We often find ourselves at the end of our rope. We feel deserted, alone, like a failure, completely devastated by circumstances. When we find our selves in this position what should we do?
The children of Judah found themselves much in the same situation. They definitely felt deserted. They had left God and God was bringing judgement upon them if they would not return to him. Israel fell to Assyria. Judah enjoyed times of God’s blessing while they walked with Him.
The ministry of Zeph takes place in the city of Jerusalem around the time of King Josiah. Judgement was soon coming to Judah if they did not change their ways. Zephaniah sent a warning that Judgement was coming and that the people should repent, you could fairly say that they were at the end of their rope. He also told them that there is hope and that God would restore His people.
In chapter 3 we find the message of hope. Here God is using Zeph to remind the children of God that He has not forgotten them and that even though they will be punished for their sins, God will bring restoration to them. Even when we feel deserted, alone, at the end of our rope- Zeph’s message brings hope to us as well.
Zeph. 3:17we must stop and realize that:
I. We are not alone, God is in our midst.
The promise to the Hebrews was that God would dwell among them and that He would be their God and they would be His people. They would enjoy times of blessing as they walked with Him and obeyed Him.
He protected them in the midst of the plagues of Egypt
He went before them and behind them as a cloud and fire while the people fled from Egypt
He conquered cities merely by having the people walk around it
This is only the tip of the iceberg of all of the things that God did for His children.
His promise was that “I will never leave you nor forsake you”
His message through Zeph is I am here. Even when you feel like I have left you alone I haven’t, I am here!
This message is for us today as well. The Lord your God is in your midst, The Mighty One will save.
Jesus promised that He would not leave us as orphans Jn. 14:18. Paul tells us that we are God’s temple with the Spirit of God living within us- I Cor. 3:16. His promise to never leave nor forsake carries through to us today- Heb. 13:5
We have the Spirit of the Lord within us if we are a believer. That means that God through His Spirit is present with us where ever we go, what ever we do. This should encourage us- we are not alone! This should also discourage us from making poor choices about what we will participate in- we are not alone!
When you feel abandoned- God is in your midst! When you think you are w/o hope-God is in your midst!
When you feel forsaken- God is in your midst! When you reach the end of your rope- God is in your midst!
When you reach the end of your rope let go- God is there and let Him handle it.
II. You are a treasure.
Isa. 65:19 “I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying.”
Even though the people of God had messed up and left God, He never left them. They were special to Him. They had value in His eyes. God went through great lengths to restore the Hebrew people. They are precious to Him. He continued to give them opportunities to come back to Him.
We too are special to God. We have value in His eyes.
I Cor. 6:20- you were bought at a price- the price of Jesus’ blood.
2 Cor. 4- we have treasure in earthen vessels- treasure of Jesus
God loves you; died for you; desires you; He will quiet you with his love;
Knowing the precious love of God should bring calm to our hearts. It should bring peace. In all of the anxiety of what is going on; knowing the love of God should quiet our hearts and calm us. Knowing that Jesus died on the cross for you and me should bring peace.
The Lord goes through great lengths to bring you to Him. His desire is for a genuine relationship with you. He has given His Son to make that possible.
III. He rejoices over you
Is. 62:5- as the bridegroom rejoices over His bride, so the Lord rejoices over His children.
Mt. 18- Parable of the lost sheep- seeks it, finds it, rejoices over it- just as God does for the one who returns home.
The story of the prodigal son- son left, returned, father rejoiced- fathers children are precious in His sight.
A mother quiets a crying baby by singing. The soft calm voice soothes the child and helps them to calm- God does the same for us- sings over us and quiets us w/ His singing.
God rejoices over me! God rejoices over you!