1352.) Zephaniah 2

Zephaniah 2

Zephaniah 2   (NRSV)

Judgment on Israel’s Enemies

Gather together, gather,
    O shameless nation,
before you are driven away
    like the drifting chaff,
before there comes upon you
    the fierce anger of the Lord,
before there comes upon you
    the day of the Lord’s wrath.
Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land,
    who do his commands;
seek righteousness, seek humility;
    perhaps you may be hidden
    on the day of the Lord’s wrath.

Zeph2 Seek

God looks west to the Philistines:

For Gaza shall be deserted,
    and Ashkelon shall become a desolation;
Ashdod’s people shall be driven out at noon,
    and Ekron shall be uprooted.

Ah, inhabitants of the seacoast,
    you nation of the Cherethites!
The word of the Lord is against you,
    O Canaan, land of the Philistines;
    and I will destroy you until no inhabitant is left.
And you, O seacoast, shall be pastures,
    meadows for shepherds
    and folds for flocks.
The seacoast shall become the possession
    of the remnant of the house of Judah,
    on which they shall pasture,
and in the houses of Ashkelon
    they shall lie down at evening.
For the Lord their God will be mindful of them
    and restore their fortunes.

Now He looks to the east and sees the Moabites and the Ammonites:

I have heard the taunts of Moab
    and the revilings of the Ammonites,
how they have taunted my people
    and made boasts against their territory.
Therefore, as I live, says the Lord of hosts,
    the God of Israel,
Moab shall become like Sodom
    and the Ammonites like Gomorrah,
a land possessed by nettles and salt pits,
    and a waste forever.
The remnant of my people shall plunder them,
    and the survivors of my nation shall possess them.
10 This shall be their lot in return for their pride,
    because they scoffed and boasted
    against the people of the Lord of hosts.
11 The Lord will be terrible against them;
    he will shrivel all the gods of the earth,
and to him shall bow down,
    each in its place,
    all the coasts and islands of the nations.

Now God looks to the south, announcing judgment against the Ethiopians:

12 You also, O Ethiopians,
    shall be killed by my sword.

God completes the circle of judgment against Israel’s neighbors by looking north at Assyria and her capital city of Nineveh:

13 And he will stretch out his hand against the north,
    and destroy Assyria;
and he will make Nineveh a desolation,
    a dry waste like the desert.
14 Herds shall lie down in it,
    every wild animal;
the desert owl and the screech owl
    shall lodge on its capitals;
the owl shall hoot at the window,
    the raven croak on the threshold;
    for its cedar work will be laid bare.
15 Is this the exultant city
    that lived secure,
that said to itself,
    “I am, and there is no one else”?
What a desolation it has become,
    a lair for wild animals!
Everyone who passes by it
    hisses and shakes the fist.

_________________________

Zeph2 presence

Music:

How different our concept of God once we know Jesus as our Savior!  No longer is He the destroyer.   HERE  is Israel Houghton and “Your Presence Is Heaven.”

_________________________

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)   New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Images courtesy of:
Judgment – Repentance – Hope.    http://www.calvaryhelena.com/uploads/5/2/9/7/5297923/1521660.jpg
Seek the Lord.    http://www.northsideharvest.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Zephaniah-slide.jpg
Psalm 41:12.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/fada5-6a00d8341c72ee53ef017ee5661d96970d-300wi.jpg
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