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 am Brian. It is great to be here with you today as we as we come around this Global Campfire, come in out of all the festivities and all of the activities and…and even out of all the chaos that can be this time of year and just take our place around this warm fire that’s glowing in this oasis, this place and we can step away from it all for just a few minutes and allow God to reorient us so that we go back out into the world with our perspective rearranged. So, it is great to be here with you for that next step and we kinda have a little tradition as we move through December of moving quickly through all a lot of books, like reading entire books of the Bible in a single sitting, especially as we move to the minor prophets in the Old Testament. And, so, today is no different. we’ll read an entire book. It’s called Zephaniah
Introduction to the book of Zephaniah:
It’s the ninth of the minor prophets and as with the other minor prophets, we don’t know much about Zephaniah. The book itself gives us the most substantial information that we have and that’s in the first verse, “the Lord gave this message to Zephaniah when Josiah, son of Oman was king of Judah. Zephaniah was the son of Cushi, the grandson of Gedaliah, and the great-grandson of Amariah, son of Hezekia. So, what’s interesting about that description is that Zephaniah traced his ancestry four generations back instead of just naming his father, which would be customary. So, it’s not sure but that maybe because Zephaniah was a descendent of…of the godly and reforming King Hezekiah. And if that was the case, that would explain how it is that Zephaniah is so aware of the world that’s surrounding him as he speaks in this book. And if he was a descendent of a King, of King Hezekiah, then obviously his writing would’ve been given credibility and would’ve been paid attention. Zephaniah’s name means God has hidden. And he says that he received this message during the reign of Josiah. And that would put him in the early to mid-600s B.C. which would put him in the same time period as other prophets like Jeremiah. Many biblical scholars believe that Zephaniah, because of the writing style, was familiar with the writings of…of other prophets like Isaiah because the language and the tone is similar. Many of the prophecies that we have been reading, they’re targeted specifically at certain people and certain groups, whereas Zephaniah seems to…seems to be offering a prophetic work that talks about the judgment of the entire known world, which included Judah. And Zephaniah was…was sharing that God’s judgment, His judgment on evil was eminent and he describes that as the day of the Lord, which is…which is central in this book. So, Zephaniah’s warning of the day of the Lord and encouraging a response and that response his repentance before it’s too late. And this idea…I mean…and we’re kinda getting some of this imagery in Revelation as well. This idea of the day of the Lord of this ultimate judgment can certainly breed hysteria, can certainly evoke all kinds of ominous imagery of the kind of devastation upon the earth that we can’t even imagine. So, it can make us fearful. It can make us dread the future. But we need to remember what God was after. What God is ultimately doing here is eradicating evil not eradicating people. But that requires collaboration. Anyone that wasn’t willing to rid themselves of evil would be swept away no matter where they came from or no matter what claim they had, but certain people would survive, certain people would live through it, people who embodied a specific posture. And Zephaniah’s speaks of that, “those who are left will be the lowly and humble. It’s they who trust in the name of the Lord.” So, we’ve read enough prophetic work, prophetic writings in the Scriptures to kinda understand that there…there is an arc to them, there is a prophetic utterance of judgment but that also brings the heralding of a new beginning, a pure new beginning and Zephaniah’s no different. So, judgment is foretold, but restoration is foretold and that’s almost across-the-board in prophecy. I mean, we lose sight of that pretty quickly, often because we get lost in…in the foretelling of judgment, but there is also the foretelling of restoration. So, let’s find comfort in that as we read in its entirety the book of Zephaniah which contains three chapters. And we’re reading from the God’s Word Translation this week.
Father, we thank You for Your word. We thank You for another day in the rhythm of life that is each and every day in Your word as we move through a year. So, we thank You that on this day we were able to encounter an entire book, Zephaniah. And we thank You Father that, although yes, we can read of the ominousness, we also see that there are…there are always alternative paths, it doesn’t have to go that way. And this is so true of our own lives. It doesn’t have to go that way. There is an alternative path a narrow one, the one that leaves…leads to life. And we have been asking all year for You to lead us on that path and we thank You for Your faithfulness to us. And, so, as we and our time today, Father, Psalm 138 say what we need to say. And, so, we pray this together. We give thanks to You Father with all our hearts. We’ll make music to praise You in front of the all God’s. We will bow toward You. We will give thanks to Your name because of Your mercy and truth. You have made Your name and Your promise greater than everything. When we called You answered us, You made us bold by strengthening our souls. All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, oh Lord, because they have heard the promises You spoke. They will sing this about the ways of the Lord, the Lords honor is great. Even though You are high above us Lord, You see the humble close-up, and You recognize arrogant people from a distance. Even though we walk into the middle of trouble You guard our lives against the anger of our enemies. You stretch out Your hand and Your right hand saves us. You will do everything for us. Lord, Your mercy endures forever. Do not let go of what Your hands have made. And Father we reach for You with that assurance and we go into this day with that confidence. Come Holy Spirit we pray, in the name of Jesus we ask. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is home base and that’s where you find out what’s going on around here.
It’s been Christmas. It’s been Christmas for a while around here, Christmas time. It has been Christmastime everywhere. Can you believe that we are less than a week from Christmas day? So, I it’s almost time for our annual Christmas party our virtual Christmas party where we called in all those calls. We’re getting that together, hopefully, hopefully this weekend maybe Monday at the latest. Just in time for the festivities of the holidays. So, we’re getting that together and that’ll be fun…it’s always fun. It’s always made…it’s already made me cry. Just hearing…just…you’ll see…you’ll see. And, so, it’s just so heartwarming, such a heartwarming thing, our annual Christmas party. It’s one of my favorite things that we do as a community in the year. So, watch out for that. That’ll be coming soon.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible here in these last days of the year, thank you profoundly, humbly, with…with a full heart. Thank you for your partnership. So, there’s 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 you prefer, the mailing address is PO Box 1996 Spring Hill Tennessee 37174.
And, as always, if you have a prayer request or comment you can hit the Hotline button in the app, the little red button at the top or you can dial 877-942-4253.
And that is it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.