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The Minor prophet book Zephaniah.

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  1. 1. - A Study
  2. 2. <ul><li>About the Author – Zephaniah </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fourth generation from King Hezekiah </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Of royal blood </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Probably in his early twenties when he started prophesying </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shows a familiarity with court circles and current political issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contemporaries : Jeremiah, Nahum, Habakkuk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prophesied during the reign of King Josiah (640-609 B.C.) </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Zephaniah prophesied soon after Nahum before Babylon became the great world power and just before Jeremiah </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prophesied in Jerusalem’s times of “spiritual prosperity” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also speaks of destruction of Assyria and rise of Babylon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Main theme: Justice and the Goodness of God </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Judgment on all the earth (1:2-3) </li></ul><ul><li>Judgment on the Idolaters in Judah (1:4-9) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Worship of pagan gods – Baal & Molech (v. 4,5) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Syncretism – Worship of Yahweh along with other gods (v.5) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forsaking God (v. 6) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alliance with foreign powers (v. 8) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thought God was not involved in human affairs – Indifference to God (v. 12) </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><ul><li>Destruction of Jerusalem (1:10-13) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Punishment and wailing (v. 10) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thoroughly wiped out (v. 11) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Inescapable Day of the Lord's Wrath (1:14-18) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Powerful warriors (v. 14), Fortified cities (v. 16), Silver and Gold (v.18) – None can save them </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Call to Judah for Repentance (2:1-3) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gather together before the day of God’s wrath (v. 1,2) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seek the Lord – all the humble of the Land (v. 3) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seek Righteousness and humility – the humble are called for greater humility (v. 3) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perhaps God would shelter (v. 3) </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Judgment on Philistia (2:4-7) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Located to the west </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Completely destroyed and the sea side cities will be a place for the remnant </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Judgment on Moab and Ammon (2:8-11) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Located to the east </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They insult and threatened the people of God (v.8) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Likened to Sodom and Gomorrah (v.9) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remnant will plunder and inherit their land (v. 9) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Judgment on Cush (Egypt & Ethiopia) (2:12) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Located on the south-west </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Judgment on Assyria (2:13-15) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Located on the North </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nineveh will be made utterly desolate (v.13) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Careless, callous and proud city (v.15) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Judgment on Jerusalem (3:1-5) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rebellious, defiled, disobedient, accepts no correction, does not trust God nor draw near Him </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>God speaks about the Princes, Judges, Prophets and priests about their hypocrisy (v.3,4) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Jerusalem's Refusal to Repent (3:6-8) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strongholds and cities destroyed completely (v. 6) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pouring out of God’s wrath and fierce anger on unrepentant Jerusalem (v. 8) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The whole world will be consumed by the fire of God’s jealous anger </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Restoration of the Remnant (3:9 – 20) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The day” (vs 8) must refer to the tribulation when God will judge “all the earth” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Several of the things Zephaniah says will happen, could have been fulfilled by the Babylonians when they destroyed Judah and took them into captivity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But many of the prophecies concerning the destruction of the nations and the earth have obviously not been fulfilled </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>The Nations Purified, the Remnant Restored, Jerusalem Purged (3: 9 – 13) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He will purify the lips of all who call on His name and they will serve Him – Revival to come (v. 9) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>God’s true worshippers (part of the remnant) scattered throughout the world will bring Him offerings (v. 10) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proud and haughty removed from God’s holy city (v 11) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Characteristics of the remnant (v. 12, 13) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Meek and humble </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Committed the Lord </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Righteous and ethical in their treatment of others </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They will eat and lie down </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They will be fearless </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Rejoicing in the City (3:14-17) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Singing and rejoicing as God has taken away His punishment (v. 14, 15) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>God will reign in their midst and He delight in His remnant with singing and surround them with His love (v. 15 – 17) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Nation Restored (3:18-20) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rescue oppressed and gather the scattered </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Praise and honor in place of shame </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fortunes Restored and the Remnant brought to God’s home </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>What similarities in situation do we see in Christendom today? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the warning and caution for us? And why? </li></ul><ul><li>Why was Zephaniah explaining all this about the Day of the Lord? </li></ul><ul><li>What is our response to this encounter with God? </li></ul><ul><li>From the study, what aspects does God deal severely with? </li></ul><ul><li>Compare and contrast the nature of God between 1:1 – 3:8 and 3:9-20 </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Has God opened my eyes to any spiritual truth? What is it? </li></ul><ul><li>What urgent call do I need to heed? </li></ul><ul><li>Am I a part of the faithful remnant? </li></ul><ul><li>What is my role as a remnant? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Judah The Nations Idolatry 1:4-6 Mocking the Jews 2:8,10 Violence 1:9 Arrogance against the Jews 2:8-10 Complacency 1:12 Self sufficiency 2:15 Trusting in money 1:18   Not trusting in God 1:6, 3:2   Injustice 3:3-4   Corruption 3:7   Pride 3:11   Deceit 1:9, 3:13   Opressing the poor 3:1  
  16. 16. (1) God is full of grace, gladness and tenderness, but also justice. God is full of grace, gladness and tenderness, but also justice Judgment 1:8-9 Grace 3:9-20 Wrath 1:15, 18 Gladness 3:17 Terror Tenderness 2:7, 3:17