"And it shall come to pass at that time
That I will search Jerusalem with lamps,
And punish the men
Who are settled in complacency
Who say in their heart,
'The LORD will not do good,
Nor will He do evil.'
Therefore their goods shall become booty,
And their houses a desolation;
They shall build houses, but not inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards, but not drink their wine."
The great day of the LORD is near;
It is near and hastens quickly.
The noise of the day of the LORD is bitter;
There the mighty men shall cry out.
That day is a day of wrath,
A day of trouble and distress,
A day of devastation and desolation,
A day of darkness and gloominess,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
A day of trumpet and alarm
Against the fortified cities
And against the high towers.
"Father, thank You for these words of warning. Often we just remember the amazing things that You do for us, and forget that You are angry at the world and will punish them. Help us to help those who You will search out later, Lord. When we go through our lives, may we remember these words and use them as motivation to help others. In Jesus' name, Amen."
So, these next three weeks (including today) we'll be looking at Zephaniah during encouragement week. As I was writing those words, I was thinking, 'Well, this is encouraging.' I would call this God's Wrath upon the world. But then I realized that they actually are encouraging. We're not on the bad list!
"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, God's wrath won't fall on us. (Thus we are encouraged). But God's wrath will come to those who believe in a neutral god (there's a word for that, but I can't find it!) That can also be encouraging: God does have wrath, and those who don't believe in Him will get it.
And as it does fall on the world, we have to look at that. What can we do to pull someone else to God before He does this?
But why do they deserve the punishment? Why do these people get the wrath? Why would God give them the punishment?
Tune in next week to find out!
In His Service,