Summary: How do we fight complacency in our spiritual lives?
10 "On that day," declares the LORD, "a cry will go up from the Fish Gate, wailing from the New Quarter, and a loud crash from the hills.
11 Wail, you who live in the market district; all your merchants will be wiped out, all who trade with silver will be ruined.
12 At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those who are complacent, who are like wine left on its dregs, who think, ’The LORD will do nothing, either good or bad.’
13 Their wealth will be plundered, their houses demolished. They will build houses but not live in them; they will plant vineyards but not drink the wine.
14 "The great day of the LORD is near-- near and coming quickly. Listen! The cry on the day of the LORD will be bitter, the shouting of the warrior there.
14 "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.
15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!
16 So, because you are lukewarm-- neither hot nor cold-- I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
17 You say, ’I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.
20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.
22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
I know you have sometimes become complacent. We all do. Believe me, I know complacency as well as anyone.
We might become complacent about the elections, or work, or homework.
Sometimes we become complacent about our spirituality, and our relationship with God, and that becomes a very dangerous time for us.
Sometimes Christians entertain such thoughts such as;
Don’t get too concerned…
Let’s keep things as they are…
Let someone else take care of it…
Or – I just don’t care.
Nothing can weaken or destroy our spiritual life more than complacency.
Soren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher, told a story about a goose who was wounded and who landed in a barnyard with some chickens.
He played with the chickens and ate with the chickens.
After a while that goose thought he was a chicken.
One day a flight of geese came over, migrating to their home. They gave a honk up there in the sky, and he heard it.
The philosopher said, "Something stirred within the breast of this goose. Something called him to the skies. He began to flap the wings he hadn’t used, and he rose a few feet into the air. Then he stopped, and he settled back again into the mud of the barnyard. He heard the cry, but he settled for less."
Complacency keeps us in the mud of the barnyard and keeps us from becoming all God meant for us to be.
Zephaniah has a harsh word to say about the person who has become spiritually complacent. In our Old Testament lesson, Zephaniah said that God would search the city 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.’”
We have been looking at the Minor Prophets for several weeks, taking a different one each week. This week we look at Zephaniah. There is no story or plot to this book. It is simply a speech, a sermon directed to a nation that had become complacent.
Zephaniah opens his book with a statement about who he is. He gives his credential. It’s like hanging one’s diploma in the office, or business license in the store.
Zephaniah starts his book with, “The word of the LORD that came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah.”
Now, I’m interested in genealogy. I like to know who my grandparents and great grandparents were. I like to preserve their stories. Zephaniah traces his family line to Hezekiah.