AUTHOR: Zephaniah
DATE: ca. 625 B.C.

 

We know from Zeph 1:1 that Zephaniah was of noble birth.  He was the great, great grandson of King Hezekiah, one of Judah’s godly kings.  Zephaniah’s name means, “whom the Lord hides or protects.”  He helped prepare Judah for revival after a long period of being ruled by bad kings, Manasseh and Amon, with evil and idolatry reigning.

Zephaniah’s message was one of God’s coming judgment with the purpose of calling His people to repentance. In 621 BC under King Josiah, reform did come to Judah (2 Chron 34:3), however, the leaders and many of the people later reverted to their old ways and judgment came at the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, in 606/605 BC. The ultimate fulfillment of Zephaniah’s prophecies will yet occur in the Day of the Lord, a reference to a yet future time of tribulation (Matt 24) also known as the seventieth week of Daniel (Daniel 9). Zephaniah also prophesied of the doom of heathen nations, both in the near future (the fall of Ninevah in 612; Zeph 2:13) and in the far future (Zeph 3:8). The book closes with a glorious description of the future Millennium Kingdom.

OUTLINE OF ZEPHANIAH

I. The Author and Time of the Prophecy, 1:1
II. The Prophecies of Judgment, 1:2-3:8
A. Judgment on Judah, 1:2-18
B. An Exhortation to Repent, 2:1-3
C. Judgments on Gentile Nations, 2:4-15
1. Philistia (to the west), 2:4-7
2. Moab and Ammon (to the east), 2:8-11
3. Ethiopia (to the south), 2:12
4. Assyria (to the north), 2:13-15
D. Judgment on Jerusalem, 3:1-7
E. Judgment on the Nations, 3:8
III. The Prophecies of Blessing, 3:9-20
A. Future Blessings for Gentiles, 3:9-10
B. Future Blessings for Jews, 3:11-20

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A Hidden Message in Psalm 23

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Do not be anxious about anything.  (Phil 4:6)

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control.  Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19.  As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.” 

Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it:  Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”  The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live:  Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.

God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble.  When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.  

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19

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to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15).  When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.

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By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.

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