Zephaniah 1-2: Hide Yourself in Him
December 19, 2020
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Zephaniah is prophesying during the days of good King Josiah’s reforms. In his prophecy, he speaks of the “day of the LORD,” a fearsome day of judgment, and then also speaks of the blessing and bounty that will come to those who seek the Lord (more on that in chapter 3). God’s fearsome coming judgment is described in multiple ways:
I will utterly sweep away everything from the face of the earth (1:2)
This day is, in some sense, imminent, or “near” (1:7). We should not think of it as something long delayed. It will suddenly come—like a thief in the night (1 Thess. 5:2). It is near and “hastening fast” (1:14). It will be terrible:
A day of wrath is that day, 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 (1:15)
What then should we do? Seek God:
Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, who do his just commands;seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the LORD (2:3)
Cry out to God, seek him, follow him, humble yourself before him—that through faith in his Christ we might find ourselves “hidden” on that great and terrible day. This emphasis from Zephaniah is hardly one that is often preached today. But that being so, the emphasis is nonetheless one that we especially need to heed. Judgment, and the day of the LORD, is no fiction, no figment of an intemperate imagination, no manipulative technique of puritanism. It goes back, is long predicted, and is hastening. The only thing we can do is flee the wrath to come and hide ourselves through faith in Christ. That done, such a great salvation is ours! Such an extraordinary message to proclaim! Such good news! Only, hide yourself in Him. Hide ourselves through faith in Christ.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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