Summary: God’s ticked off but that’s half the picture, the glorious picture of God singing completes it.
When God Sang (Part 2)
“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." Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)
A man suddenly started feeling horrible and was sent to the hospital.
The next day, the doctor had a talk with the man’s wife. He said, "Your husband has been suffering from serious stress. If immediate action is not taken, he could die in a very short time."
The woman said, "What type of immediate action?"
The doctor said, "You must provide a stress-free environment in your home. For the next two weeks, make wonderful meals for him every day. Also, you must be sure that you don’t nag him or stress him in any way."
On the drive home from the hospital, her husband asked, "So what’s wrong with me, honey?"
The woman paused for a moment and then replied, "Sorry, honey, but you’re going to die."
Did u get a sinking feeling lately? Feel horrible about the world? Stressed out? Need some immediate action??? Your world is just about to get worse!! Because that’s how God feels!
A. PAIN: God is burning
1 The word of the LORD that came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, during the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah:
2 "I will sweep away everything
from the face of the earth,"
declares the LORD.
3 "I will sweep away both men and animals;
I will sweep away the birds of the air
and the fish of the sea.
The wicked will have only heaps of rubble
when I cut off man from the face of the earth,"
declares the LORD.
4 "I will stretch out my hand against Judah
and against all who live in Jerusalem.
I will cut off from this place every remnant of Baal,
the names of the pagan and the idolatrous priests-
5 those who bow down on the roofs
to worship the starry host,
those who bow down and swear by the LORD
and who also swear by Molech,
6 those who turn back from following the LORD
and neither seek the LORD nor inquire of him…
17 I will bring distress on the people
and they will walk like blind men,
because they have sinned against the LORD.
Their blood will be poured out like dust
and their entrails like filth.
18 Neither their silver nor their gold
will be able to save them
on the day of the LORD’s wrath.
In the fire of his jealousy
the whole world will be consumed,
for he will make a sudden end
of all who live in the earth."
This is scary stuff!! Blood poured out like dust and entrails like filth??? Why did God announce such scathing words? Scholars believe that the conditions of the time of Zephaniah were in one word “disgusting”. It was during the time when the nation of Judah, was still reeling under the very evil reign of their two previous kings, Mannaseh, who reigned 55 years and Amon who reigned 2 years (2 Chron.33). Their reigns provoked God, as they led the nation into idolatry of the grossest kind that included child sacrifice, witchcraft and building of pagan altars in the Temple of God.
The intent of Zephaniah’s prophecy was to tell the truth of how God really felt. To put it bluntly, God was deeply angered and was to the point of being just plain fed up. It was an “in your face” rebellion, an outright assault on the holiness of God. The defiance, the pride, the depravity, the mocking of God, the insults of other nations (2:4-15), the arrogance of their so-called spiritual leaders, the oppression by the powerful elite (3:1-4), the complacent spirituality who believe that nothing is going to happen saying “The Lord will do nothing, either good or bad” (1:12) really got under God’s skin! God’s anger is more than justified. God’s anger is kindled. God’s on fire! God’s going to clean house! Just you wait and see, God is going to turn loose His terrible wrath, all hell will break loose, “in the fire of his jealousy, the whole world will be consumed” so warns Zephaniah.
Are you thinking what I am thinking? Is there not a striking similarity to the conditions of Zephaniah’s time to ours? Is there “in your face” rebellion, spiritual complacency and apathy? Is there the sacrifice of children on the altar of birth control and convenience under the guise of reproductive choice? Is there the witchcraft of dizzying displays and stories of so-called supernatural psychic phenomena, UFO or ghost or Elvis sightings that turns people away from seeking God? Is there idolatry of the grossest kind where images of little children are worshipped as sex objects, building of pagan pornography on Satellite/Cable TV and Internet altars in the homes, mocking of God as He is blamed for every natural disaster when they don’t even believe God exists. Is there a cult worship of “reality TV,” wealth of Donald Trump or a Martha Stewart, plastic surgery and clones of America’s next top models? Genocide, famine, war, injustice, all because of human grudges revenge, rage, squabbling, political maneuvering, . Do you think God is provoked to anger in our time? Do you think God will sit by idly? Nothing bad is going to happen??? If there is a holy and just God, what is He feeling as He sees what goes on here in our lives, in our cities, culture, our world? How will He respond as He examines each human heart and see that it is deceitfully wicked and beyond cure?