November 7, 2011 § 1 Comment

Zephaniah warns against the disastrous consequences of human wickedness (1:7, 12-18).  He is a classical example of how difficult it is to hear these Biblical prophecies of destruction.  The message is clear:  everyone is doomed and cannot escape punishment.  In this particular case it is punishment for complacency (1:12).  Zephaniah’s message wants to shock the people of God out of their spiritual smugness.  It is aimed at those who lost their spiritual focus on life because they think silver and gold can save them (1:18).  As Carolyn Sharp writes about this warning, “Believers should not be manipulated spiritually by fear.  But we do need to hear about the zeal and power of God, if we are to resist the ennui and cynicism of our increasingly secular world.”  But this message is not intended to simply leave God’s people with an irreversible word of punishment.  The prophets always had conversion in mind.  This is an appeal to move from complacency to conversion.  It is the good news of an appeal to be silent before the Sovereign Lord, for the day of the Lord is near (1:7).  What makes you complacent so that you either take God for granted or that God is not central to your life?


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