Summary: The prophet Zephaniah has a great message for the people of God today.
The first reading we read today came from the book of Zephaniah chapter 5.
The Book of Zephaniah is probably best known for being the least known book of the entire Bible. It is a small book, it is in the middle of the Minor Prophets, toward the end of the Old Testament.
There are Major prophets and Minor prophets. Major prophets are Daniel Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel; these books are kind of easy to find in our Bibles.
And minor prophets who wrote books in the Bible too; these books are difficult to find in our Bibles. The name “minor” is given not by importance of what they wrote, but are called minor prophets because the amount of pages they wrote.
Among the Minor Prophets are Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi and the one we are studying today Zephaniah, his book is only 3 chapters.
We know about the book of Jonah, remember the God is going to destroy a city and sends Jonah to tell them the bad news, but Jonah disobeys and is thrown out of the boat and eaten by a big fish. The fish has him for three days in his tummy. After this three days Jonah is thrown out of the fish just where the Lord wanted Jonah to go. He preached the message of God, repent or die. Jonah was ready to see the destruction of the city, but they repented and God did not destroy the city.
Even thou we are more familiar with other minor prophets today we study the book of Zephaniah that is a great book with a significant contribution to make to the Old Testament and to the lives of the saints of every age.
We know very little of Zephaniah, the man -- the author of this book. Strangely, though, his genealogy is traced back four generations:
This is the prophetic message that the Lord gave to Zephaniah son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah. Zephaniah delivered this message during the reign of King Josiah son of Amon of Judah.
Zephaniah, was a priest and lived on the time of King Josiah on the south of the kingdom belonging to Judah. When we study a little bit of Israel story we see that the first king was King Saul, when Saul died none of his sons were made king, but King David.
King David had many sons, but Solomon was made king.
The kingdom was broken, the country divided into two kingdoms. Israel on the north side and Judah on the south. Judah where the name Jews comes from.
Judah’s history was a mixture of those kings who were righteous, walking in the ways of David, and those who were wicked, following the path of bad kings.
Now when Zephaniah was the prophet, Josiah was king of Judah; he was a good man who worship God, not like some other kings who forgot to worship God.
The prophet Zephaniah spoke more about Jesus than some other major prophets.
Zephaniah spoke about the punishment for Judah for looking for other Gods.
“I will completely remove all things
From the face of the [a]earth,” declares the LORD.
3 “I will remove man and beast;
I will remove the birds of the sky
And the fish of the sea,
And the [b]ruins along with the wicked;
And I will cut off man from the face of the [c]earth,” declares the LORD.
4 “So I will stretch out My hand against Judah
And against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
And I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place,
And the names of the idolatrous priests along with the priests.
5 “And those who bow down on the housetops to the host of heaven,
And those who bow down and swear to the LORD and yet swear by [d]Milcom,
6 And those who have turned back from following the LORD,
And those who have not sought the LORD or inquired of Him.”
Clearly the Lord is upset with man; God will destroy everything because man, the crown of creation did not worship HIM. Man decided to worship created things instead of God who made heaven and earth.
25 For they exchanged the truth of God for [a]a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed [b]forever. Amen.
Who is they?
You know who they are. They are all people who instead of worshipping Jesus worship other things created for instance the sun, the moon, technology, money, their own bodies.
The evil one has said in his heart, “There is no God”. They are corrupted and they are defiled in their schemes and there is none who does good.