The Promise of Hope

Category: Religion and Philosophy

Brian and I were talking last night, and it occurred to us that God doesn’t really want to judge people – that we force His hand, so to speak. It’s as if He’s saying, “Look, I really don’t wanna go through with this whole judgment thing – I want to bless you! Just repent, rend your heart, and change your ways, and I’ll call the whole thing off! …but since you won’t, you leave Me no choice. Judgment is coming…” and with every promise of judgment comes the promise of hope – what God longs to do when judgment has purified His people. Zephaniah can be a pretty depressing book as far as judgment goes… but when you get to the end, you see our Lord’s purpose for this judgment: Repentance, so He can bless.

Therefore wait for me, declares my Lord
Until the day I rise up for plunder.
For my decision is to gather nations,
to assemble kingdoms,
in order to pour out My indignation on them,
all My burning anger;
for the whole earth will be consumed by the fire of My jealousy.

For I will then restore
pure speech to the peoples
so that all of them may call on the name of [YHVH]
and serve Him with a single purpose.

From beyond the rivers of Cush
My supplicants, My dispersed people
will bring an offering to me.

On that day you will not be put to shame
because of everything you have done
in rebelling against Me.
For then I will remove
your boastful braggarts from you,
and you will never again be haughty
on my holy mountain.
I will leave
a meek and humble people among you
and they will trust in the name of YHVH
The remnant of Israel will no longer do wrong or tell lies;
a deceitful tongue will not be foud in their mouths
But they will pasture and lie down
with nothing to make them afraid

Sing for joy! Daughter Zion
shout loudly, Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
Daughter Jerusalem!
My Lord has removed your punishment;
He has turned back your enemy
The king of Israel, My Lord, is among you;
you need no longer fear harm.
~Zephaniah 3:8-15