‘’The LORD their God will care for them; he will restore their fortunes.’’ (7b)
- Even in tough times, remember that God loves you. He is your ever-caring Shepherd (Psalm 23). He will be with His ‘flock’, even though they ‘’walk through the darkest valley’’ (Ps.23:4a – marginal reference.) It is true that this verse in Zephaniah refers to Judah’s future after the exile. Nevertheless, because of God’s unchanging Shepherding nature, He was caring for them even in the distressing days of captivity. If you belong to the Lord, know that He cares for you this He will be with you in the rain and in the sun.
- God can turn around the worst situations. He can cause unlikely things to happen. When Zephaniah spoke these words, it was probably hard for Jewish people to envisage things being turned on their head in such a dramatic fashion. But the Lord God Almighty is able to do the unthinkable and unimaginable. He is able to restore ‘’fortunes’’, and He does! The Jewish ‘fortunes’ were restored following the Babylonian captivity. But the full restoration awaits the time of Jesus’ second coming.
- Don’t be overly impressed by people and places that seem impregnable. Don’t trust in them for security. They will fail you. Think about Jesus’ words about the magnificent temple buildings being brought down (Matthew 24: 1, 2). Remember the vision of the destruction of mighty Babylon (Revelation 18). Think about the scene in today’s verses; the picture of Philistia overthrown. There are powerful and impressive people and places in the world that can be (and will be) decimated by God’s judgment. We may imagine them to be perpetual monuments, but nothing will be able to withstand the blast of the firestorm of Divine wrath. In the remainder of chapter 2, God announces His judgment on the nations around Judah. Philistia is the first to be mentioned, and it is represented by four of its leading cities (4). The ‘’Philistines’’ (or ‘’Kerethites’’ ) were ancient and strong enemies of Israel who lived in the western part of Canaan, along the Mediterranean coast (verses 5-6). God says that the faithful ‘’remnant’’ of Judah (those we read about in verse 3) will eventually occupy Philistia. This happened when the Jews returned from Babylonian exile. Let’s not miss the point that God can give His people all He wants them to have, and He can deal thoroughly and decisively with all the enemies of His church. This passage reminds us again of who is in charge. We may go through days when it appears that people are running the show. But this is never the case.
‘’According to Amos 1:6-8, they took Jewish people captive from cities in southern Judah and sold them to other nations as slaves. But the time would come when their populous cities would be empty and their land left desolate, a place for shepherds to feed their flocks. Their coastal cities, made wealthy by vast shipping enterprises, would be destroyed by the enemy and left in ruins. Nebuchadnezzar invaded Philistia and conquered it, and the only remnant of that great nation left today is the name ‘’Palestine,’’ which comes from ‘’Philistine’’ (see Ezek.25:15-28:26).’’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘The Wiersbe Bible Commentary’, p.1484. Sin has consequences!
Prayer: Thank you Lord that my life is in your Hands and you are in control, even on days when everything seems wildly out of kilter.