The prophet Zephaniah appeared at the close of Josiah’s reign. We will read a portion from his prophecy.
Zephaniah 3:8, 9
After wrath will come mercy. The language of men has become impure with sin. and their tongues are confounded with diverse forms of speech; but when the Spirit of God descended at Pentecost he sanctified human lips to the Lord’s service, and gave an earnest of that future day in which with one voice all nations shall praise God.
From afar shall Israel return to their land, and the most distant nations shall be converted to the Lord. O long-expected day, begin!
The cause of shame would be removed by sanctifying grace, and then they would enjoy peace with God.
When boasting is excluded, trust begins, and the poorest are then made rich in grace.
What a choice promise! Sin both starves and disturbs the soul, but grace brings both food and rest.
Zephaniah 3:14, 15
Joyful is the presence of God: what evil can harm us when Jesus is near? The fulfilment of this promise to Israel is yet to come, but believers in their measure enjoy it even now.
Zephaniah 3:16, 17
A marvellous expression. Think of God himself as singing! “As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride so shall thy God rejoice over thee!” Creation could not make Him sing, but the work of grace is above measure dear to his heart, and makes him “rejoice with joy”—a very vivid and forcible expression.
When in exile they could not hold their solemn feasts, and this was a burdensome reproach to them; but God will gather them, and their reproach shall be rolled away.
Zephaniah 3:19, 20
Persecution and contempt will come to an end, and the saints shall in the latter days be accounted the excellent of the earth. Shame and reproach are the cross which Christians must carry for their Lord’s sake, but the loving providence of God will change all this ere long, to the confusion of our adversaries and his own eternal glory. Let us hope and quietly wait, resting in the love of God.
The covenant of grace all blessings secures, Believer, rejoice, for all things are yours; And God from his purpose will never remove, But love thee, and bless thee, and rest in his love.