Read: Zephaniah 3: 17 – 20
Zephaniah is a book of prophecy written during King Josiah’s reign. The king worked to reform Judah, and had quite the mess to clean up after taking King Manasseh’s place. Manasseh is recognized for leading the people into deeper idolatry, human sacrifice, and many other dreadful things. He even turned the temple into places of worship for other gods.
Zephaniah was a prophet who delivered God’s message to warn the people of how God planned to purge the land as well as the people. Much of the book seems hopeless and even scary at times; however, God sweetly promises to protect a remnant of the people and to gather all the nations together to be with Him.
Through Zephaniah, God paints a beautiful picture of a loving Father seeking to correct His children and offer the best for them. Despite His children’s rebellion and blatant disregard and apathy toward their Father, He lovingly gives them a new name. He turns their shame into praise. He sings over them, quieting them with His love. He saves them from the darkest parts of themselves.
I couldn’t help but think of the parallels of when I comfort my one year old daughter. Sometimes she tries to do things that are dangerous for her. I remove her from the situation and tell her why it is not safe. She continually walks or crawls right back to the situation, and again and again I remove her from the situation. Until finally, she bursts into tears in frustration. I pick her up and rock her. Singing to her or making comforting sounds to quiet her cries with my love. I do this out of a deep love and concern for her.
How much more does our Father love us. We choose objects and people that we desire and yearn for more than Him. Even though those things disappoint and leave us hopeless. We continue to vainly cast our anchors into them. He lovingly draws us back, correcting us, and setting us back on the path of righteousness; however, He loves us too much to not allow us the choice. When we have brought shame upon ourselves and lose sight of who we even are, He is there with us. Reminding us of our identity. Quieting us by His love.
Smile in a Cup: God is a loving Father who saves us from the darkest parts of ourselves and turns our shame into praise.
Questions to Journal about or comment below:
* Which truth about God’s love most encourages you about these verses?
* Is it difficult for you to believe that God could redeem you from your darkest? Why?