minor prophets & their message - zephaniah

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  1. 1. Laindon Bible Study, 23rd December 2015 Minor prophets and their message 1 - of - 2
  2. 2. Proximateand ultimatefulfilments Zephaniah's message (1) 2 Near future c. 40 years Day of Judgement/ the LORD Babylon Distant future >2,600 years Day of Judgement/ the LORD End Time Relevant in all eras! cp. Ministry of Jesus Zephaniah
  3. 3. Our two studies (God willing) Zephaniah's message (1) 3 Background, key theme & key exhortation Prophet His times His contemporaries Book overview Further exposition & exhortation 3 chapters; 53 verses; 1,617 words* Relevance in 7th c. BC Relevance in 21st c. AD * Midsized as a minor prophet; 5 are smaller / 6 are larger
  4. 4. Three key periods of revelation Individual books not chronological, but the three groupings are: Zephaniah's message (1) 4
  5. 5. WhereZephaniah fits intohistory The late Assyrian period, with Babylonian empire on the ascent... in other words, another crisis coming! 5Zephaniah's message (1) Silent period
  6. 6. Contemporary king (sing.) of Judah King Josiah, the final faithful king of Judah: Zephaniah's message (1) 6 2 Kings 22v 1-2 1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath. 2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left. 2 Chronicles 35 v 25-27 25 And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they are written in the lamentations. 26 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his goodness, according to that which was written in the law of the Lord, 27 And his deeds, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. EpiloguePrologue Zephaniah had part to play in the reforms instituted by this king?
  7. 7. More thanjust a contemporary! Zephaniah's message (1) 7 Zephaniah1 v1 1 The word of the Lord which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. 1 The word of the Lord which came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. NKJV Distant Cousins Likely that highly influential in the life of king Josiah, a joint force for good in the nation
  8. 8. The books resounding keytheme Most frequent use of the phrase day of the LORD in the whole of scripture: 7 appearances: 1 v 7, 1 v 8, 1 v 14, 1 v 14, 1 v 18, 2 v 2 & 2 v 3 Reminder: this a key theme of the Minor Prophets, with 18 of 31 appearances This theme constitutes both a warning (to the wayward) and also a comfort (to the faithful remnant) Zephaniah's message (1) 8 THE BOOK OF THE DAY OF WRATH 7 5 1 2 1 Appearances of day of the LORD in this era
  9. 9. The books resounding keytheme Zephaniahs message was one to encourage repentance before the time of Gods poured-out judgements (Babylon / End Time) Much can be gleaned from surrounding context to our phrase: Zephaniah's message (1) 9 Passage Surrounding context to our phrase Lesson(s) taught 1 v 7 for the day of the LORD is at hand No time to waste, immediate action is needed 1 v 8 the day of the LORDs sacrifice There is going to be a time of destruction 1 v 14 the great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly It is the climax of Gods unstoppable plan and moves steadily forwards 1 v 14 the voice of the day of the LORD Gods declared plan is sure and certain 1 v 18 the day of the LORDs wrath Gods anger will be poured out on the evil 2 v 2 before the day of the LORDs anger Theres still an opportunity for repentance 2 v 3 hid in the day of the LORDs anger There is comfort in the hope of the faithful Evolvingtone
  10. 10. The name of the prophet As we found with Micah, another name with true significance Zephaniah's message (1) 10 Strongs D. contd: (1) to hide (by covering over) (2) Jah Strongs Definitions: Jah has secreted Brown-Driver- Briggs Lexicon: Jehovah (Yahweh) has treasured Jacksons Dict. Proper Names: treasured of Jehovah For in the time of trouble he shall hide me [Heb. tsaphan] in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. (Psalm 27 v 5)
  11. 11. A vital exhortationfor us all What we need to do with Zephaniahs clear message from God: The coming day of the Lord with its outpouring is certain, but mercifully we can be hidden from it Zephaniah's message (1) 11 Zephaniah 2 v 1-3 1 Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; 2 Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord's anger come upon you. 3 Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger. Isaiah 26 v20 20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
  12. 12. Seen acted out in thelife of Josiah 1 Zephaniah's message (1) 12 2 Kings 22v 15-20 15 And she said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me, 16 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read: 17 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched. 18 But to the king of Judah which sent you to inquire of the Lord, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, As touching the words which thou hast heard; 19 Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the Lord. 20 Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again.
  13. 13. Seen acted out in thelife of Josiah 2 Zephaniah's message (1) 13 2 Chronicles 35 v 20-24 20 After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him. 21 But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not. 22 Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo. 23 And the archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded. 24 His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchres of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness. (Isaiah 57 v 1-2)
  14. 14. An overview of the book/sections Zephaniah's message (1) 14
  15. 15. An overview of the book/sections Zephaniah's message (1) 15 Judgement Salvation 1 v 1 Introduction 1 v 2 2 v 3 On Judah 2 v 4-15 On nations surrounding Judah 3 v 1-7 On Jerusalem 3 v 8 On nations and kingdoms 3 v 9-13 Conversion 3 v 14-20 Restoration SEVERITY GOODNESS+
  16. 16. Conclusion of study 1 Another example of a neglected (minor) prophet? Came at a crisis period in the history of Judah (only decades before Babylonian destruction) Although Gods anger and wrath was to be unleashed in the day of the LORD there was still the opportunity for repentance and salvation (being hid from this time of trouble) Josiah is/was a living example of the righteous being preserved Zephaniah's message (1) 16 We too hope to be spared in the future day of the LORD
  17. 17. Laindon Bible Study, 23rd December 2015 Minor prophets and their message 2 - of - 2 Next week (God willing)