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Weekly Bible Devotion By Books

Sep. 2-7, 2019

Enter the Presence of the Lord

(All) Sing to the LORD with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp.
(M) He covers the sky with clouds;
(W)he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.
(M) He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call.
(W) His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
(M) nor his delight in the legs of the warrior;
(W) the LORD delights in those who fear him,
(M) who put their hope in his unfailing love.
(All) Sing to the LORD with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp.
(Psalm 147: 7-11)

Scripture Reading: Zephaniah

1:2-3 2 “I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth,” declares the Lord. 3 “I will sweep away both man and beast; I will sweep away the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea—and the idols that cause the wicked to stumble.” “When I destroy all mankind on the face of the earth,” declares the Lord,

2:3 3 Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility;

3:7, 17 The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Romans 8: 1-2 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

Thoughts to share: Joy to the world!

The Book of Zephaniah described the condition of Judah kingdom just about half century before Babylonian Empire took over her Jerusalem. We can hear the soon, severe, and sure judgement and pervasive sins not only in entire Judah but also in the entire world. The fallenness of people and the wrath of God weaved the most part of the book. Imagine, these people were God’s people. God was that good God who had heard their cries, had saved, and had built them all the way. But now, they no longer listened to each other.

Amid all darkness and hopelessness, God gave a direction of escaping from his wrath to all. He also cast a bright vision of their future to them. For the present time, two things they can do: fear of the Lord and accept his teachings. For the future, God will change his people’s quality and characters. See, there will be small remnants. They will speak pure language. They will call upon Lord’s name. They will serve him with one heart and will. Their sins will be wiped away and no longer remembered. They will not sin. They will not lie. They will not deceive. They will not boast. They will not proud and arrogant. They will be humble and meek.

But, “how” will the people get changed and transformed from the status to be cursed to the status to be loved without any rebuke? Zephaniah announced joyfully a news: The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save. He will no longer condemn people. He will clear away evil. He will restore their fortunes. Those in the Lord will dwell in peace and joy. Moreover, they will dwell in his perfect love.

In the New Testament, Jesus came to dwell among the Jews. His name is Immanuel- God is forever with us. God came in our midst. He accomplished the work of God’s saving plan in his death and resurrection, ascension as Zephaniah prophesied. Our sins are forgiven. We are reconciled with God. We become children of God. Our true self is revealed and restored. We know the truth and righteousness. We are empowered to do good and right. Therefore, O, children of God, Sing aloud! Shout! Rejoice and exult with all your heart! For the Lord has come! No more condemnations! God’s wrath is waived!

When we open our eyes to see all around us, our world is not that much different from the world that Zephaniah lived in: strives, depression, and selfishness. Our challenges are many and strong. We need to be reminded: seek the Lord, humble ourselves. Seek righteousness, seek humility, seek refuge in the Lord, accept his correction, do his commands. To be in Christ is to rescue ourselves from the crooked generation, to not become perished, and to the path of peace and life.

Prayer suggestions

O, Lord, thank you. You are in our midst. You are mighty to save. You give us new life. You give us a new existence. It is possible that we can experience peace, joy, and love because of you. It is possible that we can live humbly and meekly because of your truth and your light. It is possible that we can be courageous and confident because of your protection and might. Yes, we can rejoice because of your love. Thank you. Come, be in our midst to do your saving and blessing works among us. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!

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