Sunday, August 19, 2018

Third Sunday Meditation: The Message Of Zephaniah

The prophet, Zephaniah, whose name means, "he whom
the Lord has hidden" was a contemporary of the biblical prophets
Jeremiah, Nahum, and possibly Habakkuk.

Frieze Of The Prophets, West Wall
(ca. 1890-95)
From left to right: Zephaniah, Joel, Obadiah, and Hosea
 A painting John Singer Sargent

God's judgment and God's mercy is the message of
Zephaniah, in which the prophet describes the 
impending sentence of destruction on Judah and Jerusalem
for their continual disobedience and their spiritual adultery
 in turning away from the Lord, disavowing His great abiding love,
mercy, and faithfulness  in order to follow after the abominable 
  worship rituals of the gods of the Canaanites,  Baal and Molech.

When I read this book, I am reminded of how much the condition
 of ancient Israel mirrors that of modern day America in regards
to turning away from the godly principles which founded this
great nation, to follow after the ungodly and inferior wisdom
of man, the forsaking of the Creator God to embrace the  
gods of science and secular humanism;  the love of money
and materialism, the acceptance of rampant perversion;
the murder of innocent babies through abortion, 
the increase in lawlessness and disrespect for authority;
the unprecedented levels of contempt and unreasonable hatred 
  which is dividing and destroying America at a time
 in world history when we  greatly need to be standing
  together united as a nation and a people.

Civil unrest in the streets of our nation.

My prayer this morning is that the Lord will rise up a remnant of
 His people here,  who, without reserve, will boldly and fearlessly speak the
truth of the Gospel to those who are lost and hurting in this nation,
 the ever glorious and timeless message of  the Lord Jesus Christ,
  Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that
through Him alone, we are, "Born anew into an inheritance
which is beyond the reach of change and decay, unsullied
and unfading, reserved in heaven for you."
1 Peter:4

I further pray that God will continue to have mercy on America.

(Zephaniah 2:1-3)

Collect your thoughts, yes, unbend yourselves in
submission and see if there is no sense of shame and no
consciousness of sin left in you! 
O shameless nation, not desirous, or desired!

The time of repentance is speeding by like chaff 
whirled before the wind! Therefore consider, before God's
decree brings forth the curse upon you, before the time to
repent is gone like the drifting chaff, before the fierce anger 
of the Lord comes upon you-yes, before the day of the wrath
of the Lord comes upon you!

Seek the Lord, inquire of Him, and require of Him as the
foremost necessity of your life, all you humble in the land
who have acted in compliance with His revealed will and have
kept His commandments; seek righteousness, seek humility,
inquire for them, require them as vital.

It may be you will be hidden in the day of the Lord's anger.

Paul Wilbur

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