Tue Jan 16 How Can I Endure In My Faith At All Times?

Zephaniah 3:14-20(CEB)

14 Rejoice, Daughter Zion! Shout, Israel!
        Rejoice and exult with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem.
15 The Lord has removed your judgment;
        he has turned away your enemy.
The Lord, the king of Israel, is in your midst;
        you will no longer fear evil.
16 On that day, it will be said to Jerusalem:
        Don’t fear, Zion.
        Don’t let your hands fall.
17 The Lord your God is in your midst—a warrior bringing victory.
        He will create calm with his love;
        he will rejoice over you with singing.

18  I will remove from you those worried about the appointed feasts.
        They have been a burden for her, a reproach.
19 Watch what I am about to do to all your oppressors at that time.
        I will deliver the lame;
        I will gather the outcast.
        I will change their shame into praise and fame throughout the earth.
20 At that time, I will bring all of you back,
        at the time when I gather you.
        I will give you fame and praise among all the neighboring peoples
            when I restore your possessions and you can see them—says the Lord.


In this week’s devotionals we are focusing on “Living Intentionally With God.” Our scripture was written during the reign of Josiah, the last great and righteous king of Judah in the line of David. He became king at the age of 8, after the assassination of his father, King Amon, reigning from 641 to 610 BCE. The book of Zephaniah has only three chapters, an easy read, and reflects God’s word to the prophet. Judgement followed by salvation, relief for the poor, and rejection of elite power groups can be seen.  

Our scripture verses 14 – 17 describe vividly a time when Christ will return, the messianic era. A time of great joy, no more fear and sorrow, when the Lord will be with, and in the midst of, his people. Daughter Jerusalem and daughter Zion refer to the reassembled remnant of Israel. The prophet describes the time as one when God will take great delight in every person.

Verses 18 – 20 acknowledge that the scattering of the people once in judgement was a time of yearning for the old times when appointed feasts and festive meetings took place. Having been dispersed the people are described as lame and scattered. The final verse references back to Chapter 2, verses 6 & 7, where God tells the people that they are chosen and will return to pasture by the sea, lie down in peace in the evening, and see their possessions restored.      

by Clarence Beverage

For Pondering & Prayer

Can you picture a time when someone you knew lost their home and then things changed? Have you experienced a time of loss with another person and in time were able to feel whole again? Maybe the ending of a relationship, divorce, or passing of a loved one, or a dear friend? Perhaps the death of someone much older whom you could say, a life well lived, or someone much too young, a life cut short.

Scripture does describe life like it really is.

Thankfully, scripture both reminds and tells us that we are loved and God’s plan for each of us is a future life at home with Jesus. In this life, staying connected with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit promises  hopefulness to see us through each day.    

Prayer: Lord, in scripture you use the motif of darkness and light, to describe the “Promised One” and Jesus identified himself as this prophesied light. In Christ we experience salvation and spiritual illumination. May we see Jesus as the light for all nations and peoples as we go through this year. Amen.

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