I’ve been reading about the prophet Zephaniah today. I know, kind of random. But I just feel like we can learn a lot from his warnings. Zephaniah was used by God to speak the truth to Judah about the judgment they would face if they didn’t turn their ways to God. The people of Judah had turned their backs on God as they worshiped idols and other gods. Even with Zephaniah’s warning, many continued with their ways and refused to listen. Because these people did not search their own hearts, and because they were content with the moral chaos around them and indifferent to God, God used the Babylonians to enter into Jerusalem for 20 years to drag people out of their hiding. No one would escape God’s judgment and justice. Like a father, God loves His children and had to punish them in order for them to grow. Because God is holy, he cannot allow sin to continue. But God is also faithful to his promises and He could not stay angry forever with Israel, or with you or me. We are His children and, because of that, He loves us and always seeks our good.
Anyway, I just had to give a brief recap of the background of what I was reading.
It’s obvious to me that our world can easily be compared with Judah. God is speaking to each one of our hearts asking us to be faithful to Him and turn our eyes to Him…but with all the chaos and sinfulness, people have become comfortable in their ways. Despite what they hear the Lord telling them to do.To escape God’s judgment we must listen to Him, accept His correction, trust Him, and seek His guidance. If we accept Him as our Lord, we can escape His condemnation. On the day of all days, our Lord will return to restore those who have been faithful to Him, but also bring judgment and wrath over those who have known His ways but choose to ignore it.
I’m mostly relating this book of the Bible to America’s materialistic way of living. Our entire culture is rooted in money. Everywhere you look its, buy this, invest in that, debt with this, overspending with that.
It becomes so easy to find comfort and stability in money. For me, it becomes stressful easily when I am low on money or somehow off budget. One thing that I think a lot of people need to be challenged on is to not find any hope or rest in money. Just look at our nation right now alone; people seem to be so distraught at the simple fact that our dollar isn’t holding its value. By reading these verses, I have come to the point where I can seriously say….
It’s so easy to get caught up in everyday financial stresses because we often forget that it’s not our money in the first place. We are not in ownership over our money…we are stewards of God’s money.
Now, isn’t that a relief? Seriously, think about that for a minute. The almighty creator of all we know is taking care of things. Phew. I don’t know about you, but I breathe easier when I remind myself of that.
Don’t let material comfort be a barrier to your commitment to God. Prosperity can lead to an attitude of proud self-sufficiency. We need to admit that money won’t save us and that we cannot save ourselves. Only God can save us.
Money is not evil in itself, but it is useless to save us. In this life, money can warp our perspective, giving us feelings of security and power. Just as the Israelites’ wealth could not save them from the Babylonian invasion, when the Lord returns at the final judgement, all the material things we have will be completely worthless. Only Christ’s redemptive work in our lives matters for eternity. Christ alone will allow us to be ransomed if we trust Him….not our money.
I just love reminding myself of this because, for some reason, it is so easy for me to get in a mindset that the more money I have, the more comfortable I am. It’s just not the case. If I put my life on my money (or lack of), I will forever be tossed around in waves of stress, hopelessness, frustration, and fear.
A day will come when all nations will be severely punished. But after judgment, He will show mercy to all who have been faithful to Him.
So, today, make it a point to live from this day forward to give up any thoughts about money or materialistic things. They don’t belong to us anyway. Let’s, instead, live for this day….
“For then I will give to the peoples purified lips, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord, to serve Him shoulder to shoulder” 3:9
God will remove the proud people and leave the meek and humble. Those who are humble, both physically and spiritually, will be rewarded because they trust in God. Self-reliance and arrogance have no place among God’s people or in His kingdom. Not because He He wants to leave people out… but because He cannot allow any unholiness into His presence.
I am so looking forward to the day when the Lord will hide me from His wrath and restore my fortunes in heaven. 🙂 🙂
“Seek the Lord, all you humble of the earth, you who do what He commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger” 2:3