Zephaniah 1:14-18 (click here for todays passage)

‘’…for he will make a sudden end of all who live in the earth.’’ (18b).

It’s interesting that it’s not only ‘religious’ people who believe that life on earth cannot continue forever. A recent piece in ‘Time’ magazine, headed: ‘COUNTDOWN TO APOCALYPSE’ said this: ‘’The minute hand of the Doomsday Clock was moved forward two minutes to 11:57 on Jan.22, the first adjustment in three years. The time on the clock, which was created in 1945, is set by a board of scientists and nuclear experts and symbolizes the world’s proximity to global catastrophe.’’

The Bible’s teaching about ‘’The great day of the LORD…’’ should not be taken lightly. It is a major theme in Scripture, and is not there for merely decorative purposes. As we have seen, Zephaniah in speaking about this ‘day’ saw the invasion of the Babylonians in the foreground (15, 16). But he also saw the last judgment in the distance (18b, 1:2, 3). If that is going to come ‘suddenly’ we had better prepare for it now. In view of the end of all things, the big question becomes, ‘In what (or in whom) do you trust?’ It seems that many people in Zephaniah’s day relied on their affluence (10 -13, 18a). The temptation to trust in material possessions remains, but wealth is an unreliable idol. It is a poor substitute for the living God! ‘’Don’t plan on buying your way out. Your money is worthless for this.’’ The Message.

‘’Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.’’ (1 Timothy 6:17 – underling mine).

‘’Let others boast of heaps of gold, Christ for me; His riches never can be told, Christ for me. Your gold will rust and wear away; your honours perish in a day. But while I’ve breath I mean to say, Christ for me.’’

The hymn writer was on to something! The only way to be ready for the ‘flood’ of judgment that will one day engulf the earth, is to trust in the ‘Ark’ of safety that is Jesus. He bore your judgment in His death on the cross. If you step into Him by faith you will be safe.

‘’This is the Day of GOD’s Judgment –my wrath! I care about sin with fiery passion – A fire to burn up the corrupted world, a wildfire finish to the corrupting people.’’ The Message.

‘’Sin attracts with its offer of pleasure, but in the end he who indulges finds that he has no pleasure at all.’ David H.Wheaton (writing about 2 Peter 2:13). Reading verse 17 reminded me of that quote. Sin has a great marketing strategy. It makes itself look good. But when you ‘buy’ you find yourself worse off. In some ways we sin because we are blind. But it is also true to say that more and more sin leads to a deeper, darker blindness. Sin leads nowhere good. It results in damage and destruction. Ultimately it leads to judgment. When the end comes, as come it will, where will your confidence be?

Prayer: We live in a scary world Lord, but thank you that there is nothing to fear for all who trust in you.