Saturday, May 14, 2011

Purge or Preserve

Zephaniah, a small 3 chapter book, a minor prophet tucked away in the middle of your bible with a simple message. Repent and be saved! Return to the covenant keeping God and be blessed. Be silent before Him . . . the day of the LORD is near. Prophets proclaim salvation and repentance. I love the prophets for that reason . . . simple message, pure obedience to the LORD to proclaim Him, even if they’re fearful, inadequate, or unsure. The message is hard to hear at times and even harder to obey, but the words are simple.

Theme of Zephaniah: The day of the LORD (1:7), preached more consistently by him than any other prophet. This approaching day shows two faces: judgment against those who sin against God, and one of blessing for those who follow him. God will show himself just in both punishment and praise. (*Taken from my ESV Commentary)

God will purge the faithless and preserve the faithful.

Purge-rid of whatever is impure, remove, eliminate
Preserve- to keep alive or in existence; make lasting.

For those who do not repent, for those who continue in their own way . . . judgment and destruction. Oh but for those who turn! Singing, salvation, restoration, rejoicing!

“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 by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” (3:17)

Can you even imagine this? A God, in your midst, rejoicing over you with gladness? Quieting you with love? This is just beyond me. The Creator and Sustainer of the universe, soothing us with love and delighting in us when we repent and pursue Him.

Repent & return?
Punishment or praise?
Purge or preserve?
Faithless or faithful?
Destruction or salvation?
Mourning or gladness?
Weeping or rejoicing?

I choose praise! I choose repentance, obedience, silence, salvation, reverence.

I choose God . . .

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