December 19 Zephaniah’s Double Feature

Photo by Nathan Ward

Photo by Nathan Ward

Zephaniah 1:1-3:20;  Revelation 10:1-11;  Psalm 138:1-8;  Proverbs 30:11-14

Destruction

“The great day of the Lord is near,

near and hastening fast;

The sound of the day of the Lord is bitter;

the mighty man cries aloud there.

 A day of wrath is that day

a day of distress and anguish

a day of ruin and devastation,

a day of darkness and gloom

a day of clouds and thick darkness

a day of trumpet blast and battle

cry against the fortified cities

and against the lofty battlements.

I will bring distress on mankind

so that they shall walk like the blind,

because they have sinned against the Lord,

their blood shall be poured out like dust,

and their flesh like dung.

Neither their silver nor their gold

shall be able to deliver them

on the day of the wrath of the Lord.

In the fire of his jealousy,

all the earth shall be consumed,

for a full and sudden end

he will make of all the inhabitants

of the earth.”

Zephaniah 1:14-18

Delight

“Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion

shout, O Israel!

Rejoice and exalt with all your heart,

O daughter of Jerusalem!

The Lord has taken away the judgments against you;

he has cleared away your enemies.

The King of Israel, the Lord,

is in your midst,

you shall never again fear evil.

Fear not, O Zion;

let not your hands grow weak.

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 with his love;

he will exult over you with loud singing.”

Zephaniah 3:14-17

O Lord God, it is hard to read words of judgement and destruction.  Yet such words were and still are meant to turn unbelieving hearts back to you.  You desire that all men be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth–that ‘delight’ is your middle name and that you want to be able to sing joyously over all those who believe in you.   Thank you, Father, for sending your Son, Jesus Christ, to do battle with sin, death and the devil on the Cross–thank you for His victory!  We need fear no more evil-it has no hold on us.  Grant that during this season of Advent we may be bright, bold Truth bearers of your message of hope and salvation through the Babe of Bethlehem.  It’s in His name we pray, Amen.

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