Tuesday, 08 August 2023
“Seek the LORD, all you humble of the earth who have carried out His ordinances; seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden in the day of the LORD’s anger.” -Zephaniah 2:3
The Prophet Zephaniah gives a warning about the imminent judgement of God in Chapter 1; a call to repentance in Chapter 2 and a promise of future blessing in Chapter 3. In our key verse today, Zephaniah used a play of words with the meaning of his own name, “Hidden in the Lord.” Even in the midst of the most calamitous of judgement scenes, the mercy and grace of the Lord is still available to a repentant people. [ NKJV Study Bible]
In chapter One the judgment was pronounced on Judah (Israel) however, in chapter Two the focus moves to judgment on the surrounding nations. These were seafaring nations and cities; but they all will become green pastures – all their glory will be struck down. The reason? : Zeph.2: 8- they have taunted God’s people and become arrogant against their territory. These nations’ pride, insulting and mocking would be dealt with, by the Lord.
The Bible clearly states that God hates arrogance and pride: "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate.” (Prov.8:13). Often pride stems from an overrated opinion of oneself! Proud people think so much of themselves that they look down on others! One can break pride by thinking more of others than oneself. God is ready to give His grace to the humble (James 4:6). Jesus Himself is our example of humility- "When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Peter 2:23). We too are exhorted to take on the same attitude as Christ did when He humbled Himself becoming obedient to go to the cross (Phil.2:5-8). Instead of acting with selfish ambitions and conceit, one is exhorted, in humility to consider others better than themselves (Phil. 2:3)
Before the judgment falls on the people, the Prophet tells them to seek God with humility, forsaking their wicked ways. God does not want to see them perish. He is a God of second chances. See what He says in Ezekiel 18:23 says, "Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign LORD. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live.” The Lord would rather let the sinner repent and turn to Him than see him destroyed and eternally lost. He “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).
If there is pride or arrogance in our lives it is better to let go and in humility seek God. He wants to see you saved and your life restored. Submit in humility to your Creator who has better plans for your life than you could ever conceive! If you are a child of God who has been taunted at, learn from the humility of Christ- He opened not His mouth when accused but submitted to the One who judges rightly. As it says in 1 Peter 5:5: “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another...” –let our lives reflect Christ’s humility in our relationships with one another.
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I am sorry for every attitude of pride and arrogance in my life. Please teach me to be humble like You. Let Your mercy cover me all my life. Amen.
Listen: 'Humble thyself in the sight of the LORD'