OT Fire Starters – Day 356: Zephaniah 1-3
READ: Zephaniah 1-3
THINK: Do you ever feel as if God isn’t doing anything in your life? Things aren’t getting better; they aren’t getting worse. You don’t seem to be losing ground; but you’re not making progress either. You simply seem disconnected from God, even though you’ve tried to keep communication open. It’s not uncommon to struggle with such feelings, but be careful not to develop a notion that God doesn’t care what you do one way or the other. It’s too easy to compromise your faith principles when you think that God won’t notice. Regardless of how you feel, God is not distant or detached from your life. He allows you to make your own choices, but He is passionately involved and patiently watching over you, ready to direct your life from behind the scenes if you’ll keep depending on Him.
RESPOND: What was going on in Judah during Zephaniah’s ministry, and what was the people’s attitude toward God? (See 1:1 note.) How were people trying to blend other forms of religion with worshiping the true God (1:5)? (See 1:5 note.) How does God view that lifestyle, and what will happen to people who claim to follow God but deliberately engage in ungodly behavior? (See 1:5 note.) What would “the day of the Lord” (1:7,14) mean to Judah at that time, and what future implication does it still hold for us? (See 1:7 note.) According to 1:12, what were the attitudes of the people God would punish, and how did they view His involvement in their lives? (See 1:12 note.) What opportunity did God present at the beginning of chapter 2, and who was supposed to call out to God before judgment came (2:3)? (See 2:1-3 note.) What hope does God offer to those who turn to Him for mercy and help? (See 2:3 note.) How does the way God’s people were treated in Zephaniah’s time (2:10) compare to how they’re often treated today? (See 2:10 note.) What can we always trust about God’s justice and character (3:5)? (See 3:5 note.) What reasons does Zephaniah give God’s people-including us today-to rejoice (3:14-17)? (See 3:14-17 note.)
PRAY: Pray that you won’t be complacent in your walk with Christ, but that you’ll remain faithfully active, regardless of the circumstances. Thank Jesus for forgiving you, freeing you from sin and giving you the hope of eternity with Him.
ACT: Do you lack enthusiasm, interest or reliance on God in any aspect of your walk with Him? Perhaps you’ve become involved in a questionable activity or behavior. Maybe you’ve slipped in your ministry involvement or slacked off in your daily time with God. Back up and recommit to your relationship with Jesus. Remember what He’s done for you, and do whatever you do out of love and gratitude to Him.