"The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." - Zephaniah 3:17
Live Your Life One Day At A Time; "One Day" Your Time Will Come
THE DESIRED OUTCOME
Exercise your role as a platform for safety, well-being, justice, and for the benefit of others.
THE PROBLEM: Culture decay and leadership decay
The leaders in Israel failed to lead at home and at work with integrity, and the nation failed.. Corrupt leadership and moral decay will contribute to the decay of the culture.
God's people will exercise their role as a platform for safety, well-being, justice, and for the benefit of others. God leaves in our midst people who are meek, humble, and who trust in the name of the Lord
Who Was Zephaniah?
Zephaniah, a descendant of King Hezekiah denounced idolatry during the reign of King Manasseh. He denounced the false prophets who had profaned the Temple of God. He described the coming exile of his people and God's redemption, bringing universal faith in the one true God.
1. Chapter One:
Zephaniah prophesied the total destruction of Judah and Jerusalem in Particular. Nothing can deliver them from God's punishment because of the sin committed by the people and their leaders.
"I will utterly consume everything From the face of the land, Says the Lord; I will consume man and beast; I will consume the birds of the heavens, The fish of the sea, And the stumbling blocks along with the wicked. I will cut off man from the face of the land," Says the Lord. I will stretch out My hand against Judah, And against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. I will cut off every trace of Baal from this place, The names of the idolatrous priests with the pagan priests" -Zephaniah 1:2 -4
When God punishes, He withholds His blessings and your ability to make a living is diminished All the traders have perished; all who weigh out silver are cut off (Zephaniah 1:11)
THE PIVOT: Seek God's Favor To Pivot
- When God's favor is upon you, He demonstrated delight is tangible. God's favor has tangible evidence.
- God's punishment is our own making.
- We lose God's favor when we work faithlessly, turning our professions and accomplishments into idols.
- Work that creates idols has no spiritual value. Any work or anything that keeps you away from God will not yield good fruit.
- Our idols cannot deliver us "neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them"- Zephaniah 1:18.
- If our reaction to trials is despair, then we are feeling the uselessness of a powerless idol, but if our response is faithfulness, then we are experiencing the saving power of God. The character of God is the foundation of His people. God's character is the bulwark against moral and leadership decay.
How do you guard against sin? What is your bulwark against creating idols?
2. Chapter Two:
Zephaniah prophesied against Jerusalem and Judah. The remedy is to actively seek the Lord, His righteousness, and humility.
"Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together, O undesirable nation, Before the decree is issued, Or the day passes like chaff, Before the Lord's fierce anger comes upon you, Before the day of the Lord's anger comes upon you! Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, Who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden In the day of the Lord's anger"-Zephaniah 2:1-3.
Even in wretched circumstances, it is still possible to be faithful
THE PIVOT: Put God's Priorities First In Your Life
- Faithfulness is not lip service, not superficial praise to God while we pursue our dreams. To faithfully seek God is to put God's priorities first in our daily life.
- Upheld God's justice. Work that oppresses or takes advantage of others ultimately brings about its own downfall.
- Seek Humility: If our response to success is narcissistic, we are practicing idolatry. If our response is humble gratitude, then we are worshiping God.
- Seek righteousness: Even in wretched conditions, you can still be faithful witnesses to God's purposes, both in the quality of your presence and the quality of your product.
Decayed leadership contributes to a decayed culture. Poor leadership brings poor spiritual health
How do you put God's priorities first in your life?
3. Chapter Three:
Zephaniah prophesied against Jerusalem and its leaders, rebellious and polluted. God will leave meek and humble people and restore people (remnant) who will do no unrighteousness
Woe to her who is rebellious and polluted, To the oppressing city! She has not obeyed His voice, She has not received correction; She has not trusted in the Lord, She has not drawn near to her God.
I will leave in your midst A meek and humble people, And they shall trust in the name of the Lord. The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness And speak no lies, Nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth; For they shall feed their flocks and lie down, And no one shall make them afraid." Zephaniah 3:-2,12-13
Even in a corrupt environment, you can find a way to be righteous, humble, and trust in the Lord.
THE PIVOT: Trust In The Name of The Lord
- Even in dark times, when your enemy may appear to have control and influence over your sphere of influence, be confident that God is in control and His words are true.
- Waiting on the Lord and staying at your post is good, what is even more pleasing to God is waiting on Him with righteousness and humility.
Listen to God's voice, return to Him and restore your fortunes with God.
In what ways you can lean on God rather than operating in your own Strength?
How can you be sure you are leaning on God's strength?
TAKEAWAYS FOR TODAY
There may come a time when you experience despair and face tough times.
Remember, God's determination to restore you and rejoice over you is unchanging
Live your life one day at a time; "One Day" your time will come
"The Lord your God in your midst,(God is present) The Mighty One, will save; (God will save the day) He will rejoice over you with gladness,(God will exceed all your imagination) He will quiet you with His love,(God will give rest and renew you) He will rejoice over you with singing." (God will dance and express Joy over you) - Zephaniah 3:17