains a warning of judgment against the people of his day, it also serves as a serious reminder of the spiritual judgment GOD has promised each of us when we die:
14 The great day of the LORD is near—near and coming quickly. The cry on the day of the LORD is bitter; the Mighty Warrior shouts his battle cry. 15 That day will be a day of wrath—a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness— 16 a day of trumpet and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the corner towers. 17 “I will bring such distress on all people that they will grope about like those who are blind, because they have sinned against the LORD. Their blood will be poured out like dust and their entrails like dung. 18 Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the LORD’s wrath.” In the fire of his jealousy the whole earth will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live on the earth.
(Zeph. 1:14-18 NIV)
Yet for the righteous, the idea of GOD's judgment is not—or should not be—a scary thing to be feared. The righteous is made innocent by Jesus' saving blood. GOD always gives hope and comfort to the righteous:
14 Sing, Daughter Zion; shout aloud, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem! 15 The LORD has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm. 16 On that day they will say to Jerusalem, “Do not fear, Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. 17 The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
(Zeph. 3:14-17 NIV)