“I heard, and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails, and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:16-19).
Our passage for today comes from a book of the Bible that consists of a dialogue between the LORD and the prophet Habakkuk. This prophet had a complaint about the sin of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. It seems as thou they were unrighteous, rebellious, and unfaithful, yet God had delayed His judgment against them. “How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not save?” (Habakkuk 1:1-2). God assures Habakkuk that soon he would send the Babylonians, a bitter and hasty people, to extract judgment upon these rebellious people.
But then, Habakkuk had a second complaint, that being that the Babylonians were even more sinful than Judah! God then assures Habakkuk that Babylon would soon feel his wrath as well. Our verses for today are a commitment from Habakkuk to remain faithful even through the day of calamity the LORD was going to bring. As a follower of the true God of Israel,
He would prevail. As you read these verses, make no mistake about it – Like Judah, God will judge your sin, and He has a deadline after which His wrath is unleashed. Only through Jesus can you be forgiven and restored. So, if you know Him, then you will be strengthened and saved. If you don’t, then embrace Christ as Lord today before it is eternally too late!
Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger. (Zephaniah 2:3). The book of Zephaniah is a message to Judah and to the surrounding nations. Judah was coming out of a dark time in their history having endured the reigns of Manasseh and Amon, two of their most evil kings who worshipped pagan Gods and engaged in horrible perverse practices.
After their reigns, God allowed a righteous king, Josiah, to reign. He renovated the Temple and brought the Word of God back to the people. This resulted in a spiritual revival in which the people repented and turned back to the LORD. Judah was a small kingdom surrounded by powerful enemies. But through God, this oppressed nation had hope again.
To encourage their faithfulness, Zephaniah exposed the sins of Judah’s rulers. He exhorted the Jews to look at the way God judged her neighboring nations as a motivation to accept His correction. Zephaniah makes it clear that the Lord God is in control, guiding them until the time when the Messiah comes. This anointed leader will come at the end of days. He will be God’s Son. In our scripture for today, the Judeans are urged to seek God, to succumb to God, and to serve God. Only through God can they be sheltered from the hot breath of God’s anger.
The Bible includes hundreds of prophecies about the Messiah, and each and every one of them are fulfilled in only one person…Jesus the Christ. In the midst of a message of judgment, Zephaniah brings a message of mercy, hope, and restoration for that small remnant who surrender to Him. Jesus said that broad is the way to destruction but narrow is the way to salvation and few find it. As you read these verses, make a renewed commitment to quit following the crowds to be part of the chosen few who love, serve, and are saved by the LORD!