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Zephaniah 3:1-8

Talks for Growing Christians

Zephaniah Continues His Prophecy of Judgment

Zephaniah 3:1-8

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Lesson Number 4

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The past judgment of Jerusalem was justified.
  2. The future judgment of the nations will be justified.

Practical Application

  1. Take a closer look when you think everything is out of control.

Questions

  1. What makes the structure of Zephaniah’s prophecy similar to a number of the Old Testament prophecies?
  2. Give a brief outline by chapters of Zephaniah’s prophecies.
  3. What message do Zephaniah’s prophecies of judgment have for us?
  4. Who is the oppressing city of Zephaniah 3:3?
  5. For what sins was this city judged?
  6. How did the people of this city respond when they were warned by God through Zephaniah, and even disciplined?

Answers

  1. The prophecies contain both good news and bad news, with the bad news coming first.
  2. Chapter 1 – Zephaniah prophesies God’s judgment against the whole world, and then against Judah and Jerusalem Chapter 2 –Zephaniah prophesies of God’s judgment against the foreign nations surrounding Israel Chapter 3 – Zephaniah returns to prophecies of God’s judgment against Jerusalem, concluding with judgment against the whole world.
  3. God hates sin and He must judge sin, then and today.
  4. Jerusalem
  5. The people of Jerusalem did not trust and obey the Lord, the civil leaders corrupted justice, the religious leaders twisted and distorted the word of the Lord for their own purposes; and the temple of the Lord was no longer a holy place.
  6. They did not return to the Lord. In fact they rose early (were eager) to corrupt all their deeds. See Zephaniah 3:7.

Discuss/Consider

  1. The past judgment of Jerusalem was justified. Because of her sins, not long after Zephaniah prophesied, God allowed the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar to conquer Jerusalem and destroy the beautiful temple that Solomon had built. It was a sin when justice was corrupted by the civil leaders of Jerusalem. Do you know any corrupt politicians today that could be likened to lions and wolves (Zephaniah 3:3-4)? The religious leaders of Jerusalem were twisting and distorting the word of the Lord for their own purposes, and the temple of the Lord was no longer a holy place. Is there a parallel to this type of blasphemy and desecration today? What will it take to turn our own country around?
  2. Read Joel 3:1-2; Zephaniah 3:8; Zechariah 14:2; Matthew 25:31-33; and Revelation 16:16. This is the time of the Battle of Armageddon. The future judgment of the nations will be justified. No one will dare question the Judge, the Lord Himself.
  3. In Zephaniah 3:8, the Lord is addressing the godly remnant of the last days, the great number of believer

Challenge

  1. In Zephaniah 3:5 we read, “Every morning the Lord brings His justice to light…” There is no excuse for unrighteous ways because God’s standards were known then and they are still known, even in the midst of moral and spiritual corruption. God is in control. Look around, and you will find something to indicate that God is still on the throne, and that His righteous standards are still standing. God has raised up godly leaders in the midst of our national time of crisis. Thank God for leaders who practice righteous standards.

Key Verses

  • “ Woe to her who is rebellious and polluted…not obeying His voice nor receiving correction… ” - Zephaniah 3:1
  • “ The Lord is gracious in her midst, He will do no unrighteousness. Every morning He brings His justice to light. ” - Zephaniah 3:5

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