Jerusalem was an “oppressing city” rather than a “light for the nations” (Isaiah 49:6). God had sent her many prophets, but she was “rebellious and defiled” because she listened “to no voice” but her own. Her leaders were at least as guilty as the populace at large. Only “the Lord within her” was “righteous.”
The Almighty had both defended His beloved from outside forces and disciplined her in order to work toward necessary “correction.” What was the yield from His wise and powerful actions? “They were eager to make all their deeds corrupt.”
The Lord would judge His chosen ones, yet He also gave them good news that He would usher in a glorious fulfillment of His covenant to Abraham. The people groups of the earth would “call upon the Name of the Lord and serve Him with one accord.” Jehovah’s “worshipers” would be used to collect an offering for Him. Their gift would not be silver, gold, or sacrificial animals, but human beings who would be part of a growing community of “pure speech” who would discover a holy way of life in the Messiah. An assembly of the “humble and lowly” would “seek refuge in the Name of the Lord.” God’s gathering of the redeemed would ultimately be perfected in holiness, for in their number there would be “no injustice” and they would “speak no lies.”
Yahweh spoke these great words through Zephaniah: “I will bring you in” and “restore your fortunes before your eyes.” Such truths should lead the church to raise voices in praise, for Jesus has sealed these extravagant divine commitments in His blood. “The Lord has taken away the judgments” against us and has “cleared away” our worst “enemies” of sin, death, and hell. Jehovah Himself will sing to His bride. “He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.” In His song we can find all the security and happiness that our wounded and weary hearts could ever desire.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Father God, we hear Your Word of correction. Speak to us day by day and grant us new hearts by Your Holy Spirit. By Your grace, we will turn from our iniquities. When You pour out Your indignation, You will keep us as Your people. We will be with You on Your holy mountain. Our sin will be removed far from us, and we will praise You forever. You have taken away the judgments that were against us. You will be in our midst, and You will save us. You will rejoice over us with singing. This is our glorious hope. You will heal us and restore our fortunes according to the promises that You have made to us in Your Son Jesus Christ, our Mediator and our Atoning Sacrifice. Teach us to walk in this faith today, for You will surely accomplish all of Your purposes.