Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Lord of All Nations

August 6: Zephaniah 1-3


9 “For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples
to a pure speech,
that all of them may call upon the name of the Lord
and serve him with one accord.
10 From beyond the rivers of Cush
my worshipers, the daughter of my dispersed ones,
shall bring my offering.

11 “On that day you shall not be put to shame
because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me;
for then I will remove from your midst
your proudly exultant ones,
and you shall no longer be haughty
in my holy mountain.
12 But I will leave in your midst
a people humble and lowly.
They shall seek refuge in the name of the Lord,
13 those who are left in Israel;
they shall do no injustice
and speak no lies,
nor shall there be found in their mouth
a deceitful tongue.
For they shall graze and lie down,
and none shall make them afraid.”
Zephaniah 3:9-13

Lord of All Nations

Zephaniah, like many of the other minor prophets, spoke not only of the judgment to come upon the nations, but also the salvation of the righteous. What makes Zephaniah noteworthy is found in chapter 3, verses 9-13 (shown above). After the pronouncement of judgment against Jerusalem and all of the nations, Zephaniah speaks of the conversion of the nations, and then of Israel's joy and restoration.

The conversion of the nations speaks to those of us who are not of Jewish descent; as Paul described it in Romans 11:23, we have been grafted in.

And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.

Look again at verses 12 and 13 above.

12 But I will leave in your midst
a people humble and lowly.
They shall seek refuge in the name of the Lord,
13 those who are left in Israel;
they shall do no injustice
and speak no lies,
nor shall there be found in their mouth
a deceitful tongue.
For they shall graze and lie down,
and none shall make them afraid
.

We cannot even imagine such a time as this; we are so accustomed to the effect of sin around us and even our own sin, that we can only read such verses with longing.

Actually, even though we read of a time of such peace, our faith is so small; it is hard to wrap ourselves around such verses and put ourselves in them. But, a time of such peace is coming; it will be a time when sin has been removed from the earth.

Think about living in a time when no injustice will be done, no one will speak deceitfully, and there will be no fear of murder or harm. Only in Christ will we be able to experience such a thing; truly our God is a Refuge. We can hide in Him in perfect peace; even now, when sin still abounds, God, our Refuge, grants that perfect peace to His children.

Lord of all nations, be our Refuge and stronghold in this day of trouble, and grant us your peace.
Amen.

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.


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