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Judgment Day is Coming!. The Book of Zephaniah. Date: 640BC Author: Zephaniah, prince of Judah Audience: The people of Judah Purpose: Zephaniah warns the people that if they refuse to change, God will be forced to punish them. The Basics. Read the Book of Zephaniah (all 3 chapters!) Then:

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Judgment day is coming

Judgment Day is Coming!

The Book of Zephaniah


The basics

Date: 640BC

Author: Zephaniah, prince of Judah

Audience: The people of Judah

Purpose: Zephaniah warns the people that if they refuse to change, God will be forced to punish them

The Basics


What you need to do

  • Read the Book of Zephaniah (all 3 chapters!)

  • Then:

    • Describe the theme for each chapter

    • Describe where this book fits in the story of the Old Testament

    • What does this book say about God’s character?

    • How does it apply to you?

What you need to do:


The characters

  • Josiah is now King of Judah

  • Fifty years since Hezekiah has reigned

    • Hezekiah was a good king, but the two kings that came after him were terrible. Josiah is also a good king, likely because of Zephaniah’s influence

  • Zephaniah, son of Cushi, great-grandson of Hezekiah

    • Ancient Cush is now known as Ethiopia. The name “Cushi” means “The Ethiopian”

The CHaracters


Background

  • When Josiah took the throne, he was 16

    • Zephaniah sought to encourage the young king in how to follow the Lord, and why he ought to be concerned about it

  • The book encouraged Josiah to put an end to idolatry

    • Josiah destroyed the Asherah Poles, the Baal shrines, and the Molech altars, likely because of what he had read in Zephaniah’s book

Background


Chapter 1

  • Theme: Judah Measured

  • God searches Judah for sin:

    • If he finds it… watch out!

      “I will utterly sweep away everything from the face of the earth!”

    • Why?

      People have built their entire lives around sin and selfishness

Chapter 1


Chapter 11

“Those who say in their hearts, ‘the Lord will not do good, nor will he do ill.’ Their goods shall be plundered and their houses laid waste.”

  • People who think that God is a nice idea, but doesn’t really affect your life either way are fooling themselves

  • He isn’t just talking about Jerusalem and Judah – “The Day of The Lord” refers to Judgment Day

Chapter 1


Chapter 2

  • Theme: The Whole World Measured good, nor will he do ill.’ Their goods shall be plundered and their houses laid waste.”

  • God takes his wrath with sin to the whole world, but…

    “Seek the Lord all you humble of the land, who do His just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the Lord.”

Chapter 2


Chapter 21

  • God has called people to repentance, true repentance. good, nor will he do ill.’ Their goods shall be plundered and their houses laid waste.”

    • Remember: turn from your sins, don’t just say you’re sorry!

  • God describes all the places he will bring low:

    • Ashdod, Ekron, Nineveh, Ashkelon, Gaza

    • These were some of the most powerful cities on the planet at the time

Chapter 2


Chapter 22

The good, nor will he do ill.’ Their goods shall be plundered and their houses laid waste.” Turning Point:

“…and to Him shall bow down, each in its place, all the lands of the nations.”

In other words, God is stating that no longer would people have to go to Jerusalem to worship the Lord. It will not matter where you are, it will matter where your heart is.

This is absolutely revolutionary for Jews!

Chapter 2


Chapter 3

Theme: Israel’s Restoration good, nor will he do ill.’ Their goods shall be plundered and their houses laid waste.”

God promises to restore His people – He will remove all the judgments, clear away the enemies

The people will be brought back to the land and lifted up from their brokenness

Chapter 3


Chapter 31

“For… I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech that all of them may call upon the name of the Lord.”

God is saying all people will one day be brought to Him. People from all corners of the world will bring offerings to God, and the shame of their previous sins will have no hold on them

Chapter 3


Chapter 32

“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 with His love, He will exult over you with loud singing.

  • Looking ahead, God is saying one day He will be closer to you than ever before, he will comfort all your hurts, and lift you up with pride for having followed Him though it was hard to do.

Chapter 3


So what

The Book of Zephaniah walks us through not only our sin and the path to redemption, but the fearsome degree of God’s wrath at our disobedience, as well as the boundless depths of His love and His desire to bring us back to Himself.

We may deserve punishment, but God wants nothing more than for us to come to Him…

SO What?


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