ZEPHANIAH AND HIS BOOK
His name means “the Lord Hides.” We learn from the first verse of Zephaniah’s book that he was the great-great grandson of good King Hezekiah of Judah. We learn in the same verse that Zephaniah prophesied during the reign of good King Josiah of Judah (640-608 B.C.) Since Josiah led a religious reform starting in 622 B.C., it seems that Zephaniah must have prophesied in the early part of Josiah’s rule. His book describes a time when religious reform had obviously not taken place. He prophesied against Judah for its Baal and Molech worship, for its arrogant prophets, treacherous men, and immoral priests. “The day of the Lord” or coming “judgment day” is a major theme of Zephaniah. Read Zephaniah 1:14-18 to see what he says to Judah about the great day of the Lord. The prophet’s purpose was obviously to warn Judah of coming judgment from God. He was looking for repentance so that the day of the Lord would not have to be a tragic day for Judah. Read Zephaniah 2:1-3 to see Zephaniah’s urgent appeal for repentance. Zephaniah did not just end with judgment and repentance preaching. He also proclaimed a gracious message of comfort through the coming Messiah. Read Zephaniah 3:9-20 to hear Zephaniah’s Gospel preaching.
GENERAL OUTLINE FOR THE BOOK OF ZEPHANIAH:
- Judah’s Destruction Is Coming
- Surrounding Nations Are Judged
- Jerusalem’s Future Woe and Blessings Are Told
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