The Biblical Way – September 27

Zephaniah 1

In today’s reading:

The judgment of the Lord; the future destruction of the Gentile nations; the people are encouraged to rebuild the temple; the infidels are reprobate

The Israelites who had returned from Persia with Zerubbabel began rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem with great enthusiasm. But, there was great opposition from their enemies the Samaritans. They also began to build their houses and at the same time they were working long hours in the fields, which also contributed to not putting God’s things first in their lives. To be sure, there were many “legitimate excuses” that were put forward why the construction of the temple was suspended.

As the people built their houses and established their businesses, they seemed to be without hope of time to build the temple. Zerubbabel was sure to be discouraged as he thought about all that remained to be done, how few workers there were, and how threatening their opposition was. While the Israelites kept waiting for better days, some 14 years passed and nothing else was accomplished for the Lord.

Then God began to move the prophet Haggai to proclaim: “(The) Word of Jehovah . ” After two months, Zechariah also began to proclaim “(The) Word of the Lord” (Ezra 5: 1; Haggai 1: 3-11; Zechariah 1: 1).

Haggai first announced: “Thus has the LORD of hosts spoken, saying, This people says, They have not yet arrived. . . the time that the house of Jehovah will be rebuilt. Then came the Word of the Lord through the prophet Haggai, saying, Is it time for you? . . to dwell in your paneled houses, and this house (of the Lord) is deserted? . . . Meditate well on your ways. You sow much, and reap little. . . “ (Haggai 1: 2-6).

Hearing “(The) Word of Jehovah,” the people renewed their interest in rebuilding the temple, the only place designated by God for His people to worship. This time they ignored the threats of their enemies “and the elders of the Jews were building and prospering” (Ezra 6:14); and they finished the temple in four and a half years.

Without “(The) Word of Jehovah” as the banner, we too subsequently fall into deception. When we stay in the Word of God, we renew our love for His Word and at the same time impart to us the spiritual strength necessary to put God first in our lives.

Jesus said, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. . . . But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you “ (John 14: 18,26).

Thought for today:Today, we are going to tell someone about the Lord.

Memory Verse of the Week: James 1:12

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