Zephaniah was related to Hezekiah, a godly king who ruled in about 715-687 bc. The prophet lived during the reign of Josiah (640-609 bc) who re-established worship in the temple.
The first chapter of Zephaniah’s prophecy is filled with terror as he speaks about the judgement that would happen for all who would defy the Lord. In chapter two there is a whispered promise that those who seek righteousness and humble themselves may be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger.
Finally, in chapter three God’s salvation and deliverance for those who are faithful to him are declared.
The leaders, priests and prophets had all turned away from God and are following their own desires, seeking to better themselves at the expense of others.
Some of this prophecy relates to a revival that took place during the reign of king Josiah. Other parts of this prophecy have not taken place and will happen at the end times when God will judge all people and justice will prevail. Revelation 20:11-12.
But what Joy there is when because of his great love for all of us God breaks through. He changes speech so that it will be pure speech cleansed to call on the name of the Lord. All his people from all nations will be able to worship him in unity.
‘He will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing’. v 17.
Can you imagine this. God singing over us. The very thought of it causes me to want to praise Him with all my heart to jump up and down and sing His praises!
Even now He waits, waits for people to cry out for restoration, for people to come to Him to seek justice for the poor and downtrodden.
Come He says, come and know that I AM Lord and be filled with my Spirit and know my very presence.