Brother Mike shared with us this week several key things that first of all we absolutely needed to hear. Second they were some very real truths about our own mindsets. He shared with us and we all agreed how we felt so wonderful when we were in God’s presence, but that it didn’t have to be something we hit every once in a while. He shared with us one key statement that I keep running over and over in my own head. He shared with us that, “You are as close to God as you want to be”. His overriding theme Wednesday night was “HUNGER”. He shared how some people are real particular about how everything goes at a meal. But he shared that people who were hungry for God weren’t worried about that. They would say, “Pass the Taters!” I feel this week I wouldn’t do our revival justice if I didn’t take his theme and share with you some more from my heart.
A. Zephaniah was a wonderful prophet of the Old Testament. We should keep in mind that when he proclaimed these very words; he was probably living about 630 years before the birth of Christ.
1. The first Three chapters and eight verses focus on the Lord’s wrath in the Day of Judgment.
2. From Chapter 3 vs. nine to the end of the book the prophet shares with us some very powerful truths.
II. Sing O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel!
A. Let’s stop there. Often we think that some stuff in the Bible is just filler material. I fully believe that God inspired someone to place this in here so it must be of some worth to us if its in here. Amen
B. If you open a letter from a friend what is the first thing you see?
1. Dear Possum grits, Dear monkey lips,
a. Zephaniah is saying hey Daughter of Zion, Israel listen!
C. Ok this is to the nation of Israel it doesn’t pertain to us, we can move on. NO!
D. My friends we must remember that we are now the spiritual nation of Israel.
1. Romans 10:12-
2. Galatians 3:28-
III. Be glad and rejoice- Why? This is why
A. The Lord has taken away your punishment
1. After all this destruction that Zephaniah just laid on everybody else, he says but the Lord has taken away your punishment. The Lord has mercy on us.
B. He has turned back your enemy
1. Remember in this portion of text Zephaniah is prophesying about the future. In verse eleven he says, “On that day...” And that thought continues here.
2. On that day our enemy will be turned back. When the Day of Judgment comes we will be rid of that still small voice- that lies to us! The one who corrupts our thoughts and our actions will be defeated on that day.
IV. “...do not let your hands hang limp.”
A. It seems that the tense changes here from the Day of Judgment to the present.
B. Military story of being found with hands in your pockets.
C. It also seems like this may be a portion we can’t really understand, so let’s just skip over it. No!
1. Hebrews 12:12 tells us, “Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.” Verse thirteen goes on to tell us to make level or straight paths for our feet. That is Walk, as a believer should walk. Why? So the lame may be healed.
2. So Zephaniah is calling us to action.
3. Actions on our part turn into blessings on our part.
V. We learned this week that drawing close to God takes an effort on our part to say “God I’m just hungry.” “I need spiritual food every day.”
A. You guys know that I have weird food habits. I don’t like onions. I never have I never will. I don’t like ketchup, mustard, mayo, or relish.
1. I get on candy kicks sometimes. When I was younger I wanted a Reese’s cup. I got a little older and I liked Zagnut. Still a little longer and I was hooked on the white chocolate Nestle’s with the almonds. Then there was Almond Joy. And Oh! Henry were those Baby Ruth’s good. Then I hung out with the three muskysteers for a while. Now I’ve gotten the past couple of years pretty heavy into listening to all the Snickers about my weight gain.
2. I tell you all that to show you that sometimes our tastes in life change.
3. I can honestly tell you that ten years ago I would have never gotten near a spinach or an artichoke, much less eat them together...
B. Brother Mike told us that when you get hungry for God you don’t care about formalities, you simply say, “Pass the Taters”.
1. That’s true...but.
2. Sometimes I just get burnt out on taters.
3. When you get hungry for God, my friends he doesn’t just have taters, he’s got a banquet table set out for you and me. But you’ve got to go to God first and say “I’m hungry.”
VI. That sounds good, but what does God have at His banquet table?
A. Any Hee Haw fans? Grandpa Jones used to tell us what was for dinner right?
B. The Lord God is with you- The veil was torn and no longer was he a distant God but a God that was now with us.
C. He will take great delight in you- The God of this universe will delight in me?
1. Isaiah 62:1-5
D. He will rejoice over you with singing.- I thought we were the ones who were supposed to sing to God? God will sing about me?
VII. It’s nice that you love me God! It’s nice that you sing about me! But I’m a concrete person God. What are you going to do for me?
A. Verse 18- I was looking up events in the United States that we celebrate. There’s Arbor Day, New Year’s Day, Alaska admission day, Utah admission day, trivia day, twelfth night day, Jackson day, and of course Elvis’ birthday. And that’s just through January the eighth. In the United States we have over 350 recognized holidays.
1. God will remove these stumbling blocks to us.
B. Verse 19- We’ve talked about it before that our God is a Just God. He will meter out Justice, it’s His character.
C. I will rescue the lame and ...put to shame.
VIII. Ok! That’s what you’re going to do for others but what about me personally on that Day of Judgment?
A. Verse 20 tells us...
IX. My friends when you’re hungry for God you just want taters. But be reassured that when you commit to following God not only does the banquet get better but everyday the journey to the table to eat gets just a little easier.