Recently a friend said to me, "I used to fear how people perceived me. Then I discovered that Satan's deviousness is something even greater to fear. Later, however, I learned that to fall under God's wrath is to be feared the most."
Zephaniah describes the day when God's anger will be poured out as "a day of terrible distress and anguish, a day of ruin and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness" (1:15). The prophet's description presents a terrifying picture! Note the descriptive nouns used to characterize this day when God will pour out His wrath on those who have chosen sin instead of Him.
The initial warnings in Zephaniah's message were directed to the people in Judah. They had worshiped God, but only superficially, for they worshiped other gods too. Judah had turned away from following the Lord and failed to seek Him and His guidance (vv.4-6). Though they said they believed in the existence of God, it had little or no impact on the way they lived.
Zephaniah said, "Stand in silence in the presence of the Sovereign Lord, for the awesome day of the Lord's judgment is near" (v.7). What does it mean to be silent before the Lord? It may mean that we should stop making excuses for our sin, or that we cease trying to deny that we're sinners, deserving of God's wrath. Silence is sometimes viewed as a way of admitting one's guilt (Leviticus 10:3). It is also a sign of reverence (Psalm 62:1; Habakkuk 2:20).
After being silent, we must repent by seeking the Lord and following His commands, to do what is right and to live humbly (Zephaniah 2:3). Although God's great day of judgment is coming soon (1:14-16), it's not too late to turn back to God. , Poh Fang Chia
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