Posts Tagged ‘Zephaniah’

Working for Someone Else

And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their hear, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil.  Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: they shall build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof.

Zephaniah 1:12-13

There are several passages in the Old Testament that say things similar to this, and I have commented on them before.  But it always strikes me as a terrible thing to see your work being consumed by another.  That is something that is often given as a judgment or a curse.  This verse words it like this:

“…their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof.”

What a sad statement!  Their goods are going to become the spoils of another man.  Someone is going to take the things for which they have worked.  They are going to work to build houses, but they will not get to live in those houses.  They are going to plant vineyards, but they are not going to be able to enjoy the fruit of those vineyards.  Everything that they have worked for: their goods, their houses, their jobs and investments, are going to be for naught.  All of their work will have been wasted.  What a sad, sad existence.

Thus is the state of those who reject God.  They work their lives away, only to see all taken from them at the end.  Thus is the state of the Christian who wastes his life pleasing his own flesh.  At the Judgment Seat of Christ, he will see his “life’s work” burned up as wood, hay and stubble.  As the Bible tells us to do, let us “lay up treasures in heaven, where neither moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.”  (Matthew 6:20)

Looking Like God’s People

And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD’s sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.

Zephaniah 1:8

There are quite a few Old Testament verses that, while not written directly to us or about us, do provide us with important principles that can help us if we will pay attention to them.  They also serve to give us a glimpse into the nature of God and help us to understand Him more.  This is one of those verses.

Zephaniah is a book of judgment, and, in this verse, God gives a short list of people that He is going to judge: “princes, and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.”  I don’t know about the princes and the king’s children, but I can comment a little about strange apparel.

Apparently, from this verse, we see the principle that God expects His people to look a certain way.  Plenty of good books have been written on the subject of what types of clothing are good and appropriate, so I won’t delve too much into that area, but again, I will point out the principle.

This verse refers to “strange apparel.”  I don’t know exactly what “strange apparel” is, but I think if take a look at the average teenager in any mall, you will find some good examples.  Strange apparel does not belong on God’s people.  God expects His people to look like they are His people.  It is sad that so many Christians so desperately want to look and act just like the world.  If we are Christians, we should want to look like Christians.  That’s not some crazy, old-fashioned thing, it’s common sense.

I am a Chicago Cubs baseball fan.  This summer, I went to see the Cubs play the Royals in Kansas City.  I wore my Cubs shirt and hat.  I didn’t care if there were 40,000 Royals fans there and I didn’t care if I was the only person in the stadium wearing a Cubs shirt and hat.  I wanted to make it abundantly clear what “team I was on”.  Even though the Cubs have not won a Championship since 1908 (103 years and counting) and are one of the worst teams in baseball, I am not embarrassed to be identified with them.  I wear Cubs hats and shirts all the time.  That seems natural.

If it seems natural to want to be identified with your favourite team, why would be weird and strange to want to be clearly identified as a Christian?  Food for thought.

God Won’t Do Anything…

And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil.

Zephaniah 1:12

In the book of Zephaniah, God gives the Israelites several things that are going to bring His judgment on them.  We can learn from all of them.  This verse tells us that God is going to punish those men who “are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil.”

God does not like it when we are “settled on our lees.”  We aren’t supposed to be sitting down relaxing.  The time to rest is later.  Now is the time to serve the Lord and get something done for Him.  Every person has a different “job” to do and we are supposed to be busy doing that job.

The reason that people get relaxed and stop serving the Lord is the same as the reason given here: they “say in their heart, the Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil.”  That is why people get complacent in their Christian lives.  They start assuming that the Lord isn’t going to punish them if they disobey Him and they start assuming that the Lord isn’t going to reward them if they obey Him.  They become “practicing atheists.”  While they might never verbally admit that they believe that there is no God, their actions betray them.  They might “believe” in Him, but they live their lives ignoring Him.  And that attitude is something that God will not tolerate.

We should be serving Him more, loving Him more and drawing closer to Him each and every day.  Let us guard against this “God will not do good, neither will He do evil” attitude in our lives!