Accused, Belief, Bible, Consequences, Deliverance, Faith, God's Will, Holiness, Redemption, Salvation, Scripture

INSTEAD OF THIS, YOU GET THAT

ZEPHANIAH 2:10

“This they will have in return for their arrogance, because they have taunted and boasted against the people of the LORD of armies.”

The old payback – no one wants that. Right? If you have ever done something to harm someone who has the ability to get you back, you are constantly looking over your shoulder. Siblings are great at that. They will plot until just the right time and then nail you. I’ve known people who waited for years to strike back and get their vengeance.

Of course, God is not getting vengeance on the Moabites and Ammonites. He is simply giving them what they deserve according to His judgment on them. In return for their violence against His people, they will be judged. Instead of blessings, they have incurred His wrath. If they had only yielded to Him. But instead, they rebelled and now are suffering the consequences.

APPLICATION

God is still in the reward business. If we turn to Jesus and confess Him as Lord and Savior, then He rewards us by giving us eternal life. Instead of His wrath, we get blessings. If we do not come to Jesus, we will be judged by a holy God and be found lacking. Nothing we have done or could do will earn us a place in glory.

It’s really pretty simple. I think that is the problem. People don’t believe it’s that easy to get saved. They think they have to do something. All God asks of us is to confess our sins, believe in His Son and surrender to His Will. Who do you know who needs to do that? Can you lead them into a saving knowledge of Jesus today and help them escape the wrath to come?

I could list a number of verses about salvation here, but I would prefer that you look them up. Just do a Google search on salvation verses. You will get dozens and dozens. If you are not a believer, let the Word convict you and lead you to Him. If you are a believer, share these verses with someone who needs them. Praise God for His mercy and grace.

I love You, Lord, and I lift my voice to worship You. Oh my soul rejoice.

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Abiding, Affliction, Bible, Deliverance, God's Will, Oppression, Rescue, Scripture

LIVING IN A BOWL

ZEPHANIAH 1:11

“‘Wail, you inhabitants of the Mortar, because all the people of Canaan will be destroyed; all who weigh out silver will be eliminated.’”

The city where I live, Chattanooga, is in a bowl. We sit in this valley fringed by mountains which gives our geographic area a bowl-like appearance. Pollen settles here and makes breathing hard for those with allergies. We do get protected from some storms because of our geography, but at other times, if the weather comes from a southwesterly direction, we can get hit hard.

That is the case here in Zephaniah 1:11. The word “Mortar” is actually referring to the geographical location the people find themselves in. They are trapped in a bowl. Much like drugs are crushed by a pestle inside a mortar, their enemies would crush them in their valley, in their bowl. Judgment is sure.

APPLICATION

You may feel like you are being crushed by life’s circumstances. I know sometimes the pressures of life can be horrible. It seems you are being hit from every side. Can I put all that in perspective for you? Philippians 2:5-8 can do that. “5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men. 8 And but being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death: death on a cross.”

Sure, we suffer hardship. But compared to what Jesus has done for us, it is nothing. The sins of the world were on His shoulders. Can we even imagine the pressure He was feeling? And remember, He had not done anything wrong. He had never sinned. Can we say that?

I am thankful for the opportunities He gives me to trust Him. Even when I am in that bowl of affliction and there seems to be no way of escape, He is there. He will sustain me. He will lift up my head. He will deliver me. Praise be to Him.

Yes, Lord, You are the lifter of my head. To You I will look for my deliverance during each trial and hardship.

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Belief, Bible, Creation, Deliverance, Destruction, Following, Scripture, Submission

ALL MEANS ALL

ZEPHANIAH 1:2

“‘I will completely remove all things from the face of the earth,’ declares the LORD.”

My late brother-in-law used to say that the Greek word for “all” means all. He said it jokingly but said it to make a point. When God says “all” He literally means all. He requires our all. He gives us all. He loves us with all His heart. All is important to the Lord. Let’s look at what Zephaniah meant here.

In this second verse of Zephaniah’s discourse, he begins to describe God’s judgment. He quotes the Lord God and says that He will “completely remove all things.” The word “things” is not in the Hebrew text but is simply entered in the translation. And Zephaniah uses the same Hebrew word twice at the beginning of the verse. He literally says. I will “destroy destroy.” He uses the adverb of the word and then the verb of the word to emphasize the totally destruction of all, of everything, of anything.

APPLICATION

As believers, we do not fear destruction by God. We are safe in the arms of Jesus. His embrace covers us. He has promised us eternal life and our role as joint heirs of the kingdom. “All” for us now implies the blessings we will receive upon reaching our heavenly home. All the kingdom will be ours to enjoy. Can you imagine?

But we have to give Him our all. He demands all of us, not just a piece. What if you gave your child or grandchild a jigsaw puzzle one piece at a time. That little piece does not come close to being the whole. They can’t do a lot with it. God has a plan for our lives but it requires all of us. He will not complete His plan for us with only partial submission. Give Him your all today.

I have quoted this hymn before in my blog, but it seems especially appropriate today.

All to Jesus, I surrender

All to Him I freely give

I will ever love and trust Him

In His presence daily live

I surrender all

I surrender all

All to Thee, my blessed Savior

I surrender all

I do surrender my all to You, Lord. And that “all” means all.

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