Book of Zephaniah - Ch. 3, Vs. 9-20 (11/19/2023)


Bro. Ben Mitchell

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Alrighty, well I'm going to get started because I'm hoping, although this may be wishful thinking that we'll be able to finish today, we've still got a good number of verses to start.
So you can turn to Zephaniah 3, verse 9. Last week we spent the entire lesson on verse 8, which was unplanned, but there you go.
However it's probably good that it ended up that way because it'll be quite the contrast from last week to this week. Last week was all about, essentially, the battle of Armageddon, the final judgment of all the enemies of Israel, and prior to that was all about the judgment of Jerusalem itself, the rebuke of Jerusalem itself.
Now in verse 9, let's go ahead and read verse 9 and then we'll get into some stuff here. It says, for then, alright, so keep in mind, we just finished the day of His wrath, of His indignation, right?
For then, immediately after those events, will I turn to the people a pure language and they may all call upon the name of the
Lord to serve Him with one consent. Now this is where it gets pretty interesting because, again, immediately following the events of what will be
Armageddon, in verse 8 that we talked about all of last week, the Lord turns the people to, as He puts it, a pure language.
Now the question is, of course, right on the backside of Armageddon, who are these people going to be?
Who will be these people that are turned to a pure language and that call upon the name of the Lord with one consent?
Well amazingly, though we're, again, right in the middle of a context, talking about global judgment, global catastrophe, in verse 8, the battle of Armageddon included, in that same context we learn of a hope for not just Israel, not just Jerusalem, but all the nations after those events are over.
This of course is through, number one, the salvation of all of Israel that we learn about in Romans 11.
So Paul tells us that at that time, when Jesus comes back in the clouds, all Israel will be saved.
So that's the first part of who some of these people will be that turn to a pure language, call upon His name with one consent.
Another portion of the people will be Gentiles that no man could number. We learn about that in Revelation chapter 7.
So Revelation chapter 7 teaches us that throughout the great tribulation and all the way through the end of the battle of Armageddon and all of that, there will be a number of Gentiles that, again, no man can number, and they will be part of this group that will call upon the name of the
Lord with one consent and be turned to a pure language. And of course, the glorified saints that will be resurrected or raptured prior to this moment, in history, when the battle of Armageddon takes place, they're going to be part of this collective group as well that are all turned to a pure language, all calling upon the name of the
Lord with one consent. All of these groups together are who Zephaniah chapter 3 verse 9 is talking about.
Now, so verses 8 and 9 kind of go together in the sense that 8, of course, there's still crazy contrast, because 8, again, the day of his indignation.
Verse 9, all of a sudden you have people calling upon the name of the Lord and serving Him with one consent. But it's all part of that same singular day of the
Lord, because through the judgment brings purification. It separates the wheat from the chaff, separates the sheep from the goats, so on and so forth.
And so, you know, after verses 8 and 9, which are kind of all about the same event, the remaining passages that we are about to read together may seem a little bit strange at first glance, and it might seem strange to us because, again, of the context.
Just a quick review. The first seven verses of this chapter, we're talking about the moral crisis of Jerusalem, the very sorry spiritual state that God's own people were in.
And that segues right into verse 8 of chapter 3, as we've said, that talks about that global judgment, global catastrophe,
His indignation being poured out, His fierce anger being poured out. Verse 9 kind of continues that, but also gives us contrast, because it's talking about the same day, but it's telling us that after the indignation is poured out, and the purification, if you will, takes place, what's left are the people that will call upon His name and serve
Him with one consent. Okay? But what we're about to read is so starkly different than how the same chapter opens that, again, it may seem a little bit bizarre at first glance.
Again, we're right on the backside of terrible sin of the people of Jerusalem, and of course, the evil nations that surround them later.
It's right on the backside of rebuke of Jerusalem, of judgment of Jerusalem. However, we need to remember a couple of things, and this kind of helps clear up the reality that this isn't all that bizarre, actually.
It's not that strange to kind of all be grouped into the same context. The first reason, the first thing to keep in mind is, think about this for a second.
What we're about to read about in verses 10 through 20 of this final chapter of Zephaniah is essentially the redemption, the ultimate redemption of God's people.
Now, it's talking about Israel specifically, but we know that we're going to be included in that as well, because there are other books of the
Bible that speak to that part of it. But it talks about the ultimate redemption of God's people.
But in order to receive redemption, you have to have something to be redeemed from. So when you think about that alone, the context of chapter 3 actually flows together quite nicely.
It starts with the sin nature, the depravity, the human nature, and it talks about that, talks about the repercussions of that.
We see the rebuke from God Himself through the prophet Zephaniah, and then it transitions into the redemption, the redemption from that sin, and into the glorified state, essentially.
So we've got to keep that in mind. In order to be redeemed, you have to have something to be redeemed from. But secondly, something important that we always need to keep in mind in passages like this is
Isaiah 55 .8, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the
Lord. This isn't necessarily how human beings may construct events like this, and yet here we are.
Now, keep in mind for a second, this concept of my thoughts are not your thoughts, my ways are not your ways, oddly,
I believe that this isn't considered by a lot of, well, frankly,
Calvinists that would otherwise subscribe to something that we would call replacement theology.
Now, the reason it's odd is because any Calvinist would affirm the divine degree of God and His exhaustive sovereignty, right?
And yet, kind of paradoxically, you know, kind of in a paradox form, you have the same people that would otherwise affirm
God's sovereignty and the reality that His ways are not our ways, they come back and they construct this odd, again, what we would call replacement theology.
They would call it something else because they realize that's a little bit of a derogatory term. And I believe it stems, the whole reason they have this construct stems from not considering or not factoring in that idea, that reality that God's thoughts are not our thoughts,
His ways are not our ways. In their view, they have this, and by the way, what is replacement theology?
They believe, me, Dave, and Dad were talking about this in detail recently, they would believe in very simplified terms that the church replaces
Israel. So if there are any unfulfilled promises in the Old Testament that haven't been fulfilled just yet, they will be fulfilled through the church or have already been fulfilled through the manifestation of the church, not ethnic
Israel. So hence, replacement theology, church replaces Israel.
That's what they believe. So in their view, because of Israel's absolute abandonment and absolute rejection of their
Messiah the first time He came, there's no way that the unfulfilled promises made to Israel in the
Old Testament are for ethnic Israel anymore, but rather the church who is now, as they would consider, quote unquote, true
Israel. OK, so that is kind of the logic is they look at they look at sections of the
Bible like verses one through seven of this same chapter. Or how about in Jeremiah, you know, when in Jeremiah 33, when
God issues his bill of divorcement, they look at areas like that. Of course, they look at the Pharisees, but also the nation as a whole.
And again, the total rejection of Messiah, of their Messiah at the first advent.
And they say they were given chances time and time again, opportunities for thousands of years.
And it all culminated into the rejection of this very son of God as he was on earth. There's no way that, you know, like they had their chance is kind of what it comes down to, what it boils down to.
They had their chance and they lost it. Now the church is going to come in and fulfill the promises that are yet to be fulfilled.
That is the logic that flows from from passages like that.
But when you consider. Neither are your ways, my ways, the future physical and spiritual restoration of not just a spiritual
Israel, but ethnic Israel, the people of Israel, it's actually not that far fetched because despite their rejection of him, of Jesus, the son of God himself,
Jesus will restore the people of Israel. Why will he do it, though?
Well, he'll do it. Number one, you could say just quickly he does it because he's going to fulfill his promises.
But he takes it even further than that. And he's going to fulfill it for the sake of the patriarchs, for the sake of the
Old Testament saints that he made all of these promises to. In Romans 11, 28, it says, as concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes.
This is Paul talking about Jews being made enemies for the sake of the Gentiles for a time.
They, the Jews, are made enemies for your sakes, but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes.
And when he says the father's sakes, he's talking about the fathers of the Old Testament, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, the prophets.
And of course, Romans chapter 11 is all about the breaking off of the natural branches of the grafting in of the wild, which would be us.
And then the talking about telling the wild branches not to get boastful because the natural branches could be grafted in just as easily.
And so for the sake of the patriarchs, that God is going to fulfill those promises through ethnic
Israel, not just some spiritualized version of that.
Now, as we move through the following verses, what we're going to see is we're going to see this kind of grand, ultimate redemption unfold for us.
And even with as many passages as there are in the Bible that speak directly to the restoration of Israel, when
I say that, I'm, again, talking about actual, physical, ethnic Israel, there are not so many quite as clear as the ending of Zephaniah.
So, again, while there are plenty of places you can go to make the argument for no, you know, yes, they rejected their
Messiah, but there will come a day when they are restored, ethnic Israel is restored, and the promises that were made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be fulfilled through them, not in a spiritual sense through the church, but in a spiritual and physical sense through ethnic
Israel. The ending of Zephaniah is one of the strongest passages you could go to to make that argument, as we will see as we go through these final verses.
So now we'll begin our final section of this study called the redemption of Israel, and this will make up the final 10 verses.
So let's pick it back up in verse 10 of Zephaniah now, chapter 3. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.
The word suppliants there, you could insert worshipers is perhaps a better word for us at this point.
From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, even... I'm sorry, beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, my worshipers, even the daughters of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.
Now, this verse is kind of reminiscent of another one that we spent a lot of time on in our last study, and we've actually referenced this verse a few times in this study as well.
But Malachi, chapter 1, verse 11 says, for from the rising of the sun even into the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the
Gentiles, and in every place incense shall be offered into my name in a pure offering. For my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the
Lord of hosts. Now, in Malachi, he's making a point there to bring this prophecy of the
Gentiles to light because he's in the process of reminding the priests and these defiled priests that, you know, you're not doing your job and just because you are of the blood of the tribe of Levites doesn't matter because someday the
Gentiles, the very heathen, will be bringing me pure offerings and you're bringing me defiled offerings. So that's kind of the context there.
But in verse 10 of Zephaniah, chapter 3, it talks about from the rivers, beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, my worshipers, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.
It's a little bit more of a broad collective picture of what it'll be at that time because the
Gentiles will be included in that, but so will a purified people of Israel.
Verse 11 says, In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all my doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me.
For then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain.
So in verse 11 here, it's really interesting because God through Zephaniah is essentially it's like he's talking to the remnant for a second.
It's like he's honing in and he's telling the remnant of true believers of Israel right here.
Don't worry, because not only are your enemies going to be removed at this time, but I'm even going to take out those that rejoice in thy pride.
There won't be any more haughty people because of my holy mountain. I'm going to cleanse not only the enemies,
I'm not only going to cleanse the world of your enemies, but I'm going to cleanse Israel itself and remove the prideful, remove the haughty.
Now, and then he said, what's the result? Well, he starts with the result at the top. He says,
Thou shalt not be ashamed for thy doings. If you contrast that with verse five, which we covered about maybe a couple of weeks ago at this point, just go right up in the same chapter.
In verse five, Zephaniah chapter three, it says, The just Lord is in the midst thereof.
He will not do iniquity. Every morning doth he bring his judgment to light. He faileth not, but the unjust knoweth no shame.
So there's a little bit of a contrast there because the unjust that are living within Jerusalem at this time, they have no shame.
But at this time, by the time you get to verse 11, he says that the remnant living within Jerusalem, you won't be ashamed anymore.
There will be no more being ashamed of all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me.
Even the remnant that has sinned, all of that will be removed. So it's quite the change in just a matter of verses from having no shame in their wrongful doings whatsoever to you will not be ashamed anymore because of my holy mountain.
It's pretty amazing. Now, as we said earlier, in order for redemption to occur, you have to have something to be redeemed from.
Right. In Israel's case, they were a terrible, prideful and haughty nation in every sense, in the collective sense.
But despite that, even they as a collective nation, not just not just, you know, a few people, but as a nation, they will experience national redemption.
Their true national identity that was established with Abraham would be fully restored or redeemed at this particular time that we're reading about here.
When we read the phrase at the beginning of verse 11, in that day, this is, again, really interesting to me because what we're doing is just in that simple phrase, we're seeing a transition from the day of the
Lord or the day of the Lord's wrath and seeing the first glimpse of the millennial kingdom because it's still talking about the day, but it's no longer talking about the wrath of Armageddon.
It's now talking about their shame being removed and their pure language being given to them and all of them serving
God with one consent. So it's still talking about the same day, if you will.
But, you know, it's like this is it. This is what it looks like after all of the catastrophe is concluded.
In that day, thou shalt not be ashamed anymore. So, again, we kind of get our first glimpse of the millennial kingdom as it is being ushered in in real time before us here in Zephaniah.
In that day, Israel will be cleansed and restored. They won't have any shame before God anymore because their sins at that point have been removed.
And that is what Paul was talking about in Romans 11. All Israel shall be saved. When they see their king coming back in the clouds, at that point, there'll be no more doubt.
They rejected him the first time. But the generation that sees him coming back, they won't reject him. And at that point, not only will they receive him, but their sins will be removed.
They will be redeemed. They will call upon the name of the
Lord, which I think is interesting that that phrase is used in verse 9.
They may call upon the name of the Lord, given that that's the same phraseology that Paul uses in the
Romans Road. And so the faith, the belief will be expressed in the same way as it is by us in this age when we experience our spiritual birthday.
And so they will be redeemed at that point in that day. The Hebrew word, just a quick note here.
So look at verse 11 one more time, just the first sentence. In that day, thou shalt not be ashamed for all thy doings.
Now, when you see the little phrase there, all thy doings, it sounds innocent enough. You know, whatever, you know, whatever it is they're doing, however they're living their lives, going about their lives at that time, you're not going to be shamed about it.
You know, the Hebrew word, though, for thy doings is alilah, and it literally means wantonness or practicing evil deeds.
And so when it says you will not be ashamed for all thy doings, it reminds us that what were their doings prior to this moment?
They were evil deeds. They were as far from God as you can be, humanly speaking, and yet they will be cleansed from that.
They will be cleansed from their wantonness, their evil deeds, the practice of those evil deeds.
They will all be removed. All right, verse 12 says, I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the
Lord. The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity nor speak lies, neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth, for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
The final sentence of verse 13 there, for they shall feed and lie down and none shall make them afraid, it's kind of reminiscent of Psalm chapter three,
I'm sorry, Psalm 23, you know, but less so in an individual sense, but more so as a nation.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want, he maketh me lie down in green pastures, he leadeth me beside the still waters, he restoreth my soul.
Think about that in the context of the nation of Israel, and that's essentially what they're experiencing at this time. For they shall feed and lie down and none shall make them afraid.
It's like the fold of a shepherd with him present with his staff, keeping them safe, watching over the flock, he's not having to go off and find any that went astray, he's present, they're all there together, they're in the green pastures, they're lying down, they're feeding.
That is kind of the mental picture that Zephaniah is giving to us here, is what it'll be like as the millennial kingdom is ushered in.
Israel, for all of human history, they've been defiled, they've been beaten. Of course, they've been exiled more than once, scattered all over the planet more than once.
They've been ravished. But at last, at this particular time, in the future, they will have perpetual rest as a nation.
And what's crazy about it is they'll have perpetual rest, but they will have that in the middle or among all the nations of the world without fear.
So like right now, what's one of the reasons they can't have any rest or stability or or peace?
It's because they are surrounded by the nations of the world, quite literally. And of course, the ones closest to them are some of their greatest enemies.
At the millennial kingdom, part of that will change, but not all of it.
The part that will change, of course, is that their enemies, rather, I'm sorry, rather than them having enemies, their closest neighbors will actually be blessing them, as we'll find out here in just a minute.
They are going to have a positive reputation, not a negative reputation throughout the whole world.
So they will still be surrounded by the nations of the world, but it will be in a totally different sense because those other nations will be, again, blessing them rather than cursing them.
All right. Pick it up at verse 14. It says, Sing, O daughter of Zion, shout,
O Israel, be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.
As we read these verses, I want you guys to keep in mind what we started with, the concept of replacement theology that many people believe in today.
I mean, it's nothing new. It's been around for a long time. And if I could be so bold, I believe it's, you know, nothing more than kind of a latent form of anti -Semitism.
And it stems from a lot of the reformers, believe it or not. But, you know, you can read you can read their stuff and they make it abundantly clear they didn't they didn't they weren't shy about it.
But they, you know, again, it's people that believe that the church replaces Israel in every sense. And, you know, you might ask what if that's true, just purely logically speaking, from the human viewpoint, if it were true that God had no purpose for them anymore and that that because of their egregious abandonment, their egregious rejection of their
Messiah, which that part is true, if it's true that because of those he's done with them once and for all after the first advent, after the death, burial, resurrection, he's done with them once and for all.
Now the church is born. Actually, what they would say is it's 70 AD is when he was done with them once and for all.
And then the church is born. Prior to that, there's kind of an overlap in ages, as they would put it.
And now the church is the one that gets to live out all of the unfulfilled blessings and promises.
And, you know, if that were true, why on earth is Israel or not Israel as a nation?
Why are Jews even alive anymore, around anymore? Think about don't you find it interesting?
So you look at stories like Esther and you see what Haman tried to pull off. And it makes a lot of sense that the devil was working in the way that he was because he was trying to thwart the plan.
He was trying to kill. And it started with Cain and Abel. He was trying to end the line of the
Messiah, going all the way back to the very first two born sons of all of human history, all the way through. You come to Haman.
He tries to wipe out all the Jews. And of course, all of us can look back at that and think, yes, that he was he was trying to serve an evil purpose in ending the line of the
Messiah. But the Messiah came. Jesus was born. He failed. So don't you find it interesting that he continued, the devil has continued to wipe them out, even though he already failed at ending the line of the
Messiah? You think of the Holocaust. You think of the pogroms, the Russian pogroms some 70 years before that.
And of course, the fact that every nation surrounding Israel from the time they were reestablished till present day has tried in all of their power to wipe them out.
And then I guess it was last Sunday. Dad was talking about the whole from the river to the sea thing. I mean, it's the one nation that has ever existed where there is global sympathy for the concept of genocide of a people.
And so why on earth would they have survived all of that if there wasn't a purpose?
Just logically speaking, I don't know how those that I don't like, I honestly don't know those who believe in replacement theology, why they would think they even exist as a people anymore because they're so small, less than a percent of the entire global population.
And they have had constant, constant, you know, terrible attacks of the worst kind to try to wipe them out as a people for all of human history.
But even after the cross, why would they have been able to survive all that had it not been for God's specific hand of protection in order to preserve the nation, preserve the ethnic blood of Israel?
And to this day that we're talking about so that they as a nation, as ethnic Israel could fulfill these promises.
So keep that in mind as we read these, because again, the end of Zephaniah is one of the greatest defenses against replacement theology because it's just so clear.
Sing, O daughter of Zion. Shout, O Israel. Is this the church? It sounds like physical
Israel to me. Be glad and rejoice with all thy heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. Again, with everything
I just said aside, let's not forget about how this chapter began. Chapter three, the first seven verses, it began with sorrow, it began with torment, it began with rebuke for the same people we're talking about now.
But now you get to verse 14. We have a tremendous shift to joy and triumph when the fears of Israel turn into shouts of praise.
So it begins with sorrow, rebuke, all these terrible things. Again, the moral crisis of Israel is how the chapter began.
And now here it is with rejoicing of the heart and with singing. Verse 15 says,
The Lord hath taken away thy judgments. He hath cast out thine enemy, the king of Israel.
Even the Lord is in the midst of thee. Thou shalt not see evil anymore. Again, we are seeing the millennial kingdom play out in these verses, the beginning of the millennial kingdom, like this is how it all starts.
These shouts of rejoice will be the result or the effect, if you will, of their redeemer being in their midst.
The Messiah and king that they had been promised will once again. And you need we need to, you know, make a point once again for the second time, be physically with them.
You know, we can certainly acknowledge the fact that he has been with them before and he himself in,
I believe, Luke chapter maybe 13, I can't remember off the top of my head, was kind of Jesus was mourning over Israel as he looked down upon Jerusalem.
And, you know, I'm paraphrasing big time, but was essentially if they had known that their that their king was with them,
I would have ushered in the kingdom. But they're rejecting me. And so he's been with them before.
It's not the first time they did reject him the first time. And because of that, from the human viewpoint, when his kingdom could have been ushered in at that point.
No, now we have had 2000 years of, well, one side, it's two sides of the same coin.
It's been 2000 years of torment, persecution, torture, martyrdom, trials and tribulations that you can hardly comprehend throughout church history.
On the other side of that coin, though, you also have 2000 years of Christ's power being manifested in the saints that are able to do that, the peace that surpasses all understanding, that are able to endure the martyrdom and the torture and all of these things to be a testimony to those that see it so that God's elect can be continuously gathered from generation to generation until ultimately it's all consummated in his second return.
So he's been with them before. They did reject him, but this time he's with them again physically.
He's in their midst, but they're rejoicing this time. They have received him this time. This time they'll know him and they'll call upon his name rather than rejecting him.
Now, we get a glimpse of this in Isaiah 9.
And what's really cool about it, you guys recall when Jesus went into the temple around the time his ministry began, he opened up the scroll of Isaias.
And he read a portion of it and he said, this has been fulfilled in your ears on this day. And then he closed it.
And then if you go to that passage in Isaiah that he read from, you can read the verse that he quoted and you know he just said that has been fulfilled.
And then the following verse is talking about his judgment, his wrath and all these things. That part, it was a future fulfillment, of course, when he comes the second time.
So just in that example that Jesus gave us, we have an example of a nearer prophecy from the viewpoint of Isaiah that had just been fulfilled by Jesus himself.
But there was still prophecy yet to be unfulfilled way out in the future. In Isaiah chapter 9, we have another example.
Let's start in verse 6. It says, For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder.
Who is that? What is that prophesying? Obviously, it's prophesying about Jesus's first coming, right?
Unto us a child is born, a son is given. His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the
Prince of Peace. But look at verse 7. Immediately after, it says,
Of the increase of his government and peace, there shall be no end upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom to order it and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth, even forever.
The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will perform this. So you have to ask, we know that verse 6 was fulfilled because a son was given, a child was born.
But have we seen physically yet the government, the increase of his government on earth, the peace with no end on earth upon the throne of David as he sits?
We haven't quite seen that just yet. And so in Isaiah, verses 6 and 7, it's talking about, it's prophesying about his first coming and it's prophesying about his second coming, but all together in one unified flow of dialogue, if you will.
And so in verse 7, we see Isaiah prophesying what now
Zephaniah is showing us fleshed out, like Zephaniah is showing us what Isaiah, what
Isaiah talked about, Zephaniah is showing us what it will look like. Did that make sense? Kind of had a hard time getting that out, but the zeal of the
Lord of hosts will perform this. He will sit upon the throne of David, his kingdom to order, establish it, judgment, justice forever and ever.
All right. So the wrath from God's hand, which we saw in verse 8, battle of Armageddon, all that kind of stuff.
And then you had oppression from the enemies of Israel, which we'll see as well, even in a couple of future verses, all of that will be gone and the
Lord king will be with them physically in fear, will be absolutely demolished for the people of Israel.
Let's go back to Zephaniah and continue verse 16, it says, in that day, notice that phrase.
The whole theme of this book is in the day of the Lord or the day of the Lord. In that day is one of the key phrases to link the events it's talking about to that day.
But we're on we're on the post catastrophic part of that day. Armageddon has already happened.
The judgments, all of the vials and bowls and seals of revelation have already happened. All that's behind us now, but it's still talking about that day.
And it's the moments that the millennial kingdom are beginning in that day. It shall be said to Jerusalem, fear thou not.
And to Zion, let not thy hands be slack for the Lord thy God is in the midst of thee is mighty.
He will save. He will rejoice over thee with joy. He will rest in his love.
He will joy over thee with singing. All of this is just right on the backside of a blood, the bloodbath of Armageddon.
Again, big time contrast from our topic last week when we looked at verse eight pretty closely, the millennial kingdom will be a time of peace for his historically troubled people.
Israel will rejoice, as we see in verse 14. But even more amazing than that, look at what it says in verse 17.
It says that God himself will rejoice. Now, oftentimes when we think about awesome passages like Revelation 4 and 5, where the worship in heaven is taking place, or how about the opening passages,
I believe, of Isaiah chapter 6, the opening verses of chapter 6, when Isaiah, you know, they have to put the coal on his tongue because he's a man of unclean lips and he's seeing the worship of heaven take place.
We often think about God sitting there, Jesus sitting there, just soaking in the glory, the worship, the singing, the praise.
Right. But in verse 17 here, we get a different look, a different angle that maybe we don't consider as often, and that is the fact that he himself will be rejoicing with joy.
He's resting in his love. Think about this. He will joy over thee with singing.
So think about Jesus himself singing. That's a pretty awesome picture, isn't it? It's awesome enough thinking about the seraphim, the cherubim, and the elders under the throne, and those worshiping and singing, and the singing's going to be magnificent.
But think about Jesus himself on the throne of David, post -return and enemy separation of the sheep and the goat already taking place, and now he is singing.
It'll be unbelievable. In fact, that delight and that joy, the singing that he will be doing himself, the reason he'll be doing it is because his ancient promises to his people will have been consummated again in his return and his kingship on the throne of David.
So he's long -suffering, but he's sitting up there as we speak, and he knows those promises he made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to Moses, and to Joshua, and to David, and to the prophets.
He knows those promises. They're still in play, and having emotions, being the
God -man, having emotions, you've got to know he's just anxiously awaiting for that time when he gets to fulfill those promises once and for all.
And so here he's singing because it's done. He's finally fulfilled those promises in his perfect timing, of course, but he's excited all the same.
He's rejoicing himself. He's singing himself. Now, as we enter the final verses of the book here,
I think I can wrap this up. Yeah, as we finish the final verses here, in my opinion, what's going to happen is
Zephaniah points his focus kind of in an indirect way back to the faithful remnant of believers in his day.
So remember, this prophecy, we're talking about the millennial kingdom, things that will be even in our future.
But this prophecy is being written at a point in history, roughly around B .C. 630, a good while before Jesus came the first time.
So there is a point in history in which God's people in Israel are receiving this scroll of prophecy.
And during that time in history, there was a faithful remnant. There's always a faithful remnant.
And so I believe that in these final words, what Zephaniah is about to do is he's going to leave, again, right on the backside of a pretty rough prophecy, honestly, because it's full of rebuke and judgment.
Yes, on the part of Israel's enemies, but also of Israel themself. He's going to leave that faithful remnant with reason to continue to have hope, reason to continue to have strength and to have comfort.
In an indirect way, he begins talking directly to them. He wanted them to remember their great hope, everything we've been talking about, even in the midst of a very dark day that they were living in.
They needed a firm grasp of God's promises of these future events to keep them faithful and to keep them continuing in their meekness, in their faithfulness, as we covered in chapter 2, verse 3.
You guys may recall it's the meek and the faithful. Those continuing in meekness and righteousness that will be hid in the day of the
Lord's wrath. He's talking to that remnant. So, again, the final verses we're about to read about,
I think, are dedicated to them. Now, one final note really quick before we move away from verse 17, the
Hebrew word for he will rest, when it says he will rest in his love in verse 17, the
Hebrew word there, harash, it's interesting because that Hebrew word could mean a whole bunch of different things.
It could mean plowing a field. It could mean being a plowman. It could mean being deaf.
It could mean, you know, sowing and reaping a field. But it also means within, of course, you have to figure out what's the context.
And that's how you can derive the meaning from the word. It can also mean to be silent or to be speechless. Now, this is interesting because in verse 17, it says he will rest in his love and that he will also joy over thee with singing.
So you have this idea of both Jesus sitting there kind of soaking in, again, the glory, but physically on earth.
What happened over there, Noah? He's sitting there, he's resting in his love, he's being silent, he's being speechless as he just looks over the promised land, the capital of the world from which he will reign for a thousand years with his people before him.
Then he turns to joy and singing, but that phrase that he will rest is interesting.
A quote to quote Feinberg, he said, commenting on that phrase, he says,
Then he will rest, literally be silent in his love. This is one of the boldest statements in the
Bible. It is stated that God will rest in silent ecstasy over his people,
Israel. And so you have two things happening. You have him, as Feinberg put it, sitting on his throne, resting.
You got to think it probably is a similar idea of him resting after creation.
The purpose of it was mainly for us. It wasn't that he needed the rest, but it was something we could look to and we could see that even he could sit back and enjoy his creation and not only give us a example of how we should live our lives, having a day of rest, but also for him to sit back and witness everything that he's done here at the second coming on his physical throne in Jerusalem.
He will rest in his love, kind of sitting in silent ecstasy, as Feinberg put it.
But from there, eventually that will turn to joy and singing is the verse end.
So it's just a really beautiful thing. All right, verse 18, it says, I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly who are of thee to whom the reproach of it was a burden.
So the scattered Jews all throughout the world, they're going to be regathered, their sorrows removed. They can enjoy their feasts again.
Verse 19 says, Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee and I will save her that halted and gather her that was driven out and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.
And that part is really cool because they're going to have like the world will love them.
The whole world will look to them with praise and fame. That is absolutely as night and day as it can get from how it is right now.
And so this is something they have to look forward to. Zephaniah has already told us earlier in chapter two and even in this chapter that God will remove their enemies from all over the world.
But what he'll do is he'll bring his people back to the promised land and then he will give them a positive reputation from every nation from that point forward.
So rather than the whole world hating them, the whole world will look to them in fame and in praise and in blessings because they are the direct offspring of Abraham, from which even we get to have salvation through that covenant.
Deuteronomy 26, 19 prophesied of this same event all the way back to Moses. He said, And to make thee high above all nations, which he hath made in praise and in name and in honor, and that thou mayest be a holy people unto the
Lord thy God, as he hath spoken. Let me ask you a question. Has that happened yet? Moses prophesied it.
Has all nations praised them in name and in honor? Absolutely not. So Moses was prophesying about the millennial kingdom, the very things that Zephaniah is talking about.
And finally, our last verse here, At that time, verse 20, At that time will
I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you, for I will make you a name and a praise among all the people of the earth.
There's intentional repetition here. Again, Zephaniah does not want the faithful remnant to forget this is your great hope, as bad as it will be around you.
This is your great hope. I will make you a name and praise among all the people of the earth.
When I turn back your captivity before your eyes, you will see it, saith the
Lord. So this final verse here gives us a summary of all the blessings to come, the regathering of the promised land, totally the whole land, not just a portion of it.
They will receive a good reputation from the entire world. They will be restored. They will receive kind of a restored fortune.
All of their fortunes from times past will be restored. And this will happen before their very eyes. So this will physically happen.
It's not just a spiritual sense. In a spiritual sense, this is physical. And as if this prophecy wasn't good enough already, it all ends with the seal of the word of the
Lord. It says it's not just Zephaniah talking. The whole thing ends by saying, saith the
Lord. And of course, that is Jehovah. He is the one that says you will be restored.
You have a good reputation. You will be turned back from your captivity. So it's his words and it's his promise.
So just a couple of quick thoughts. And since this is the very end, I may go like a couple minutes over.
But number one, I wanted to say something really quick just on the whole topic of replacement theology and stuff.
I just want to say for our sakes, it is important to remember that something we can't lose sight of, a very important reality, is the fact that just because we will see
Israel be saved totally upon his return and that their land will be restored and that these promises will be fulfilled for ethnic
Israel, it doesn't necessarily mean that the Jews as a people right now are, quote unquote, good to go, because that's a lot of the kind of surface level rhetoric you may hear from people that support them in every sense, that are on kind of the opposite of the spectrum of the replacement theology people, is you get this idea like, well, they don't really need
Jesus because they are worshiping the one true God. They may not say it like that. They may not even mention Jesus.
They may say they're worshiping the one true God. They're God's chosen people. And you talk about it, I'm not saying us, but people can talk about it as if they're good to go.
So we can read Zephaniah here and we can rejoice in the reality that ethnic
Israel will be saved as a collective people, but they're not good to go right now.
So we need to remember, we have to continue sharing the gospel with the
Jewish people in an unwavering sense because, I mean, think about it. I read a
Feinberg quote a second ago. He was a contemporary, by the way, of Brother Rocky. They were both Jewish believers, meaning they were
Jews ethnically, but they were Christian. They were saved. Both of them had large ministries to the
Jewish people. So if they were doing that, if they as Jews, as saved
Jews, put so much time and effort into witnessing to the Jewish people, they must not be good to go.
They still need the gospel that we were saved by as a people right now in our history.
They still need it themselves. They wouldn't have had such a heart for witnessing to the Jewish people if they were quote, unquote, good to go.
So we might sometimes lose sight of the importance of witnessing to Jews because we think about how glorious their salvation will be someday.
All of Israel will be saved. We'll think, OK, well, thank goodness. You know, and it kind of gives us this soft spot in our heart when we read all of the stories of the
Jewish people and they just were kind of a sorry stiff neck people, but at least they're going to receive national salvation someday.
It's true. And it is a wonderful reality. But in our lives right now, literally until Jesus is coming back in the clouds, they are on a pathway to hell if they do not receive
Jesus. If they continue to reject their Messiah, which they are actively doing right now, they're not good to go.
And so we can we can joy, we can have joy and rejoice in the reality that they will be saved collectively.
But, you know, they need to recognize that it's Jesus right now that is their
Lord and the Lord of the universe, lest they be in danger of perishing eternally.
And so there's a balance. The replacement theology people are wrong. Ethnic Israel will be saved, but we can't get too sentimental about the
Jews either. We can't just think, you know, we talk about the Judeo -Christian this, the Judeo -Christian that.
And I realize there is truly an ethic that's based upon the Old Testament, but that doesn't mean they're saved because they are actively rejecting
Jesus. So we have to keep that in mind, too. We don't want to lose sight of that even when we read these marvelous passages of what the millennial kingdom will be like for the for the
Jews. And so, yeah, I mean, this has been a great study. Again, it's a very truncated book.
Lots was covered in it, but it ultimately ends with that great redemption that we get to be a part of, too, by the way.
But Zephaniah makes a point to be talking about those of Jerusalem, those of Israel, which is great.
So we've run out the clock. I don't know if you guys have any final thoughts or anything like this before we wrap up this study.
But if you do, feel free to share. Yeah. Right.
No, I don't think I have either. Like I said, we often picture us worshiping, we don't normally think about Jesus singing himself.
And so that's a really cool, really cool picture there. I mean, do they just skip over this?
Well, they just spiritualize it, but it's pretty clear. Again, there are plenty of passages that you can make a crystal clear argument that ethnic
Israel is being talked about. But the end of Zephaniah is one of the clearest.
Right. Right. Right. Right.
It's a weak point. It's a weak. Yes. Interesting.
Yeah. And it wasn't it certainly wasn't all of them.
And another thing, and I pointed this out to dad. Dad and I were talking about this yesterday.
The reformers were living in a weird point in history where who knows if they even knew a
Jewish person, because the Jews had been scattered for a millennia already. The temple had been destroyed over 1 ,500 years prior.
So the Jews didn't have a nation. There was no nation of Israel. So they were probably reading some of these passages and like, what is that talking about?
Because where are even the Jews right now? And so you have to give the reformers some credit in that sense.
You certainly certainly should hold modern day replacement theology people to a higher standard because look at where the
Jews are right now. So there's that. Some of the Puritans fell into that category as well, but not all of them.
For example, Spurgeon was a strong believer in the restoration of physical Israel. And so, yeah, it's not all of them, but some of them.
And to answer your question, Matt, as to where people right now that subscribe to replace theology, it's quite the dance for sure.
What did you have?
Did you have a thought, Dave? Yeah. Right.
Right. I think that's an interesting parallel. Resting on the seventh day, enjoying, soaking in his creation, including
Adam, who was there. We'll see a similar thing as he rests in his love on his throne as he just kind of surveys.
The redeemed world and the people around him, so really, really explicit pictures we have at the end of the book there.
righty. Well, I think we ate up all our time. Dave, would you mind dismissing us, please? Amen.