Hello hello hello and welcome back to reading the Bible! Today we read another minor prophet, Zephaniah. I don't really have much to say up front other than you probably know what you're getting into...God gives a message of "get your life together or Babylon is coming" and the people ignore it. However, there is still gospel here! There is still God here! There is still lessons for us here. More on that below. If you want an overview of this book and how it differs from others around it I invite you watch this short video from the Bible Project.
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
What does this teach me about God?
What does this teach me about humanity?
What does this teach me about the prophets?
How is this message different from the other prophets? How is it the same? Why is this included in the canon in addition to the others?
- My Thoughts -
Alright, this probably isn't the most pastoral thing to say but I guess I'm starting to feel less bad for Israel at this point. Zephaniah begins by saying that he is the son of Hezekiah, a prophet that we studied somewhat recently. That means that these messages and warnings from God have been going on for at least 10 years before the damage actually happens. 10 YEARS. It makes me think of people in toxic relationships that eventually need to cut the cord for both peoples sake. I still believe firmly in my core that the greatest act of love we can do is be in a deep and personal relationship with someone day in and day out caring for their needs...but if that person is refusing to grow and it's a burden on you than you need to cut them out of your life. I've seen people do this with partners, friends, family and yes even parents and children....but it's made everyone better on the other side, albeit with a lot of pain in the process. But where there is pain, and loss, and confusion, so to is there God. Are you losing patience with Israel like me? Or are you still troubled by the exile? I'd love to engage more with this in the comments or by email!
Today's prayer is inspired by hymn 139 in our methodist hymnal. I invite you to listen, hum, or sing along to the video below or simply pray the lyrics to yourself.
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
The King of creation
O my soul, praise Him
For He is thy health and salvation
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near
Praise Him in glad adoration
Praise to the Lord
Who o'er all things so wonderfully reigneth
Shelters thee under His wings
Yea, so gladly sustaineth
Hast thou not seen how thy desires e'er have been
Granted in what He ordaineth
Praise to the Lord
Who doth prosper they work and defend thee
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee
Ponder anew what the Almighty can doIf with His love He befriend thee
Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him
All that hath life and breath
Come now with praises before Him
Let the 'amen' sound from His people again
Gladly for aye we adore Him