P r a i s eP u r eM i n i s t r y

LOLA S. RICHEY, AUTHOR

Seeking God

Seeking God PRAISE PURE MNISTRY A Survey of Zephaniah  Lola Richey. Praise Pure Ministry ALL RIGHTS RESERVED .

Zephaniah means “The Lord has hidden. Act now. Both King Hezekiah and King Josiah were good kings of southern Israel (Judah) and encouraged the people to return to the pure worship of God. Particularly. Two recurring themes are found in Zephaniah: “remnant. Even more. the name Zephaniah may have been given to the prophet to reflect the main theme of his ministry which called on everyone to repent and seek God in order to be “hidden” or “protected” on the great Day of the Lord (Zephaniah 2:3). Zechariah 6:10.” “Yahweh hides. 3 Seek (come to) the LORD. which Josiah established with the discovery of the Book of the Law (2 Kings 22:1-17). Josiah’s reforms included destruction of idol worship and restoration of God’s Temple. 1 . all who are humble. Nahum and perhaps Habakkuk. Zephaniah contrasts and paints a horrible picture of God’s judgment and a jubilant picture of God’s future glory. before the fierce fury of the Lord falls and the terrible Day of the Lord’s anger begins. Jeremiah 21:1. 14). Josiah organized the first Passover celebrations in generations.” The name Zephaniah is used three other times in the Holy Bible (1 Chronicles 6:36.” The prophet Zephaniah ministered during the same time of the prophets Jeremiah. before your time to repent is blown away like chaff. Possibly. Zephaniah 2:2-3 (NLT). 34. The prophet Zephaniah of the Old Testament was a descendent of the famous King Hezekiah and a distant relative of King Josiah. Upon the discovery of the Book of the Law. and follow (obey) His commands. Perhaps even yet the LORD will protect (hide) you— protect you from His anger on that Day of destruction. Seek to do what is right and to live humbly. 2 Chronicles 33. Zephaniah ministered during the early reign of King Josiah (Zephaniah 1:1) and probably assisted King Josiah’s spiritual reformation of southern Israel (Judah). Josiah launched sweeping spiritual reforms of southern Israel (2 Kings 23 and 24. Most biblical scholars attempt to date Zephaniah’s prophecy in accordance with King Josiah’s spiritual reform. and 35).S E E K I N G G O D Seeking God: A Survey of Zephaniah 2 Gather before judgment begins. nothing is known about the prophet Zephaniah’s life.” or “protected by Jehovah.” and “the Day of the Lord. But beyond the Old Testament book that bears his name.

Time and again.S E E K I N G G O D God sent Zephaniah to announce His coming judgment. Yet. The book of Zephaniah reveals that hope is only found in seeking God. Zephaniah urged the people to seek God by trusting. tender mercies and protection to all who humbly seeks and loves Him (Exodus 34:6-7. Zephaniah knew the true and living God will not share His worship or glory with any other god or idol (Zephaniah 1:6. The religious reforms King Hezekiah (729–686 B. and rulers mixed pagan worship with faith in the true and living God (Zephaniah 3:2-5) and led the people into corruption and wrongdoing despite knowing God’s holy standards. Zephaniah. officials.) and King Amon (642–640 B. Only by seeking God would the people experience God’s protection in the coming time of wrath. and wrongdoing (Psalm 1. Only God is mighty to save us (Zephaniah 3:17) and we must humbly depend and trust in God. materialism.C. The people worshiped Baal. the Holy Bible reveals that God is merciful to everyone who admits their wrongdoings. pleaded with the rulers to trust God and turn from sin.C. also called “the Day of the Lord” on southern Israel (Judah and Jerusalem) and the surrounding nations. priests. worshipping. makes a genuine confession. dishonesty. 1 Peter 5:5-6).C. God loves us (John 3:16).g. God will not allow sin to go unpunished. In chapter three. and priests refused to obey and seek God. During this time. corruption. Psalm 51:2). In chapter two. truth and love (e. In fact. Matthew 12:7). God is faithful and just to forgive (Psalm 51:2-12.) started in southern Israel were soon eliminated by the evil reigns of King Manasseh (696–642 B. and others gods. and the starry hosts (Zephaniah 1:4-6).). Jonah 3. but the kings. Micah 6:6-8. 1 John 1:9). see also Amos 5:4). many people had turned away from faithfully worshipping God and pursued wealth.. The first chapter of Zephaniah's prophecy is filled with horror and dread as he announced the coming Day of God’s judgment. the officials. and He gives His loving-kindness. Psalm 15). and gives their whole hearts to Him (Zephaniah 3:9. see also Exodus 20:3-7). Molech. we read that God is “mighty to save” (Zephaniah 3:17). and loving Him and turning away from sin and injustice (Zephaniah 2:1-3). Ephesians 1:7-8. see also Jonah 3. money would not save the people as God’s judgment approached (Zephaniah 1:18). oppression. see Deuteronomy 6:4-6. and greed ran rampant throughout southern Israel and the surrounding nations. Businesses and the marketplace were corrupt as people became wealthy through dishonesty (Zephaniah 1:10-13). Injustice. The Holy Bible is very clear that God demands everyone to walk humbly with Him by faith (Habakkuk 2:4) and to pursue seek righteous living. Even worse. 12-13. Hosea 6:6. Deuteronomy 6:4-6. God hates lies. 2 . Matthew 5:3-12. like the prophet Jeremiah. deceit. Zephaniah gave the people hope and encouraged the people to repent and humbly "seek the Lord” (Zephaniah 2:3. All the more. pride. Jeremiah 26:17–19. Psalm 15. and He will judge all those who mistreat Him and His people (Exodus 34:7). Zephaniah proclaimed that God freely offers His salvation and deliverance to everyone who is seeks and loves Him as their God (see also Ephesians 2:8-10).

Even today. God will purify the heavens and earth and create everything anew (Isaiah 65:17. 1 John 4:1 ). Luke 21:7-36. and deceit and deliver His faithful remnant (Matthew 24. the terms are the same as they were in Zephaniah’s day: seek God in genuine repentance from sin and wholehearted obedience for God (Matthew 11:28-30. God rewards everyone who humbly seeks and trusts Him (Zephaniah 3:11-20. Hebrews 11:6). The New Testament expands the concept of the “Day of the Lord” to include a time when the Lord Jesus Christ will ultimately return to bring universal judgment upon evil.31. Matthew 7:7-8. Amos 5:6. survived the Day of the Lord and had life (Zephaniah 3:9-20. Ezekiel 30:3.S E E K I N G G O D One of the main themes of the book of Zephaniah is the “Day of the Lord. Joel 2:1-11. Jeremiah 46:10. John 15:1-8). “No one knows the day or hour when these things will happen. Isaiah 66:22. and purifies the true and faithful followers of Him (Zephaniah 3:8–20). God warns the world that His divine judgment is coming and for everyone to seek Him for protection (Zephaniah 2:2-3). not even the angels in heaven or the Son Himself. Everyone who continued to trust and love God. Zephaniah 1:7-8. Amos 5:18. Mark 1:14-15). Zephaniah reveals that only the meek and humble that trust in God and purses truth would live in God’s protection (Zephaniah 3:12. and despair as God sweeps clean and purifies the whole earth. The Day of the Lord will be filled with God’s tribulation and destruction as He destroys false worship to other gods (Zephaniah 1). 20. Zephaniah reveals what that Day will mean for ungodly and evil individuals and nations (Zephaniah 1:2–3:7) and the faithful remnant of God (Zephaniah 3:8–20). see also Deuteronomy 30:19-20). and extend to the end of the Millennium and the melting of the elements of the universe (2 Peter 3:10–13). at the beginning of the Tribulation period. 10). The judgment and salvation announced in Zephaniah foreshadows God’s final act of bringing judgment and salvation at the return of Jesus Christ (see Revelation 19:11–22:5). destroys evil and wickedness (Zephaniah 2). Isaiah 13:6. 22). Malachi 4:5). Revelation 21:1). Romans 2:5. Zephaniah urged the people to seek God because the only hope to escape God’s judgment is to seek and remain close to God (Psalm 105:4. Isaiah 2:10-22. wickedness. God will reveals Himself providentially and supernaturally as supreme in the affairs of the people worldwide --.Jews and Gentile (non-Jewish) (see e. Joel 3:14-15. 1 Corinthians 5:5.” Zephaniah discusses the Day of the Lord more than any other prophet in the Holy Bible. 1 Thessalonians 4:13–5:11. God's purpose is not destruction but re-creation and purification (see Isaiah 66:22. Even more. God wants everyone to give their hearts to Him and live a 3 . if we want to escape God’s coming judgment. 2 Corinthians 1:14.. see also Matthew 5:5). the Day of the Lord is a Day of darkness. see also Matthew 5:5. Revelation 21. The other major theme of Zephaniah is the need to wholeheartedly seek God in view of the coming judgment or “Day of the Lord” (Zephaniah 1:7. Joel 1:15. destruction. Only [God] the Father knows” (Matthew 24:36). even during times of distress and heartache (Psalm 46:1-3. Finally.g. This “Day of the Lord” will begin with the rapture of the church. just as the prophet Zephaniah and the other prophets had encouraged.14-18. 9. To “seek” God means to humbly and faithful walk close to Him and pursue His ways of living (also called righteousness) (Micah 6:6-8). Matthew 7:7. Zephaniah 2:1–3).

like Zephaniah. Joel 2:15-16). deceit. humility. righteousness. He will rejoice over you with singing. you will have no place to hide (Zephaniah 2:3). He will take great delight in you. The Holy Bible urges everyone to forsake evil and turn toward God. Philippians 2:1-8). Jesus Christ urges everyone to repent and turn their hearts to God (Mark 1:14-15). 1 Thessalonians 1:9–10). 4 . pride. He is mighty to save. see also 2 Chronicles 7:14. lies. Acts 17:30–31. humility. and discipline that you will be hidden and protected by God on the day of the Lord's anger (see also 1 Chronicles 28:9). of the worldwide judgment and renewed world to come. Zephaniah envisioned a remade world that worshipped and loved God (Zephaniah 3:8-20). Seek justice. He will quiet (renew) you with His love. 17 The Lord your God is with you. The New Testament often speaks. This explains why Zephaniah. Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV). God is a strong Warrior who is mighty to save and protect you with His love (Zephaniah 3:17).S E E K I N G G O D godly life of obedience and love (John 13:34-35). which is what we do when we truly put our faith in what Jesus Christ has done for us (Ephesians 2:8-10). and superiority have no place among God and God's people (Zephaniah 3:12-13. The Holy Bible is clear that God loves righteousness. However. faith. Let everyone do what is right. pleaded for the people to repent of their sins and seek God (Zephaniah 2:2-3. obedience. Then we will be “hidden” in the day of God’s anger and judgment (Zephaniah 2:3. self-reliance. like so many other prophets. Like Zephaniah. and truth (Matthew 5:3-12). see also Psalm 15. Unless you know and trust Jesus Christ as your own Savior.

New York: Zondervan.1992. Nashville: Thomas Nelson. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.. 1989.. Carol Streams. Broadman & Holman Pub. New York: Zondervan. Wiersbe. 1988. Zondervan NIV Study Bible. Word in Life Study Bible. IL: Tyndale House Pub. 1989. Warren W. 2008. 1991. NLT Study Bible. Spirit Filled Life Study Bible. Bible Exposition Commentary. Warren W. J. Nashville: Thomas Nelson. Douglas.S E E K I N G G O D References Believer’s Study Bible. NIV Compact Dictionary of the Bible. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1995. Nashville: Thomas Nelson. New Student Bible. 2005. Wiersbe. King James Version Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.D. Victor Books. IL: Tyndale House Pub. Trent. KJV Bible Commentary. 1991. 5 . 1991. Nashville: Thomas Nelson. Life Application Study Bible. 2008. With the Word Bible Commentary. Butler.. 1994. Carol Streams. New York: Zondervan. 1996.

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