Why The People Perish
Zephaniah was a descendant of good King Hezekiah and was contemporary with Jeremiah and Habakkuk. He prophesied in the days of King Josiah and undoubtedly had some impact on the king’s efforts to reform the spiritual climate of the Northern Kingdom of Judah.
As one will notice from the other prophets it is common to declare what exactly the people had done (and were doing) that would bring about God’s wrath and judgment on the people. Hosea spoke the word of the Lord saying, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (Hosea 4:6).
Zephaniah gives four clearly defined faults in Zephaniah 3:2 which would lead to the demise of the people:
- Jerusalem did not obey the voice of God.
- She would not be corrected.
- She did not put her trust in the Lord.
- She would not draw near to Him.
Men are no different today and neither is the Lord (Hebrews 13:8). Many in our nation and, yes, even in the church, refuse to obey, will not be told they are wrong without getting angry and defensive, do not truly trust in the Lord by following His Word, and continually move further and further away from God and move closer and closer to hell.
In order to be spiritually blessed by God and saved when this life is over it is imperative that every accountable man and woman:
Obey Him: “When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. (2 Thessalonians 1:7 – 8).
When we sin we must allow His Word to correct us: “For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death” (2 Corinthians 7:10). “Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?” (Hebrews 12:9).
We must put our trust in the Lord: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).
And we must draw near to Him: “Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22).
Where am I lacking in saving myself from this crooked generation (Acts 2:40)? We must die to ourselves and live to righteousness in this world (1 Peter 2:24) if we hope to live with Him in eternity. Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 2:38), confess His name with your words and your life (Matthew 10:32 – 33), and be faithful (Revelation 2:10; Matthew 25:21, 23).