Minor Prophets & their Message - Zephaniah

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Laindon Bible Study, 23 rd December 2015 Minor prophets and their message 1 - of - 2

Transcript of Minor Prophets & their Message - Zephaniah

Page 1: Minor Prophets & their Message - Zephaniah

Laindon Bible Study, 23rd December 2015

Minor prophets and their message

1 - of - 2

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Proximate and ultimate fulfilments

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Near futurec. 40 years

Day of Judgement/ the LORD Babylon

Distant future>2,600 years

Day of Judgement/ the LORD End Time

Relevant in all eras!

cp. Ministry of Jesus

Zephaniah

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Our two studies (God willing)

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Background, key theme& key exhortationProphetHis timesHis contemporariesBook overview

Further exposition & exhortation3 chapters; 53 verses; 1,617 words*Relevance in 7th c. BCRelevance in 21st c. AD

* Midsized as a minor prophet; 5 are smaller / 6 are larger

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Three key periods of revelation

• Individual books not chronological, but the three groupings are:

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Where Zephaniah fits into history

• The late Assyrian period, with Babylonian empire on the ascent...

• … in other words, another crisis coming!5Zephaniah's message (1)

Silent period

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Contemporary king (sing.) of Judah

• King Josiah, the final faithful king of Judah:

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2 Kings 22 v 1-2

1 Josiah was eight years old when hebegan to reign, and he reigned thirtyand one years in Jerusalem. And hismother's name was Jedidah, thedaughter of Adaiah of Boscath. 2 Andhe did that which was right in the sightof the Lord, and walked in all the wayof David his father, and turned notaside to the right hand or to the left.

2 Chronicles 35 v 25-27

25 And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all thesinging men and the singing women spake ofJosiah in their lamentations to this day, and madethem an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they arewritten in the lamentations. 26 Now the rest of theacts of Josiah, and his goodness, according to thatwhich was written in the law of the Lord, 27 Andhis deeds, first and last, behold, they are written inthe book of the kings of Israel and Judah.

EpiloguePrologue

Zephaniah had part to play in the reforms instituted by this king?

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More than just a contemporary!

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Zephaniah 1 v 1

1 The word of the Lord which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, theson of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.

1 The word of the Lord which came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, theson of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. NKJV

Distant ‘Cousins’

Likely that highly influential in the life of king Josiah, a joint force for good in the nation

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The book’s resounding key theme

• Most frequent use of the phrase “day of the LORD” in the whole of scripture: – 7 appearances: 1 v 7, 1 v 8, 1 v 14, 1 v 14, 1 v 18, 2 v 2 & 2 v 3

– Reminder: this a key theme of the Minor Prophets, with 18 of 31 appearances

• This theme constitutes both a warning (to the wayward) and also a comfort (to the faithful remnant)

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“ THE BOOK OF THE DAY OF WRATH”

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21

Appearances of “day of the LORD” in this era

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The book’s resounding key theme

• Zephaniah’s message was one to encourage repentance before the time of God’s poured-out judgements (Babylon / End Time)

• Much can be gleaned from surrounding context to our phrase:

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Passage Surrounding context to our phrase Lesson(s) taught

1 v 7 “for the day of the LORD is at hand” No time to waste, immediate action is needed

1 v 8 “the day of the LORD’s sacrifice” There is going to be a time of destruction

1 v 14“the great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly”

It is the climax of God’s unstoppable plan and moves steadily forwards

1 v 14 “the voice of the day of the LORD” God’s declared plan is sure and certain

1 v 18 “the day of the LORD’s wrath” God’s anger will be poured out on the evil

2 v 2 “before the day of the LORD’s anger” There’s still an opportunity for repentance

2 v 3 “hid in the day of the LORD’s anger” There is comfort in the hope of the faithfulE

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The name of the prophet

• As we found with Micah, another name with true significance…

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Strong’s D. contd:

(1) “to hide (by covering over)”

(2) “Jah”

Strong’s Definitions:

“Jah has secreted”

Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon:

“Jehovah (Yahweh) has treasured”

Jackson’s Dict. Proper Names:

“treasured of Jehovah”

“For in the time of trouble he shall hide me [Heb. tsaphan] in hispavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall setme up upon a rock.” (Psalm 27 v 5)

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A vital exhortation for us all

• What we need to do with Zephaniah’s clear message from God:

• The coming day of the Lord – with its outpouring – is certain, but mercifully we can be hidden from it…

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Zephaniah 2 v 1-3

1 Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; 2 Before the decree bring forth,before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of theLord's anger come upon you. 3 Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his

judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of theLord's anger.

Isaiah 26 v 20

20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.

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Seen acted out in the life of Josiah »1

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2 Kings 22 v 15-20

15 And she said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me,16 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitantsthereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read: 17 Because theyhave forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me toanger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place,and shall not be quenched. 18 But to the king of Judah which sent you to inquire of the Lord,thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, As touching the words which thouhast heard; 19 Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before theLord, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof,that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept beforeme; I also have heard thee, saith the Lord. 20 Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thyfathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see allthe evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again.

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Seen acted out in the life of Josiah »2

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2 Chronicles 35 v 20-24

20 After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fightagainst Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him. 21 But he sentambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come notagainst thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me tomake haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not.22 Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he mightfight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, andcame to fight in the valley of Megiddo. 23 And the archers shot at king Josiah; and the kingsaid to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded. 24 His servants therefore tookhim out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had; and they brought himto Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchres of his fathers. And allJudah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.

“The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken

away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil tocome. He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in

his uprightness.” (Isaiah 57 v 1-2)

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An overview of the book/sections

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An overview of the book/sections

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Judgement Salvation

1 v 1 Introduction

1 v 2 – 2 v 3 On Judah

2 v 4-15 On nations surrounding Judah

3 v 1-7 On Jerusalem

3 v 8 On nations and kingdoms

3 v 9-13Conversion

3 v 14-20Restoration

SEVERITY GOODNESS+

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Conclusion of study 1

• Another example of a neglected (minor) prophet?

• Came at a crisis period in the history of Judah (only decades before Babylonian destruction)

• Although God’s anger and wrath was to be unleashed in the “day of the LORD”…

• …there was still the opportunity for repentance and salvation(being hid from this time of trouble)

• Josiah is/was a living example of the righteous being ‘preserved’

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We too hope to be spared in the future “day of the LORD”

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Laindon Bible Study, 23rd December 2015

Minor prophets and their message

2 - of - 2

Next week (God willing)