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Zephaniah 1:1-3

Talks for Growing Christians

A Prophecy of God’s Judgment

Zephaniah 1:1-3

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Lesson Number 1

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. During the coming Tribulation Period the earth will suffer greatly.
  2. During the coming Tribulation Period mankind will suffer greatly.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t give up hope for another great awakening.

Questions

  1. What is the theme of the book of Zephaniah?
  2. Zephaniah is the only prophet of royal blood. What king was he related to?
  3. Zephaniah prophesied during the days of King Josiah of Judah. Briefly describe Josiah’s reign.
  4. King Manasseh and King Ammon ruled before King Josiah. What did they do for the kingdom?
  5. What role did Huldah the prophetess play in the Southern Kingdom of Judah?
  6. There are two primary judgments in Zephaniah’s prophecy. Explain.
  7. What is the difference between a revival and an awakening?

Answers

  1. The day of the Lord.
  2. Zephaniah’s great-great grandfather was Hezekiah, who reigned over Judah at the end of the 8th century B.C.
  3. Josiah reigned from 640 B.C. to 609 B.C. He was only eight years old when he came to the throne. He was a good king. During his reign, a great revival took place in Judah. Read about this in 2 Kings 22-23 and 2 Chronicles 34-35.
  4. Both were wicked kings who practiced idolatry and led the kingdom of Judah down hill morally and spiritually. They even destroyed the available copies of Scripture.
  5. In 622 B.C., a hidden copy of the law was found in the temple. It was brought to Huldah the prophetess, and she explained that God was going to bring judgment on Judah according to the curses of the law. This triggered a nation-wide time of repentance, which resulted in a great revival in 621 B.C.
  6. Zephaniah’s prophecy of judgment looks forward to God’s immediate judgment of Judah, and it looks on to God’s worldwide judgment in the end times.
  7. In a revival, God’s people are spiritually revived; they return to worship the Lord. In an awakening, unbelievers are converted.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Read 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 concerning the Rapture of the Church. The Rapture of the Church is the next event on God’s prophetic calendar. There are no prophecies that have to be fulfilled before the Rapture can take place. This event could happen at any time – even today. Are you ready for the Rapture?
  2. The Tribulation Period will come after the Rapture of the Church. The earth will suffer greatly during this period. Read about this in Zephaniah 1:2-3; Isaiah 24:1-3; and Revelation 8:7-9.
  3. Not only will the earth suffer during the coming Tribulation Period, but mankind will also suffer greatly. Regarding this, read Zephaniah 1:3; Isaiah 24:6; Matthew 24:21-22; and Revelation 9:13-18.

Challenge

  1. Don’t give up hope for another awakening. In view of the coming Tribulation Period (which may be in the near future as we consider the current world situation) obvious questions come to the mind of the believer, “Is it too late for a change of heart in this nation?” “Is it too late to respond to God’s wake-up call?” “Have we as a nation reached the point of no return?” America has had two great spiritual awakenings in her history. Let’s pray for a third. It could happen. Read the promises of 2 Chronicles 7:14.

Key Verses

  • “ ‘I will utterly consume everything from the face of the land,’ says the Lord. ” - Zephaniah 1:2
  • “ ‘I will consume man and beast…I will cut off man from the face of the land,’ says the Lord. ” - Zephaniah 1:3
  • “ If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. ” - 2 Chronicles 7:14

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