I recently sent an e-card to my sister friend Rebecca Jo for her birthday. The card held a bible verse from Zephaniah, a book from the Old Testament that isn't one generally read over and over again... if ever! After sending the card, and Rebecca commenting that she had written down the verse and was going to check her bible just to make sure the book existed, I decided that I would go back to the Old Testament and re-read the book myself.
Now, Zephaniah isn't a long read... just three small chapters. And once you start to read it, you might wonder how anything was gleaned from it that was worthy of a birthday card... which are supposed to be uplifting! You see, the Lord gave Zephaniah a message for the people, be warned... destruction is coming! Not very birthday like, huh? But as I read through this book, a particular section grabbed my attention. I've "chewed" on these verses for a few days, and I would like to share them with you.
At that time I (the Lord) will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those who are complacent, who are like wine left on its dregs, who think, 'The Lord will do nothing, either good or bad.' Their wealth will be plundered, their houses demolished. They will build houses but not live in them; they will plant vineyards but not drink the wine.
As I read those verses I began to see America in the words. Complacent... yes, we have become so complacent that our economy is falling down around us. The Lord will do nothing, either good or bad how many times have you heard it said that someone believes in a "higher power" but that this being has no control over anything. Bad things just happen, and the good things are received because they have "worked hard for them". Wealth plundered... can you say recession? Houses demolished... businesses closing? Building houses but never living in them... foreclosure?
I have read over these verses numerous times over the past two or three days... and I am just amazed by how fully they describe what is going on around us right now. And I have to share the beginning of verse 14 with you as well... The great day of the Lord is near - near and coming quickly.
There is so much more, and I encourage you to visit this little book tucked away in the back of the OT. It is worth the read, and a very real reminder that we must be on our toes.
Oh.. and the words of encouragement for those who choose to follow and obey... The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. 3:17