Week 14: Zephaniah

Day 1: Zephaniah 1:1-9
Day 2: Zephaniah 1:10-13
Day 3: Zephaniah 1:14-18
Day 4: Zephaniah 2
Day 5: Zephaniah 3:1-7
Day 6: Zephaniah 3:8-13
Day 7: Zephaniah 3:14-20

God, our refuge and strength, you have bound us together in a common life. In all our conflicts, help us to confront one another with hatred and bitterness, to listen for your voice amid competing claims, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Elw PAGE 76

In a commentary on Zephaniah Anne Stewart asks, “What would happen if God interrupted us? What in our world would change? What fears would be dispelled? What injustices overturned?”
Zephaniah was prophesying in the time in between Isaiah and Jeremiah. Earlier rulers had not ruled justly and Judah was in desperate need of change and hope. The LORD was going to judge Judah and the surrounding nations, they were going to be punished for their actions. Zephaniah paints a bleak picture for the future…but wait…there’s more; there’s always more with the LORD.
The LORD will judge and then will take way  his judgements, there  and be no more disaster– Oh happy day! The people will be gathered home and their fortunes restored.
God interrupting our world, at least according to Zephaniah, won’t at first be the joyous vision many of us have for the LORD interrupting us. We will be held accountable for our actions. We’ll be held accountable for turning away from the LORD and toward the world. It’s human nature to not want to be held accountable, but we can’t, at least according to Zephaniah, escape judgement.
But don’t give up hope. Eventually the judgment will end, the LORD will put our misdeeds behind us, and we will live in peace with one another with the LORD. Amen.

 Lo! he comes with clouds descending,

once for favored sinners slain;

thousand, thousand saints attending

swell the triumph of his train.

Alleluia! Alleluia!

God appears on earth to reign.