The other day I saw a guy in Starbucks with his Bible open. I found out he was doing some devotional reading. He had opened to the book of Zephaniah. “Wow, that’s some heavy duty devotional reading,” I commented. I then sat down at my table and took a book out of my laptop bag. It wasn’t the Bible. I took out a book written by some guy from Oregon. I looked back at the guy reading Zephaniah. I looked at my book written by a guy from Oregon. Then back at the guy reading Zephaniah. Was this guy so much more spiritual than I was? What is so devotional about Zephaniah anyway?
I thought to myself about my own devotional writings. I could write some devotional material from Zephaniah, couldn’t I? I began reading the first chapter of Zephaniah. “The Lord will destroy,” was written over and over again. The shop keepers will be destroyed too. I wondered where everyone would do their shopping. But then again, everyone will be destroyed so no shopping would be necessary. I discovered in Zeph. 1:18, that possessions will not save us. The prophet says, not all of their silver or gold could save them from the judgement of God. I found some valuable lessons in Zephaniah. There will be a final judgement. When there is; it will be either good or bad, depending on our own actions. At our trial, our possessions won’t be able to testify for us. But then my favorite part of Zephaniah is that this judgement from God which Zephaniah spoke of was totally conditional. The people of Judah could repent and change their ways. They could search out the Lord, find Him, and do what He says and they could be saved.
I love that God gives us consequences, but always gives us a way out. That’s what is called “Grace in the Midst of Judgement.” Zephaniah or some guy from Oregon? That was my question. A friend of mine suggested that God could have used that guy to get me to read this Old Testament prophet and relate these truths to more people. My friend said if I hadn’t been reading that guy from Oregon, I may never had wanted to turn to Zephaniah and read him for myself. I think she’s right. I now have a healthier appreciation for Zephaniah and see some relevance in his writings for my own life. I hadn’t seen that before. So, no matter where we are in our walk with Christ, God can use many different types of writings to help us find His truth.