The Koinos leaders have created a short reading guide for the book of Zephaniah. Click here to get it. We want you to have this because this Sunday we will begin a sermon series through this book. Please take time to read it over during the week before coming to worship each week.
Why should we read Zephaniah? What can we learn from it?
It is only three chapters long but it says a lot about God. The book is known as one of the “minor prophets”, the last twelve books of the Old Testament, Hosea through Malachi. The term “minor prophets” is used only because these books are so short. Their message on the other hand is huge. They speak of the “day of the Lord” more than any other books of the Bible.
The day of the Lord is the day God will bring His punishment upon those who have rebelled against Him disobeying His commands. Zephaniah warns that God will punish Judah, His own people, but also all the nations of the earth. Fulfillment of this prophecy came not long after it was stated in 586 BC when God sent the Babylonians to conquer Judah and deport the Hebrews into slavery. But there is a greater fulfillment that is still yet to come at the return of Jesus when He will punish all nations on earth for their wickedness.
But there’s something unique about Zephaniah’s prophecy. His prophecy about the day of the Lord is more than a day of God’s wrath. It will also bring a day of God’s rejoicing (Zephaniah 3:16-17). This little book says something about God that is found nowhere else in the Bible – God sings! Really. In many places the Scriptures instruct believers to sing to God and even sing to each other (Colossians 3:16) but in this one tiny book we are told that God sings. What is He singing? To whom does He sing?
It says this. “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
God sings words that are full of rejoicing and gladness, full of love. His singing is loud. His singing is in “your midst” or among those with whom He dwells. His singing is His exulting over those who have repented and returned to Him. These are people who now serve and adore Him. They sing to Him but they don’t sing more loudly than He sings. They sing with joy in Him but they don’t sing with more joy than He has. Wow! Now that is a huge thought to ponder.
This is God’s grace. God is angry at sinners for their evil deeds. But He does all that is necessary to rescue sinners from their sins, from their disobedience, and from His punishment for their guilt. And He is no longer angry at them – NEVER ANGRY AT THEM AGAIN. From that point on His is singing loudly over them, loudly because He is glad they belong to Him.
So read Zephaniah and see the amazing grace that would make God sing over you!