Rev. Andrew Jagow, pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church in Alexandria, VA, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Zephaniah 2:4-15.
Zephaniah looks toward each point of the compass in order to proclaim the Word of the LORD to the nations around Judah. To the west, the LORD tells the Philistines that the day of the LORD will bring desolation. To the east, the LORD condemns Moab and Ammon for their prideful boasting against His people. To the south, the LORD tells the Cushites that they will be slain by the sword. To the north, the LORD proclaims that Assyria’s claim of divinity will bring about complete destruction. The LORD speaks to these foreign nations because He loves all mankind and desires all sinners to be saved through repentance and faith in His Son Jesus Christ. This truth comes through in Zephaniah’s words concerning the remnant of Judah and the people from every nation who will come to bow down in faith before the LORD.
“Majoring in Minors” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the books of Obadiah, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah. These three prophets all spoke the Word of God in the days leading up to the fall of Jerusalem at the hand of the Babylonians. Through their unique emphases, these men proclaimed the same message of repentance of sins and faith in the LORD, pointing ultimately toward their prophecies’ fulfillment: Jesus Christ.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
4 For Gaza shall be deserted,
and Ashkelon shall become a desolation;
Ashdod’s people shall be driven out at noon,
and Ekron shall be uprooted.
5 Woe to you inhabitants of the seacoast,
you nation of the Cherethites!
The word of the Lord is against you,
O Canaan, land of the Philistines;
and I will destroy you until no inhabitant is left.
6 And you, O seacoast, shall be pastures,
with meadows[a] for shepherds
and folds for flocks.
7 The seacoast shall become the possession
of the remnant of the house of Judah,
on which they shall graze,
and in the houses of Ashkelon
they shall lie down at evening.
For the Lord their God will be mindful of them
and restore their fortunes.
8 “I have heard the taunts of Moab
and the revilings of the Ammonites,
how they have taunted my people
and made boasts against their territory.
9 Therefore, as I live,” declares the Lord of hosts,
the God of Israel,
“Moab shall become like Sodom,
and the Ammonites like Gomorrah,
a land possessed by nettles and salt pits,
and a waste forever.
The remnant of my people shall plunder them,
and the survivors of my nation shall possess them.”
10 This shall be their lot in return for their pride,
because they taunted and boasted
against the people of the Lord of hosts.
11 The Lord will be awesome against them;
for he will famish all the gods of the earth,
and to him shall bow down,
each in its place,
all the lands of the nations.
12 You also, O Cushites,
shall be slain by my sword.
13 And he will stretch out his hand against the north
and destroy Assyria,
and he will make Nineveh a desolation,
a dry waste like the desert.
14 Herds shall lie down in her midst,
all kinds of beasts;[b]
even the owl and the hedgehog[c]
shall lodge in her capitals;
a voice shall hoot in the window;
devastation will be on the threshold;
for her cedar work will be laid bare.
15 This is the exultant city
that lived securely,
that said in her heart,
“I am, and there is no one else.”
What a desolation she has become,
a lair for wild beasts!
Everyone who passes by her
hisses and shakes his fist.
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.