He is searching with candlelight among His people
The book of Zephaniah
As today's message we are told to look at the overall message of the Prophet Zephaniah.
Zephaniah is considered a junior Jeremiah, but even though he is not well known as Jeremiah or some of the other Prophets, yet Zephaniah had a very specific mission. Zephaniah's mission was to ring the bells, in short to warn.
In his book other than warning the enemies of the people of God, he also warns the people of God. This message is continually inline to the messages we have been getting through this year.
One of the anchor scriptures from the book of Zephaniah which is of great important to us and also very relevant to our time is Chapter 1:11-12
11 Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off.
12 And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil.
The word Maktesh means 'deep hollow' which refers to the people who are spiritually hollow. They are the religious people who are without God or void of any relationship with God. They call themselves representatives of the Lord but far from know Him; in fact the Lord Himself does not recognize them. These people have made God / religion a business since people of Maktesh were people of trade.
The Lord says in the same scriptures; as He is dealing with them He will also search among His people with candles. This metaphor is enough to us to wake up and get our house in order. What you show unto others is of no good, what is inside will soon be exposed.
So people of God the time is come for us to change, either be warm or be cold but do not be lukewarm, the Lord will deal with you right away. It is time the world comes to know God and with Christians being lukewarm the world will never know God. So either, reject Christ and be a unbeliever and enjoy this physical world till it exist (after that, life is going to be bad), else truly accept Christ into your life by living Him and enjoy life eternally; in this world (satisfied) an beyond in Heaven (in fullness). But doing neither one of them which means calling oneself a Christian and not knowing Christ or living Him is going to be bad here and worst latter.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord God, it is time for the world to know You and to experience your glory, and this can happen only through your people. Lord we pray for your people that your grace be upon their hearts, that they do not harden it but that they surrender unto You and your will. That they reflect You as a Living, Almighty and the Only One God...
We make this prayer in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
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.
2 I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the LORD.
3 I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the LORD.
4 I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests;
5 And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship and that swear by the LORD, and that swear by Malcham;
6 And them that are turned back from the LORD; and those that have not sought the LORD, nor enquired for him.
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 LORDíS anger.
1 Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city!
2 She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God.
3 Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.
4 Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.
5 The just LORD is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.
6 I have cut off the nations: their towers are desolate; I made their streets waste, that none passeth by: their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, that there is none inhabitant.
7 I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction; so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them: but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings.
8 Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.
9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.
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