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Zephaniah 2:1-3:8 – Judgment on all nations

Before the Day of Yahweh and his burning anger comes on all nations, people should gather together to seek the LORD, to humble themselves and to strive to obey God’s commands. Doing this means that one might be hidden on the day of the anger of the LORD. Interestingly the name Zephaniah means “hidden by Yahweh”. This is exhortation is essentially the same as seeking Jesus at the cross and being ‘hidden’ from God’s wrath. Being hidden by the LORD is much better than being searched out with a lamp by the LORD.

The remainder of the passage speaks of the LORD’s judging the nations. First the Philistines – traditional enemies living on Judah’s west – will be judged. Then the Moabites and Ammonites on the eastern side of Judah will become like Sodom and Gomorrah. The lands of both peoples will be given over to God’s people. A hint of a future in which God’s people will inherit the earth. Even nations as the extremity of the known world like Ethiopia will be subdued by God.

But before the restoration of Judah they too will face judgment for their sins – they are rebellious and defiled, they do not listen to God’s voice, accept no correction, do not trust, do not draw near to God, leaders are like lions/wolves, prophets are fickle liars, priests profane holy things and do violence to the law.

May God keep us from these kinds of sins.