TEACHER:  Ken Hicks

SCRIPTURES: Zephaniah

BOTTOM LINE:   It’s such a Graceful expression of God’s Love & Presence as He moves us through Judgment, into His Arms of Blessing.

QUESTION:   Is there any HOPE for us, knowing that God’s Judgment is Coming?

 

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When we look at the Minor Prophets, they’re organized into 2 groups:   9 of them who preached and shared their messages from God BEFORE captivity, when God’s people were carried away into Bondage.

THREE of them spoke AFTER the captivity.  Zephaniah is the 9th of the Nine who preached before they went into Captivity … the Judgment of God is fast approaching, and the people of God are on the edge of Captivity.  In a sense, Zephaniah sort of summarizes what MANY of the previous Prophets had declared as well.

THE MAN/PERSON of ZEPHANIAH:  We see there in verse 1,  that his Great-Great Grandfather is King Hezekiah.

THE MESSAGE of ZEPHANIAH:  AGAIN … in verse 1 …Zephaniah arrives on the scene and announces the coming Day of the Lord.

What a vivid portrait … this incredible Judgment is coming … and yet he also ends w/ this note of
Encouragement
too … and so in these few verses … it goes from Judgement to Blessing!

 

 

APPLICATION:

Zephaniah’s message broken into Three Different Sections:

  1. Encouraging the People to Look WITHIN!
  2. Encouraging the People to Look AROUND!
  3. Encouraging the People THROUGH JUDGMENT to BLESSING!

 

How do we go through these times in our life … at times THROUGH the Judgment of God … and wind up in the Arms of God’s Blessing in the end too?

Judgment is coming, but Blessing will follow for those who head the warning to REPENT!

This message was so important, because it was one that would be used later,  when the small remnant of God’s People were in the captivity of Babylon.  This would be the reminder and message of HOPE … this would be a message of Encouragement to hang on.

When we find ourselves in this season that’s challenging … especially if it’s challenging related to our Journey in-Christ …

  1. Look Within … how am I doing? Where is God in my story right now? What is He telling Me? What is He doing in Me?
  2. Look Around … It’s amazing how we can see our own heart change when we start looking for what God’s doing and where God’s working around us too! Someone was just sharing in our CONNECTION Group Wednesday night … how any time when someone is struggling, and we start sharing w/ them about someone else who’s struggling too, they instantly go into the mode of trying to help that person.  Trying to find some solutions.  It’s amazing what happens when we take our focus off of US.
  3. Trust and Rest that God will carry us THROUGH this season of storm … not necessarily around it … not necessarily w/o some damage along the way … but THROUGH it … ultimately into the Arms of the Blessing of What Father is doing too!

 

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