Daily Word


Read Zephaniah – read and reflect on the three chapters as a whole. This is different from what we’ve done with other books because Zephaniah hit me differently than other books and I am not ready to move on…. and if I’m feeling this way, maybe you are too.

I had to confess to the LORD that chapters 1-3:8 made me fear him. But it wasn’t the reverent fear I normally experience, it was more like the cowering fear an abused child might feel. Confrontation and wrath scare me.

He gently took my confession and reminded me I am not condemned. I am his. The wrath to come is against those who live opposed to Him. The wrath is God’s protection and rescue over believers – evil must be dealt with – I do not need to be afraid of it. And I no longer was.

Then I prayed for a holy comprehension of him singing over me from 3:17. It’s a big switch from God of the universe to God who delights in me personally. The president of the United States may declare war and imprison bad guys to protect me, but he is certainly not going to drop by my house and sing over me…. Yet God is that personal! The LORD God Almighty has the whole world in his hands, and time to delight in little old me, and little old you.

Zephaniah showed me that I need a bigger concept of the LORD.

And the LORD, in full mercy and grace, gave me a picture of myself getting on the floor with my dogs. I am their master, but when I get on the floor, it’s play time! I delight in them and they know they are precious to me.

I shared last month that my biggest take-away from the retreat in Montana was to cease striving (September 14th post titled Remember). Jesus just plain loves me and his love is not fickle or temperamental. I have loved and been loved imperfectly, yet God’s love is perfect. Today is a beautiful day to cease striving and simply try to wrap my head around that – playfully. He delights to spend time with me and his time is infinite!

Beloved, sit with Zephaniah just a little bit longer and see what the LORD reveals to you. Confess, play, get on the floor and wrestle if you must, but don’t leave this book without all that God has for you.

Daily Word

Zephaniah 3

Read Zephaniah 3 – Rebellion and redemption – Jerusalem is in a pridefully broken place, “No one can tell it anything, it refuses all correction.  It does not trust in the LORD or draw near to its God.” :2  That sounds very much like the times we are living in.

Things are bad, but look at verse :5!  God’s people are not lumped in with the wicked, he is there with them, “But the LORD is still there in the city and he does no wrong.  Day by day he hands down justice, and he does not fail.  But the wicked know no shame.” :5  And the LORD tells his people to be patient, his justice is coming. (:8)

The remainder of chapter 3:9-20 is overflowing with blessed hope and promise of things to come.  I keep reading through it… “For the LORD your God is living among you.  He is a mighty savior.  He will take delight in you with gladness.  With his love, he will calm all your fears.  He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”  :17

Will you meditate on verse :17 for a while?  Will you imagine life with the LORD delighting in you and singing joyful songs… Do you ever think of God in this way?  He is playful, adoring, and loves you in a way that will calm your fears.  We live in a state of tension, yet God’s Word promises things will not always be this way.  Look at the protection, “And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you.”  Consider all the unseen oppressions we face every day.  Traffic and political uncertainty, climate threats, inflation, family discord, taxes… and every other thing that oppresses your spirit will be removed under the LORD’S love and protection.  

May Zephaniah set your heart on the LORD in a fresh/refreshed manner.  He is the LORD who protects, saves, delights, sings, calms, gathers, restores, gives glory and a name of distinction to his beloved children. 

Daily Word

Zephaniah 2

Read Zephaniah 2 – Second chances – Our chapter opens with a second chance to repent. “Gather before judgment begins, before your time of judgment begins, before your time to repent is blown away like chaff. Act now, before the fierce fury of the LORD falls and the terrible day of the LORD’S anger begins. Seek the LORD, all who are humble, and follow his commands. Seek to do what is right and to live humbly. Perhaps even yet the LORD will protect you – protect you from his anger on that day of destruction.” :2-3

The LORD’S will is that all will repent and turn to him and here in the face of extreme wickedness the people get one final last chance. The commentaries say that Zephaniah was the last to prophecy before the destruction of Nineveh in 612b.c. and the Babylonian invasion that conquered and exiled Judah. During the exile we get the events of Daniel like Shadrack, Meshak and Abednego in the fire… Daniel in the lion’s den… the writing on the wall – I’m just trying to tie in some of your old Sunday school lessons to give you a historical perspective and remind you that this prophecy was fulfilled then and foreshadows the end times events that may very well be in our lifetime.

Zephaniah mentions the remnant of the tribe of Judah in verses :7 and :9 . God always protects the remnant, the few that are godly. We live in wicked times, but rest assured that God sees you and sets you apart as his beloved.

The chapter describes what the destruction will look like, this is a responsibility of God’s to tend to the wicked. At a certain point all the second chances are finished and it’s time for judgement.

Beloved, we live in trying and defiant times. Take heart in the fact that Jesus is on the throne; keep the faith and keep pointing others to Christ.

Daily Word


Read Zephaniah 1 and any introduction your bible includes – Zephaniah gets right to the point. He says (he prophesies, or speaks God’s own words for the people), “I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth.” :2 Then he goes on to broaden the listeners’ understanding of what God sees and is about to do.

I found verse :6 oddly beautiful and comforting. It shows God’s heart and expectation: “And I will destroy those who used to worship me but now no longer do. They no longer ask for the LORD’s guidance or seek my blessings.”

Beloved, drifting breaks God’s heart. The LORD actually wants his children to seek his guidance and blessings. It is for our good and his glory that we remain close. The people Zephaniah is addressing have wandered into the dangerous territory of abandoning God. When love letters, then warnings do not get heard, punishment is necessary. Good parents always discipline their children to bring them back to right behavior.

Next we read, “Stand in silence in the presence of the Sovereign Lord….” :7a, and my own heart longed for silence. It takes effort in our busy world to get silent time before the LORD, to turn off the distractions of life, to quiet our mouth and mind enough to bask in his presence, but again, this is a protection for us. As Pastor John Piper puts it, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”

Beloved, as you read, think about how you are hearing the words. We know that God is good all the time and all the time God is good… are you able to hold on to that here in this passage? No one likes punishment, but at times it is all that can save us. Will you take this passage as a cue to inventory your heart and make every correction the Holy Spirit leads you to?