Repent for the Day of the Lord is at hand

Be silent in the presence of the Lord God; For the day of the Lord is at hand, For the Lord has prepared a sacrifice; He has invited His guests.” Zephaniah 1:7 NKJV

Quiet time with God! Seems a little contradictory to the title and next phrase of the verse, doesn’t it?  I like to spend at least 15 minutes quiet, listening for God a day. It’s hard to sit quiet and keep your mind quiet but open for God and only things of the scriptures as God may speak through a scripture. But God want, requires we be silent in His presence – the day of the Lord is at hand. And the more I try to please people who keep telling me that this isn’t the end time’s time for a cardboard sign and corner street preaching yelling “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand and the day of the Lord is at hand!” the more I try to find a new message – God snaps me right back to this!  I read Zephaniah and see how it parallels our current world and if Zephaniah can go around crying: Repent, The day of the Lord is at Hand” then I can too! Quite frankly I hope I am wrong – but my spirit bears witness it is time to repent, it is time to get quiet, it is time.  

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Zephaniah chapters 1-3 (embedded below the image below for your convenience). So many people get very confused by this book as it starts off with reversing all of creation (and utter death) declaring the terrible day of the Lord and well… only gets more confusing with vivid imagery and fearful concepts.  Let us take a deep breath – this is actual a book about grace!!! The forest is grace love and mercy – the trees are wrath, a remnant, captivity, etc.  Let’s not get stuck on the trees and remember the forest is – God will use this situation to show His love and tender mercies and restore Israel and fulfill His promise to Abraham! Zephaniah was preaching this message early in the reign of King Josiah (the cute kid, on fire for God making reforms letting the Holy Word change him)!  It is no wonder the king was so eager to return to God with Zephaniah teaching like this! Lol (Jeremiah was also preaching at this time.)

Why was God burning up with righteous jealousy? Well Israel has been a rebellious teenager. You say, that isn’t new – and God and I both exclaim: I KNOW! Are you starting to see God’s grace towards His people?! How many warnings?  This has been the pattern since they left Egypt (or even since the rebellion in The Garden)!

Now since this is a book about grace and hope – let’s draw hope for our day as well, as the governments oppress us more and more. As Israel is oppressed from within by her own government and bombed from without. (Oh Lord we pray for Israel and the peace of Jerusalem!) New York with their Governor scandal distracting them for the mandated vax-port (Vaccine Passport). Australia in its overly oppressive lockdown. Oh there is too much all over this globe to point out it all!!! Here is the theme of the Book of Zephaniah – GOD WILL NOT TOLLERATE:
Worship of False Gods (when you know better)
Complacency
And pride and acting against God’s people.

Worship of False Gods:

“I will stretch out My hand against Judah, And against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. I will cut off every trace of Baal from this place, The names of the idolatrous priests with the pagan priests—“ Zeph 1:4

As a globe we worship many false Gods and MOST of us have heard the Good News. So we know better. It may no longer be Baal – but is what people do any better?  We have even created a false feel good Jesus to follow.  We have sacrificed more unborn babies to the gods of humanism then the entire history of child sacrifice to Baal – and we expect no wrath? I have never had an abortion – but have I stopped it? Is the blood also on my hands? Are the remnant innocent? Have we been corrupted by humanism as well? Or Capitalism or Socialism – oh sweet friend, they are false gods claiming to be able to save us! Where is our faith? In the things of this earth or in things eternal? Turn from the corruption – be saved by the real and mighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! This is our grace!

Complacency:

“And it shall come to pass at that time That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, And punish the men Who are settled in complacency, Who say in their heart, ‘The Lord will not do good, Nor will He do evil.’”  Zeph 1:12

This verse spoke to me as I see friends, family members, other in my local church in this verse.  First it stood out because last night in my dream I was given an old oil lamp and told to search a city that looked like how Bible cities are portrayed in shows, movies, etc. But enough about my dream – the point was just that this verse jumped out because of it.  Then I realized… I hear all the time that God will not pour out wrath again (from the birth of Christ) until the great an feared Day of the Lord (the last day). But I do not see that anywhere in the Bible. And if you ask a Rabi they will tell you that Nazi Germany was like unto the Babylon which Zephaniah forewarned of (or the Assyria that Nahum foretold). And that occurred since Jesus came the first time.  You see – what IS in the scriptures is that God is the same, yesterday today and forever!
But so many people have made God soft thinking they will avoid His wrath – striping Him of His righteousness and authority over the oppressors and forbidding God to set us free from the bondage of the conspiracies of our current age!  We pray Psalm 64 that God will suddenly vindicate and expose the evil – but we bind him to be a complacent God as we have become a complacent people!

In the Name of Jesus I loose the power of the real and living, One true God! And I bind up the works of complacency!

And Finally – Pride and acting against God’s people:

“This they shall have for their pride, Because they have reproached and made arrogant threats Against the people of the Lord of hosts.” Zeph 2:10

God will NOT tolerate anyone who comes against His children. Woe to them who sent bombs towards Israel. Woe to then who go against His chosen.  Now, please understand carefully – Israel first, they are His chosen – you and I as believers ADOPTED into the kingdom have grace and favor and are now called His chosen and are now the people of the Lord of hosts.  And I do not clarify the order so the later can say, oh we only get scraps from the table? NO! the table is set with a place setting for each of us.

Call to action:

“Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together, O undesirable nation, Before the decree is issued, Or the day passes like chaff, Before the Lord’s fierce anger comes upon you, Before the day of the Lord’s anger comes upon you! Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, Who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden In the day of the Lord’s anger. Zeph. 2:1-3

You cannot stay complacent – this war is at your threshold – at your door.  Are you born of the Kingdom of God – be aware the kingdom of God is at hand! Stop being distracted by the cares of this world or the small trials up against you which were designed to keep you from your military post in the spirit! Stand fast therefore and having done all stand!

Get quiet before God. Speak the clean unadulterated word of God.  Read and pray.  Put on the Armor – it is time people, it is time. We are called for such a time as this! We are the warriors who must pray this through! Seek God!

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: As I promised, this year is full of memory verses that when the enemy comes up against us we can quote: It is written! Just as Jesus did when the devil tempted him. I know I have the victory and I must just stand fast and continue to submit to God… so let us memorize and quote this with authority! So as we submit, we can remind the old devil where he can go!

Matthew 18:18-19

NKJV – “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
NAS – “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.”
ESV – “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
AMP – “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth shall have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth shall have [already] been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two believers on earth agree [that is, are of one mind, in harmony] about anything that they ask [within the will of God], it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
NIV – “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will bebound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will beloosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Zephaniah 1-3 NKJV

The Great Day of the Lord

The word of the Lord which came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.

The Great Day of the Lord

“I will [a]utterly consume everything
From the face of the land,”
Says the Lord;
“I will consume man and beast;
I will consume the birds of the heavens,
The fish of the sea,
And the [b]stumbling blocks along with the wicked.
I will cut off man from the face of the [c]land,”
Says the Lord.

“I will stretch out My hand against Judah,
And against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
[d]I will cut off every trace of Baal from this place,
The names of the idolatrous[e] priests with the pagan priests—
Those who worship the host of heaven on the housetops;
Those who worship and swear oaths by the Lord,
But who also swear by [f]Milcom;
Those who have turned back from following the Lord,
And have not sought the Lord, nor inquired of Him.”

Be silent in the presence of the Lord God;
For the day of the Lord is at hand,
For the Lord has prepared a sacrifice;
He has [g]invited His guests.

“And it shall be,
In the day of the Lord’s sacrifice,
That I will punish the princes and the king’s children,
And all such as are clothed with foreign apparel.
In the same day I will punish
All those who leap over the threshold,
Who fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit.

10 “And there shall be on that day,” says the Lord,
“The sound of a mournful cry from the Fish Gate,
A wailing from the Second Quarter,
And a loud crashing from the hills.
11 Wail, you inhabitants of [h]Maktesh!
For all the merchant people are cut down;
All those who handle money are cut off.

12 “And it shall come to pass at that time
That I will search Jerusalem with lamps,
And punish the men
Who are settled[i] in complacency,
Who say in their heart,
‘The Lord will not do good,
Nor will He do evil.’
13 Therefore their goods shall become booty,
And their houses a desolation;
They shall build houses, but not inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards, but not drink their wine.”

14 The great day of the Lord is near;
It is near and hastens quickly.
The noise of the day of the Lord is bitter;
There the mighty men shall cry out.
15 That day is a day of wrath,
A day of trouble and distress,
A day of devastation and desolation,
A day of darkness and gloominess,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
16 A day of trumpet and alarm
Against the fortified cities
And against the high towers.

17 “I will bring distress upon men,
And they shall walk like blind men,
Because they have sinned against the Lord;
Their blood shall be poured out like dust,
And their flesh like refuse.”

18 Neither their silver nor their gold
Shall be able to deliver them
In the day of the Lord’s wrath;
But the whole land shall be devoured
By the fire of His jealousy,
For He will make speedy riddance
Of all those who dwell in the land.

A Call to Repentance

Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together,
[j]undesirable nation,
Before the decree is issued,
Or the day passes like chaff,
Before the Lord’s fierce anger comes upon you,
Before the day of the Lord’s anger comes upon you!
Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth,
Who have upheld His justice.
Seek righteousness, seek humility.
It may be that you will be hidden
In the day of the Lord’s anger.

Judgment on Nations

For Gaza shall be forsaken,
And Ashkelon desolate;
They shall drive out Ashdod at noonday,
And Ekron shall be uprooted.
Woe to the inhabitants of the seacoast,
The nation of the Cherethites!
The word of the Lord is against you,
O Canaan, land of the Philistines:
“I will destroy you;
So there shall be no inhabitant.”

The seacoast shall be pastures,
With [k]shelters for shepherds and folds for flocks.
The coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah;
They shall feed their flocks there;
In the houses of Ashkelon they shall lie down at evening.
For the Lord their God will intervene[l] for them,
And return their captives.

“I have heard the reproach of Moab,
And the insults of the people of Ammon,
With which they have reproached My people,
And made arrogant threats against their borders.
Therefore, as I live,”
Says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel,
“Surely Moab shall be like Sodom,
And the people of Ammon like Gomorrah—
Overrun[m] with weeds and saltpits,
And a [n]perpetual desolation.
The residue of My people shall plunder them,
And the remnant of My people shall possess them.”

10 This they shall have for their pride,
Because they have reproached and made arrogant threats
Against the people of the Lord of hosts.
11 The Lord will be awesome to them,
For He will reduce to nothing all the gods of the earth;
People shall worship Him,
Each one from his place,
Indeed all the shores of the nations.

12 “You Ethiopians also,
You shall be slain by My sword.”

13 And He will stretch out His hand against the north,
Destroy Assyria,
And make Nineveh a desolation,
As dry as the wilderness.
14 The herds shall lie down in her midst,
Every beast of the nation.
Both the pelican and the bittern
Shall lodge on the capitals of her pillars;
Their voice shall sing in the windows;
Desolation shall be at the threshold;
For He will lay bare the cedar work.
15 This is the rejoicing city
That dwelt securely,
That said in her heart,
“I am it, and there is none besides me.”
How has she become a desolation,
A place for beasts to lie down!
Everyone who passes by her
Shall hiss and shake his fist.

The Wickedness of Jerusalem

Woe to her who is rebellious and polluted,
To the oppressing city!
She has not obeyed His voice,
She has not received correction;
She has not trusted in the Lord,
She has not drawn near to her God.

Her princes in her midst are roaring lions;
Her judges are evening wolves
That leave not a bone till morning.
Her prophets are insolent, treacherous people;
Her priests have [o]polluted the sanctuary,
They have done violence to the law.
The Lord is righteous in her midst,
He will do no unrighteousness.
[p]Every morning He brings His justice to light;
He never fails,
But the unjust knows no shame.

“I have cut off nations,
Their fortresses are devastated;
I have made their streets desolate,
With none passing by.
Their cities are destroyed;
There is no one, no inhabitant.
I said, ‘Surely you will fear Me,
You will receive instruction’—
So that her dwelling would not be cut off,
Despite everything for which I punished her.
But [q]they rose early and corrupted all their deeds.

A Faithful Remnant

“Therefore wait for Me,” says the Lord,
“Until the day I rise up [r]for plunder;
My determination is to gather the nations
To My assembly of kingdoms,
To pour on them My indignation,
All My fierce anger;
All the earth shall be devoured
With the fire of My jealousy.

“For then I will restore to the peoples a pure [s]language,
That they all may call on the name of the Lord,
To serve Him with one accord.
10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia
My worshipers,
The daughter of My dispersed ones,
Shall bring My offering.
11 In that day you shall not be shamed for any of your deeds
In which you transgress against Me;
For then I will take away from your midst
Those who rejoice in your pride,
And you shall no longer be haughty
In My holy mountain.
12 I will leave in your midst
A meek and humble people,
And they shall trust in the name of the Lord.
13 The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness
And speak no lies,
Nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth;
For they shall feed their flocks and lie down,
And no one shall make them afraid.”

Joy in God’s Faithfulness

14 Sing, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has taken away your judgments,
He has cast out your enemy.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
You shall [t]see disaster no more.

16 In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Do not fear;
Zion, let not your hands be weak.
17 The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

18 “I will gather those who sorrow over the appointed assembly,
Who are among you,
To whom its reproach is a burden.
19 Behold, at that time
I will deal with all who afflict you;
I will save the lame,
And gather those who were driven out;
I will appoint them for praise and fame
In every land where they were put to shame.
20 At that time I will bring you back,
Even at the time I gather you;
For I will give you [u]fame and praise
Among all the peoples of the earth,
When I return your captives before your eyes,”
Says the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Zephaniah 1:2 Lit. make a complete end of, Jer. 8:13
  2. Zephaniah 1:3 Idols
  3. Zephaniah 1:3 ground
  4. Zephaniah 1:4 Fulfilled in 2 Kin. 23:45
  5. Zephaniah 1:4 Heb. chemarim
  6. Zephaniah 1:5 Or Malcam, an Ammonite god, 1 Kin. 11:5Jer. 49:1Molech, Lev. 18:21
  7. Zephaniah 1:7 Lit. set apart, consecrated
  8. Zephaniah 1:11 A market district of Jerusalem, lit. Mortar
  9. Zephaniah 1:12 Lit. on their lees; like the dregs of wine
  10. Zephaniah 2:1 Or shameless
  11. Zephaniah 2:6 Underground huts or cisterns, lit. excavations
  12. Zephaniah 2:7 Lit. visit them
  13. Zephaniah 2:9 Lit. Possessed by nettles
  14. Zephaniah 2:9 Or permanent ruin
  15. Zephaniah 3:4 Or profaned
  16. Zephaniah 3:5 Lit. Morning by morning
  17. Zephaniah 3:7 They were eager
  18. Zephaniah 3:8 LXX, Syr. for witness; Tg. for the day of My revelation for judgment; Vg. for the day of My resurrection that is to come
  19. Zephaniah 3:9 Lit. lip
  20. Zephaniah 3:15 So with Heb. mss., LXX, Bg.; MT, Vg. fear
  21. Zephaniah 3:20 Lit. a name

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