Zephaniah

Zephaniah was the great, great grandson of King Hezekiah. He prophesied during the reign of King Josiah. King Josiah had been preceded by Manasseh who had let the nation into idolatry 2 Kings 21 2!" 22. His ser#ants slew hi$. Josiah beca$e king. %arly in his reign Hilkiah found the book of the law. Josiah knew that &udge$ent was near and called the people to repentance. 'he record re#eals that only a #ery few really turned to (od in true repentance. Josiah was their godly king and this was their last chance to a#oid &udge$ent. Zephaniah prophesied at this ti$e and no doubt worked closely with King Josiah. 'he $ain the$e of the book is the &udge$ent of (od. 'he phrase )'he day of the *ord+ is uses se#en ti$es in this prophecy and indicates a ti$e of se#ere &udge$ent. 'his is a book of threatenings and denunciations but it is also a book of pro$ise and hope. Judah,, though it will e,perience -i#ine wrath, will yet be restored and blessed and will beco$e a blessing in the world. 'his book $ost surely depicts )the goodness and the se#erity of (od. ./o$ 11 220+ Warning of Coming Judgement " 1hapter one contains the dire warning of i$pending &udge$ent. 2bout twenty years after this the 3abylonians ca$e and literally fulfilled these predictions. Zephaniah warned about a co$plete defeat and disaster .1 20. He lists the sins for which &udge$ent will co$e. 1. 4orship of 3aal " 1 5 2. 6un and star worship " 1 7 8. 4orship of Molech " 1 7 " which included hu$an sacrifice " see 2 Kings 21 9. *e# 1: 21 warns against this. Jer 82 87 and 2cts ; 58 indicates the people followed this practice. <or these sins (od will #isit. 'he ti$e of His &udge$ent )is at hand+ .1 ;0. =o one will escape " 1 12. 'hey $ay think that (od doesn>t care or see .1 12b0 but He does both. 'hey will be carried off and their $aterial possessions will beco$e another>s .1 180. He announces the )(reat -ay of the *ord+ .1 150 and describes it as a day of &udge$ent. 'his no doubt referred to the co$ing in#asion but also refers to another future )-ay of the *ord+. 1onsider ?sa 18 9,@,11"18A %zek 8! 2"8A Joel 1 17A 2 1,2,11A 8 @"19A 2 Beter 8 1!A /e# 9 1;A 1@ 1;"1: cf. Zeph 1 ;. 'here will be no way to buy ti$e to a#oid this &udge$ent " 1 1:.

Call to Repentance " 2 1"8 " Zephaniah calls the$ to sincere repentance. He urged the$ to call a sole$n public asse$bly and turn to (od. 'his was their only hope. Judgement Upon the Nations " 2 5"17 " =ot only would Judah be called to account for her sins but so would the surrounding nations. he prophesied the destruction of the Bhilistines, Moab and 2$$on for their ill treat$ent of (od>s people. %#en the city of =ine#eh and the 2ssyrian e$pire would fall. (od will deal with the$ for their sins and =ine#eh would beco$e desolate. How incredible it see$ed then. 4ithin twenty years all these nations were crushed beneath the heel of =ebuchadnezzar. Jerusalem’s Sins " so terrible were their sins that Zephaniah speaks of the$ again. =otice what he says of her 1. 6he was an oppressor " the rich and powerful oppressed the poor. 2. 6he obeyed not the #oice " her sin was disobedience to (od as He spoke through the law and the prophets. 8. 6he recei#ed not correction " she would wilfully go her own way. 5. 6he trusted not in the *ord " she trusted in her ar$a$ents to keep her safe. 7. Her princes, prophets, and priests were corrupted " 8 5,7. <or these #ery things (od had destroyed other nations. A Better Day " 8 :"2!. 2fter He has #isited in &udge$ent .8 :0 then He will bless. He will restore Judah. (od will be )in the $idst+ .8 17"1;0. Zion will be delight a$ong the nations and a blessing to the whole

12 1"80.earth as was foretold in the pro$ise $ade to 2braha$ . . Judah $ay fail but (od will not fail and He will keep His word.(en.