Summary: Zephaniah makes it clear that there is are consequences for the sin of leaving God out of our lives.
TRUTH AND CONSEQUENCES
“Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled, the oppressive city! She heeded no voice; she accepted no instruction. She did not trust in the Lord; she did not draw near to her God.” Zephaniah 3:1-2
THE TRUTH CONCERNING THE SPIRITUAL CONDITION OF JERUSALEM IN ZEPHANIAH’S DAY.
The spiritual shortcomings of Jerusalem were evident over an extended period. Except for occasional revival and rededication, the city, loved so greatly by God, was a continuing disappointment to Him. Our text tells us of one such period, cir. 625 B.C.
1. “She heeded no voice”.
Consider the words of our Savior as He viewed Jerusalem "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem the one who kills the prophets, and stones those who are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but you would not!” Matthew 23:37
2. “She accepted no instruction”.
Consider God’s instruction to Isaiah regarding the path that the people of God had taken.
“For thus the Lord spoke to me with mighty power and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people.” Isaiah 8:11
3. “She did not trust in the Lord”.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
4. “She did not draw near to her God.”
"Draw near to God and He will draw near unto you.” James 4:8
THE CONSEQUENCE OF JERUSALEM’S REBELLION
“For thus saith the lord of hosts, ‘Cut down her trees, and cast up a siege against
Jerusalem. This is a city to be punished, in whose midst there is only oppression."
Every sin has a consequence, sometimes instant, at other times delayed, but always
certain. The Bible makes this abundantly clear, consider: “Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7
“The wages of sin is death”. Romans 3:23
Some, but certainly not all, of the consequences of sin are:
1. Sin separates man from God:
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save: neither is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But you iniquities have made a separation between you and your God…” Isaiah 59: 1-2a
2. Sin hinders our prayer connection with God:
“And your sins have hid His face from you, so that He does not hear.” Isaiah 59: 2b
3. Sin relentlessly pursues the sinner:
“Behold you have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.” Numbers 32:23
III. THE REMEDY FOR HER REBELLION
God never leaves us without a remedy for sin. That remedy is clear. "If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked way: then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14