Zephaniah: Prophet of God
For several weeks, we will look at the little book of Zephaniah in the Old Testament, a book that deals primarily with the coming wrath of God to sinners. God’s wrath is easily misunderstood in our culture, sometimes as evidence of God being perpetually angry or vindictive, and sometimes as something to be discarded in favor of a kind God who never uses punitive measures. Thankfully, both of these are wrong, as the Bible teaches us how God is both holy and just, loving and true. His relationship with our broken and sinful world, then, is to wait with great patience in His timing and extend mercy. Eventually, however, He will always step in to act in wrath, bringing punishment to evildoers, to right the wrongs in our world.
Zephaniah, one of twelve minor prophets found in the O.T., spoke prophecies to the kingdom of Judah during a time of turmoil and sinfulness. They had allowed their idolatry and disregard of God to run rampant, so He was planning to send them into exile as punishment for their sins, so that justice would be done. But God extended a way of mercy to those who would seek Him through repentance and faith. We, too, have the way of mercy offered to us forever through faith in Jesus Christ. He took on the wrath of God that we deserved so that all who would believe could have mercy and life in Him.
We hope you will join us for these few weeks to consider God’s wrath because of our sin, and His promise of restoration because of His mercy and love.
Bible Reading Plan
During these weeks, we will be reading about other minor prophets of the Old Testament, along with the historical background and context of the country of Judah during this time. We also, having just finished our series through Mark’s gospel, will read of the continuation of the story of Jesus as He works through His disciples to reach Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and the ends of the earth.