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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Repent Before It's Too Late!


Zephaniah 2:1-15 NIV


Judah and Jerusalem Judged Along With the Nations


Judah Summoned to Repent

1 Gather together, gather yourselves together,
you shameful nation,
2 before the decree takes effect
and that day passes like windblown chaff,
before the Lord’s fierce Anger
comes upon you,
before the Day of the Lord’s wrath
comes upon you.
3 Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land,
you who do what He commands.
Seek righteousness, seek humility;
perhaps you will be sheltered
on the Day of the Lord’s Anger.


Philistia

4Gaza will be abandoned
and Ashkelon left in ruins.
At midday Ashdod will be emptied
and Ekron uprooted.
5Woe to you who live by the sea,
you Kerethite people;
the Word of the Lord is against you,
Canaan, land of the Philistines.
He says, “I will destroy you,
and none will be left.”
6The land by the sea will become pastures
having wells for shepherds
and pens for flocks.
7That land will belong
to the remnant of the people of Judah;
there they will find pasture.
In the evening they will lie down
in the houses of Ashkelon.
The Lord their God will care for them;
He will restore their fortunes.a

Moab and Ammon

8“I have heard the insults of Moab
and the taunts of the Ammonites,
who insulted My people
and made threats against their land.
9Therefore, as surely as I live,”
declares the Lord Almighty,
the God of Israel,
“surely Moab will become like Sodom,
the Ammonites like Gomorrah—
a place of weeds and salt pits,
a wasteland forever.
The remnant of My people will plunder them;
the survivors of My nation will inherit their land.”
10This is what they will get in return for their pride,
for insulting and mocking
the people of the Lord Almighty.
11The Lord will be awesome to them
when He destroys all the gods of the earth.
Distant nations will bow down to Him,
all of them in their own lands.

Cush

12“You Cushites,b too,
will be slain by My sword.”

Assyria

13He will stretch out His Hand against the north
and destroy Assyria,
leaving Nineveh utterly desolate
and dry as the desert.
14Flocks and herds will lie down there,
creatures of every kind.
The desert owl and the screech owl
will roost on her columns.
Their hooting will echo through the windows,
rubble will fill the doorways,
the beams of cedar will be exposed.
15This is the city of revelry
that lived in safety.
She said to herself,
“I am the one! And there is none besides me.”
What a ruin she has become,
a lair for wild beasts!
All who pass by her scoff
and shake their fists.



Zephaniah 2



2:1-3 The prophet calls to national repentance, as the only way to prevent national ruin. A nation that has no desires toward God, is not desirous of his favor and grace, has no mind to repent and reform. To whom God might justly say, Depart from Me; but Jehovah says, “Gather together to Me that you may seek My Face.”

We know what God's decree will bring against impenitent sinners, therefore it highly concerns all to repent in the accepted time. How careful should we all be to seek peace with God, before the Holy Spirit withdraws from us, or ceases to strive with us; before the Day of Grace is over and before our everlasting state is determined!

Let us seek the Lord, and seek to understand and keep His Commandments better, that we may be more humbled for our sins. The chief hope of deliverance from national judgments rests upon prayer of repentance.


2:4-15 Those are really in a woeful condition who have the Word of the Lord against them, for no Word of His shall fall to the ground. God will restore His people to their rights, though long kept from them. It has been the common lot of God's people, in all ages, to be reproached and reviled. God shall be worshipped, not only by all Israel, and the strangers who join them, but by the heathen.

Remote nations must be reckoned with for the wrongs done to God's people. The sufferings of the insolent and haughty in prosperity, are unpitied and unlamented. But all the desolations of flourishing nations will make way for the overturning Satan's kingdom.


Let us expect the performance of every Promise of God while praying that our Father's Name may be hallowed everywhere, over all the earth.

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