The nations that rebel against the precepts of God’s Word have the threatenings of His Word against them,
and the effect will be no less than their total destruction in the day of His fierce anger.
It concerns each one to make it sure to themselves that they shall be hid in the day of God’s wrath,
in a hiding place of God’s providing.
1 Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired;
2 Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD’S anger come upon you.
3 Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.
4 ¶ For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up.
5 Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the LORD is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant.
6 And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks.
7 And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the LORD their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity.
8 ¶ I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the revilings of the children of Ammon, whereby they have reproached my people, and magnified themselves against their border.
9 Therefore as I live, saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall possess them.
10 This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the LORD of hosts.
11 The LORD will be terrible unto them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen.
12 ¶ Ye Ethiopians also, ye shall be slain by my sword.
13 And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness.
14 And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he shall uncover the cedar work.
15 This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand.
Zephaniah 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Zephaniah 2 – Meekness Saves, Pride Destroys
The nation, on the whole, had no remorse, no desire for God; but there were a few meek and lowly souls, and the hope was held out to them that they would be hidden from the coming overthrow. God discriminates in His judgments, and sends His angels to conduct Lot out of Sodom. The judgment of the surrounding nations occupies Zephaniah 2:4-15. Philistia, Moab, Amnion, Ethiopia and Assyria, are mentioned. God never forgets the treatment meted out to His people by their foes, Zephaniah 2:8-10. The captivity of Israel would be turned again, but there was no hope of recovery for the peoples that had rejoiced in their overthrow. What a picture is given in Zephaniah 2:11 of famished gods! It seemed incredible that great Nineveh should become a wilderness, yet so it has been for centuries. Whenever an individual or nation dwells carelessly, destruction is not far away. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Zephaniah 2:3—It may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.
The name of this prophet means, “Whom God hides or protects.” The hidden man invites others to his hiding-place; and shows how we may be hidden in the day of God’s anger. It is said that in the center of the wildest cyclone there is a point of absolute calm: so amid the wildest storms that have swept the face of the world there have always been some of God’s hidden ones:–
“The secret place, the refuge from the blast,
The glorious Temple, Lamb of God art Thou;
Our feet shall tread the golden courts at last,
Our souls have entered now.”
“I cannot deny,” writes Tersteegen, “the corruptions of the external Church; but I think my dear friend has more necessary things to attend to. Within! Within! With God alone!” There is truth here, though not all the truth. We must have Elijahs as well as Zephaniahs.
Only those may know the hidden life who fulfill the conditions here described. They must be meek; they must work his judgment; they must seek righteousness and meekness. It is the soul that bends before the blast of the terrible ones; that gives place to wrath, not because of pusillanimity, but because of the fear of the Lord; that hands over its cause of alarm and fear to the Most High, which abides in his secret place, and hides under his shadow.
Let us seek these things, and then there will be no may-be in our being hidden. We shall certainly be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger; hidden in the wounds of Jesus, hidden in his heart, hidden in God with Christ, hidden in the fiery glory of his intolerable holiness.
“Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee!” —Our Daily Homily