I’ve finished reading Zephaniah, the next book of the Minor Prophets. And here’s another border block to go along with my Bible Sampler Quilt project.
I’ve heard this quarantine situation described as being in a Coronavirus version of the Groundhog’s Day movie. I don’t feel that way myself. I can fill my days with enough variety to keep things interesting. I could be the poster child for the introverted personality. But things are stacking up that are starting to wear on me.
Zephaniah shared the same old message as the seven previous books of the Minor Prophets, which is basically this: Because the children of Israel have strayed far from their faith, the punishing judgment from their righteous God is at hand. Zephaniah in particular uses the term “The Day of the Lord” a lot. As in, the day when the whole earth will be devoured by His burning anger. This after three solid chapters describing the doom and gloom in great detail. Yikes is right.
It’s a bit like the Groundhog’s Day I referenced: reading book after book of the same depressing message of angry destruction, at the same time that the media fills the airwaves with doom and gloom. And I have to agree that the world as we knew it has turned topsy turvy with no end in sight.
I googled the name “Zephaniah” out of curiosity. That’s not a name that’s making the top ten on the baby boy list. I learned that it means “Yahweh hides”. What a coincidence. We are all currently hiding from each other. We hide behind our doors, behind flimsy cloth face masks in pursuit of protection. Even that groundhog hid from his own shadow. And this is the thing that’s wearing on me: the steady drip of fear.
But then God does it again, He shows His gospel hope. Right at the end of the book, Zephaniah reports that God will leave a remnant; a humble and lowly people who will take refuge in the name of the Lord. Their restoration will be such that they shout for joy in triumph, rejoicing exultantly with all their hearts.
I’ll take my cue from these words. Take note: God means business. He’s not messing around regarding life and death. Proverbs reminds me that it is the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom. You surely don’t want to be on God’s bad side. But being born into sin; we’re all on His bad side.
He has a remedy. Like Moses, God allows me to tuck into the cleft of the rock so that I am safe from His awesome and terrible power. The rock is His Son. Hidden in Christ is where I receive refuge, as well as all the protection and provision I need.
So we can do this. We can get through the day after day doom and gloom. God’s got it covered.