Summary: This is the 27th sermon in the series "3:16- Numbers That Bring Hope".
Series: 3:16- Numbers That Bring Hope [#27]
THE HOPE THAT COMES FROM SALVATION
This sermon series has been based on the 3rd chapter and 16th verse of each book of the Bible; but the base of this series is John 3:16. John 3:16 gives us hope because it explains to us how we can have everlasting life with God. Zephaniah shows us God’s promise of salvation not only to the Jews; but also to the Gentiles.
Zephaniah mentions Hezekiah as a part of his family line. Most likely, this was King Hezekiah which means Zephaniah was a part of the royal family and lived in Jerusalem. King Hezekiah was supposed to die; but he pleaded with God to let him live a little longer. God allowed him to live another 15 years. During that time, his son Manasseh was born. Manasseh was the worst king in Judah’s history. The things he promoted in Judah resulted in the nation declining past the point of no return and God pronouncing certain judgment. Although Manasseh repented at the end of his life, his son, Amon, continued the idolatry and decline. Josiah followed Amon and was a godly king. He brought about spiritual revival, but he could not stop the judgment of God. He could only postpone it. When he died, the people went back to their wicked ways because his reforms were more than likely forced on them, (by command of the king) and not from their hearts.
It is possible that Josiah's reforms coincided with the ministry of Zephaniah. It could have been that God used his ministry to turn the nation around. Zephaniah understood God’s judgment was inevitable and pointed to the coming day of the Lord. He pictured the coming judgment on the nation of Judah and the Gentiles; but he then indicates that the Day of the Lord would also bring deliverance for Israel and the Gentiles.
Zephaniah 3:14-15 (NIV)
“Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem! The LORD has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm.”
There is hope in…
1. God’s forgiveness.
Zephaniah tells us to be glad and rejoice because God has taken away our punishment. We all know that the punishment of sin is eternal death; but Zephaniah is prophesying that God is erasing that punishment. That punishment was put on Jesus Christ and through Him, that punishment has been erased. The enemy has been turned back by Jesus Christ and there is not a thing he can do about that.
Zephaniah 3:16 (NIV)
“On that day they will say to Jerusalem, "Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp.”
There is hope in…
2. God’s strength.
With God on your side, you have nothing to fear. There is no reason to fear the enemy when you belong to God. This is not just a mental strength; but a strength that encourages you to action. Through Christ, you can do all things.
Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)
“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."