The End of the Story
Yesterday, we concluded our reading of Zephaniah. So before we move on in these devotionals, let’s catch our breath and share how Zephaniah has challenged us and the importance of his prophecy for our lives today.
Whether it’s Avengers—Endgame in the Marvel make-believe world of super heroes, or the real life threats being debated over Global Warming in the presidential debates, one thing we should all be able to agree on is that humans can’t escape “End of the World” scenarios. Zephaniah confronts us with God’s version.
The prophet doesn’t want us to think for a second that God isn’t going to deal with the stumbling blocks the wicked are using to cause others to sin (Zeph. 1:2-3). Zephaniah gives us the Old Testament version of the Apostle Paul’s “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18). Just as God wiped the planet clean in the time of Noah, Zephaniah predicts this kind of universal judgment will come again. And if we don’t believe God is going to do this at the end of history, the prophet challenges us to consider what God already did to Judah in Old Testament history.
Zephaniah declared that because the Judeans turned away from God and failed to listen to his voice turning instead to false gods and the worship of the sun, moon, and the stars, God would bring devastating military defeat against his people. In 586 BC Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king, became God’s instrument to carry out this prophecy (Zeph. 1:4-3). Judah and Jerusalem were conquered, and the Temple destroyed.
I need to learn from this historical example and follow Paul’s warning to New Testament believers that covetousness is idolatry. Paul makes it clear that we as followers of Christ must get serious. There needs to be a real difference in the way we live and the way unbelievers live. He writes this to the Ephesians, “For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” Ephesians 5:56
LORD, protect me from falling into the idolatry that calls covetousness love. In a culture that has declared that it couldn’t it be wrong when it feels so good. Help me to put off my old sinful nature and put on the new life I received as a gift when I trusted your Son. Keep me from stumbling into wickedness.
Our next D3 focus: “How to track God’s redemptive story from Genesis to Esther,” the historical backbone of the Old Testament.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!