Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18
1:7 Be silent before the Lord GOD! For the day of the LORD is at hand; the LORD has prepared a sacrifice, he has consecrated his guests.
1:12 At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the people who rest complacently on their dregs, those who say in their hearts, “The LORD will not do good, nor will he do harm.”
1:13 Their wealth shall be plundered, and their houses laid waste. Though they build houses, they shall not inhabit them; though they plant vineyards, they shall not drink wine from them.
1:14 The great day of the LORD is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the LORD is bitter, the warrior cries aloud there.
1:15 That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness,
1:16 a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements.
1:17 I will bring such distress upon people that they shall walk like the blind; because they have sinned against the LORD, their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung.
1:18 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 passion the whole earth shall be consumed; for a full, a terrible end he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.
Complacency and indifference in the Christian walk is a dangerous place to be. When we become lax about spending time in God’s presence and pursuing the desire to grow daily, we find ourselves slowly yet dangerously falling into the trap of putting other things before our love for God.
In this passage we see how seriously God took the issue of His people not being fully devoted to Him. He wanted to test the hearts of the nation of Israel to see if they really did love God with their whole hearts and not just uttering words from their lips. God knew that Israel had the tendency to fall into sin and look to other idols and means of satisfaction. Sometimes in order for God to save His people, He has take extreme measures in order to get our attention and bring us back to Him.
The “day of the Lord” is speaking to those whose hearts have grown indifferent and complacent and have also wrongly concluded that God works in the same manner. These words that God is using Zephaniah to speak show us that God is the exact opposite of all these things. Our God is always actively working to ensure that we are constantly pursuing an on going loving relationship with Him. God does not stand on the sidelines of life and loose interest in our world and our lives; nor does He expect for us to adopt that attitude.
God cares deeply about all that goes in this world and He desires for us to constantly pursue Him, His word and grow daily in loving Him.
The Jews believed that the savior would come in the last days, much like Zephaniah and other prophets foretold. However, Jesus came as a baby and very much in human form. One could see why they were skeptical. As Christians we believe that Jesus is God incarnate in the form of man and that one day he will come again and when He does come it will be at the final judgement. The prophetic warnings of the prophets should not be taken lightly though, no matter what your beliefs are about the end times.
Whether sooner or later we will have to meet the one who made us and put life in us. We will come face to face with the one who filled us with purpose and care. When we do meet the Lord we ought to be prepared to account for the life and legacy that we left behind. We must give each new day to the Lord while we are still here and follow in the footsteps of Jesus.