Introduction to Zephaniah – Zephaniah was most likely the great-great-grandson of Hezekiah. He ministered during the reign of King Josiah of Judah around 640-609 B.C. He lived and spoke to the people of the southern kingdom since the north was in Assyrian hands. He enjoyed good king Josiah until Josiah’s early death. Manasseh and then Amon followed in power but ruled badly. During Josiah’s reign, the Assyrian empire was deteriorating and Babylonia was on the rise, so Judah had peace for a while. King Josiah was able to rid Judah of much Assyrian idolatry while making other good reforms. The problem was that the Hebrew people’s hearts did not flow with those reforms. They had a long history of formal religion without commitment to God. Many of his themes were about the End of the World and final judgments.

Zephaniah 1 – He begins and ends this chapter by proclaiming that God will remove and completely end everything on earth some day! The “great day of the Lord” is described as being wrathful, troublesome, destructive, terrifying, and desolate. Materialistic wealth will not help. In the meantime there would be local judgments against Judah and Jerusalem.

Zephaniah 2 – There is hope of escaping the coming judgment if a person was humble and sought the Lord. Many nations, even Ethiopia, would be destroyed, but yet that remnant from Judah will experience restoration. Arrogance seems to be the main sin. Many would say to themselves, “I’m number 1, and there is no other besides me.” Not good.

Zephaniah 3 – Verses 1-8 metes out further judgments. Verses 9-20 speaks of restoration. I believe, however, that these last verses are referring to the New and Old Covenant people who are saved. Why? Verse 13 says, “the remnant of Israel will do no wrong” and verse 15 says, “You will fear disaster no more.” The only time and place where there will be no sin and no fear is in the afterlife when His Eternal Kingdom is set up in a new heaven and a new earth. Just my own thought here.

Insights for Today: There are a number of reasons why God hates pride. One is that it is sin and leads to many other sins. It is a cancer within humans that seemed to get its origin from Lucifer. In order to have a perfect utopia again, pride must be destroyed forever, never able to rear its lofty, sinful head again. I believe God accomplished this through the perfect humility of His Son, and His Son will give all saved people His own righteousness. What is really amazing to me is that the only perfect humble entity is God Himself and only He has accomplished myriads of wonderful things that give Him the right to be proud…but He isn’t! That’s a big “WOW!” I look forward to dwelling in heaven where no entity will have pride.