Zephaniah 1:1-3:20, Revelation 10:1-11, Psalms 138:1-8, Proverbs 30:11-14
Today is the 19th day of December. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It is great to be here with you on hump day, and we’re inside of a week for Christmas now. So, my son, Ezekiel, he’s starting to count down the days, probably your kids are too. And I don’t know if its busy around your neck of the woods but it’s definitely busy around ours. So, having this rhythm, this space, this sacred space that we create each day together around this global campfire for the Scriptures to be poured into our lives is an anchor. So, let’s get to that. So, it’s no surprise that we we’ve been moving rapidly through the minor prophets in the Old Testament and previous to that we had moved rapidly through a number of letters in the New Testament. So, we’ve been encountering new books of the Bible regularly as the end of the year approaches. Today is no different. Today we’ll read another short but complete prophetic book. And this is the ninth of the minor prophets the book of Zephaniah.
Introduction to the book of Zephaniah:
Zephaniah, as with so many of the other minor prophets, we know very little about who Zephaniah was. The only substantial information we have is found in the first verse of the book, which reads the Lord gave this message to Zephaniah when Josiah son of Amon was king of Judah. Zephaniah was the son of Koshy, son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah. So, I mean, we could go, well that’s all I really need to know about Zephaniah other than the fact that whatever it was that he wrote down ended up in the Bible. So, I know what I need to know. But what’s interesting about the way this description of Zephaniah is given is that four generations are listed. Usually in the Bible if you’re trying to identify a person they will be identified by their father and maybe the grandfather, but in this case, we’re going back for four generations. And even though it’s not certain, this is might be because Zephaniah was a descendent of the good and reforming King, Hezekiah, which would explain Zephaniah’s awareness of the world surrounding him. And we’ll see that he’s aware as we read the book. And this would also of likely lend credibility to his prophetic work. Like if he was a direct descendent of the good King Hezekiah not only would it have given his voice some standing in the culture it would’ve also given credibility to the prophecy. So, Zephaniah’s name means God has hidden and he states that his message was given during the reign of Josiah. So, this would place him in the early to mid-600s B.C. and make him a contemporary with other prophets like Jeremiah. And, so, many scholars believe that Zephaniah was familiar with the writings of prophets like Isaiah because of the similarities in language and tone. Another thing that’s unique is that a lot of the works of prophecy, whether major or longer works of prophecy or the minor prophets, they’re specifically targeted to a specific group of people, but Zephaniah actually concerns his prophetic work basically with the judgment of the known world, and that included Judah. And according to Zephaniah, this judgment of evil was eminent. And, so, to that end the day of the Lord is a central theme throughout Zephaniah. And with the day of the Lord in view Zephaniah encourages his readers towards repentance before it’s too late. In fact, he says as much, “seek the Lord all who are humble and follow his commands. Seek to do what is right and to live humbly, perhaps even yet the Lord will protect you, protect you from His anger on that day of destruction.” So, the day of the Lord and, I mean, we’re kind of in some of this territory in the book of Revelation as well. This can evoke ominous imagery of terrible devastation and it can certainly give fear and dread, but we have to remember that it was evil that God wanted to eradicate, it wasn’t people, it was evil, it was deception. But those who were unwilling to rid themselves of evil would indeed be swept away no matter or where they were from according to Zephaniah. But to those who would move through this great day of the Lord would move through with a specific posture and they would survive and, quoting Zephaniah, “those who are left will be the lowly and humble, for it is they who trust in the name of the Lord.” And, as is typical as in the prophetic works, the conclusion of judgment then brings the heralding of a new and pure beginning and Zephaniah is no different, although judgment is foretold and its widespread judgment, so also is restoration. According to Zephaniah, “the Lord will remove His hand of judgment and will disperse the armies of your enemy and the Lord himself, the King of Israel, will live among you, and at last your troubles will be over and you will never again fear disaster.” So, we have certainly end in a tremendously encouraging place. So, with all of this being said, let’s read the book of Zephaniah. We’re reading from the new living translation this week. Zephaniah 1:1 through 3:20.
Father, we thank you for your word, we thank you for all that you speak to us each day through your word and the way that your word really does go deep within us and begin to subtly and slowly but methodically and surely change our perspective on nearly everything. And, so, we really have reached a point in the year that we can look back to the beginning of this year and realize we’re not the same person we were. It’s not that everything about us has changed, it’s not that we are struggle free, it’s not that we still don’t have challenges, and that we still don’t have to face hardships, but the way that we’re approaching things is being transformed, and we can look back through this period of time where we’ve invested every single day into your word and we can see that the process of sanctification is in fact real, it really is happening within us. You truly are making us holy, you truly are changing the way that we see and do everything. And, yes, we acknowledge we have so far to go. But father, we worship you for how far you have brought us. Thank you. We know that this will continue as we continue to apply your word into our lives. So, come Holy Spirit, lead us forward, lead us into all truth, lead us on the narrow path that leads to life, we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is home base, its the website, its where you find out what’s going on around here.
And, you know, how many more ways are there to say it’s Christmas time around here. But the Daily Audio Bible family Christmas is coming up, hopefully tomorrow. And, so, we have this annual Christmas party that we share together and that will be fun. It will just show up as an extra episode. And, so excited about that and that you are probably well…I don’t know…everybody has their own traditions. And even in the United States we have our own traditions about Christmas. So, traditions are different all over the world but the they might include special church, you know, presentations, plays, musicals, these kinds of things. That usually happens over the next few days and into the weekend and then obviously Monday’s gonna be Christmas eve and I just can't…it’s here. Like…I so deeply remember, like it was yesterday, this point in the year last year and it’s hard to believe a year has gone by and here we are about to, you know, look into Christmas and then into the eyes of a brand-new, sparkly, shiny new year. So, let’s drink it in and enjoy it for all that it brings to us because it really is a unique time of year. Truly, we the way that we feel during this time of year and believe it or not, that’s not always a positive thing. So, for some people it’s a deep time of reflection and remembrance. It’s not necessarily even a happy time, but what comes up around this time, no matter what’s coming up inside of us, it kind of only comes up this way, this time of year. So, whatever is coming up, whether feelings of home, whether feelings of loneliness, whether feeling grief for someone that you’ve lost, or whether feeling overjoyed that there will be a reuniting of your family, feel it is the point, like, rather than going one set of feelings is a good and these other experiences need to be suppressed. We suppress them all the time. And then something happens around this time of year and things begin to come up and their invitation to invite Jesus, this Christmas child, into these situations, allowing Him to speak into them, allowing Him to grieve with us allowing Him to heal broken places, allowing Him to wide eyed laugh and rejoice with us, and maybe even lead us into a place of peace that we thought that we wouldn’t be able to experience all because we just started paying attention that He is near. So, embrace that as we move into these next couple of days.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, you can do that at dailyaudiobible.com. There is a link on the homepage. If you’re using the Daily Audio Bible app, you can press the Give button in the upper right-hand corner or, if the mail is your preference, the mailing address is PO Box 1996 Spring Hill Tennessee 37174.
And, as always, if you have a prayer request or comment 877-942-4253 is the number to dial.
And that’s it for today I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.