Zephaniah 3

The end of nations that have continued to be of the earth and of the devil,
when Christ comes to set up His kingdom, shall be destruction.
The reproach of Israel shall then be removed,
and all who are permitted to enter that Kingdom will have occasion, with all their hearts,
to eternally rejoice in Him, for God will have forever removed calamities from them,
the noise of war will be silenced,
sinful nature put under control and God and His Christ made all in all.

1 Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city!

2 She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God.

3 Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.

4 Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.

5 The just LORD is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.

6 I have cut off the nations: their towers are desolate; I made their streets waste, that none passeth by: their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, that there is none inhabitant.

7 I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction; so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them: but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings.

8 ¶ Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.

9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.

10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.

11 In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain.

12 I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD.

13 The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.

14 ¶ Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.

15 The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.

16 In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.

17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

18 I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden.

19 Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.

20 At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD.

Zephaniah 3 – Fullness of Salvation

   The sins of Jerusalem, Zephaniah 3:1-7. Uninfluenced by judgments upon other nations, Jerusalem pursued her course, morally impure, oppressive, refusing instruction, estranged from God. Yet God still dwelt in the city which He had chosen. Morning by morning His Spirit was appealing for repentance and righteousness. Through His faithful ones He was still shedding the light and glory of a holier civilization through the community, but the population at large refused to heed.
   The effects of cleansing judgment, Zephaniah 3:8-20. These closing verses are marked by great tenderness, showing as they do, the results that God’s dealings are designed to effect. A pure life; service with one consent; the trust of the afflicted soul in the love of God; the weaning of the heart from all iniquity—what great and lovely results of that long captivity! Let God have His way with you! He will change your sorrow into songs; will cast out your enemies and turn again your captivity; will manifest His infinite love, now in brooding tenderness, and then in outbursting songs. Those who have been filled with sorrow, and have borne the burden of reproach for God, shall be comforted. Even the halt and exiled shall participate, and become a name and a praise. The captives would be liberated and the dispersed would be gathered home. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Zephaniah 3:17—The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is Mighty; He will save.

​   If this announcement is compared with the foregoing verse, it becomes apparent that only those may take its blessed comfort who have made the Lord their King. It is when the Lord, the King of Israel, is in the midst that we cease to fear the incursion of evil. Entire surrender and consecration must precede that deliverance from the power of evil which we all desire in our holiest hours.
   O tempted one, who fearest every hour because of the fury of the foe, that seems only waiting to destroy, look no longer upon him, but behold thy glorious Lord. “He will save.” Dare to repeat those words again and again, as a sweet refrain. Dare to believe that the battle is not yours, but his. Fear not; nor let thine hands be slack! Do thy work in the world, and let God keep thee.
   But God will do more than save the yielded trusting one. He will rejoice over the soul that finds its all in Himself. Such exquisite satisfaction will fill his glorious nature, that it shall be as when the heart can no longer contain itself, and wells over with liquid music. It is much to hear a nightingale sing; more to hear an angel; more to hear some child of Adam redeemed from sin sing the new song: but most to hear the great God break out into song. So a mother sings over her babe. O my God, may my life give Thee joy; not grief, nor tears, but a song.
   But He does not always express Himself thus. He is sometimes “silent in his love.” At such times He does not speak or sing, but broods over the soul that has dared to trust Him. “He will rest in his love.” There are times when the heart is too full of blessedness to speak—it has learned to abide in the secret place. An ocean too full to permit of waves! —Our Daily Homily