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All things will be removed from the earth

All things will be removed from the earth

We begin the short book of Zephaniah today. There are a lot of similarities with Habakkuk and Zephaniah. Be blessed.

Zephaniah 1:

1 The word of the LORD that came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.

The Coming Judgment on Judah

2 "I will utterly sweep away everything from the face of the earth," declares the LORD.

3 "I will sweep away man and beast; I will sweep away the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, and the rubble with the wicked. I will cut off mankind from the face of the earth," declares the LORD.

4 "I will stretch out my hand against Judah and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off from this place the remnant of Baal and the name of the idolatrous priests along with the priests,

5 those who bow down on the roofs to the host of the heavens, those who bow down and swear to the LORD and yet swear by Milcom,

6 those who have turned back from following the LORD, who do not seek the LORD or inquire of him."

The Day of the LORD Is Near

7 Be silent before the Lord GOD! For the day of the LORD is near; the LORD has prepared a sacrifice and consecrated his guests.

8 And on the day of the LORD's sacrifice--- "I will punish the officials and the king's sons and all who array themselves in foreign attire.

9 On that day I will punish everyone who leaps over the threshold, and those who fill their master's house with violence and fraud.

10 "On that day," declares the LORD, "a cry will be heard from the Fish Gate, a wail from the Second Quarter, a loud crash from the hills.

11 Wail, O inhabitants of the Mortar! For all the traders are no more; all who weigh out silver are cut off.

12 At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men who are complacent, those who say in their hearts, 'The LORD will not do good, nor will he do ill.'

13 Their goods shall be plundered, and their houses laid waste. Though they build houses, they shall not inhabit them; though they plant vineyards, they shall not drink wine from them."

14 The great day of the LORD is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the LORD is bitter; the mighty man cries aloud there.

15 A day of wrath is that day, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness,

16 a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements.

17 I will bring distress on mankind, so that they shall walk like the blind, because they have sinned against the LORD; their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung.

18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them on the day of the wrath of the LORD. In the fire of his jealousy, all the earth shall be consumed; for a full and sudden end he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.

Zephaniah 2:Judgment on Judah's Enemies

1 Gather together, yes, gather, O shameless nation,

2 before the decree takes effect ---before the day passes away like chaff--- before there comes upon you the burning anger of the LORD, before there comes upon you the day of the anger of the LORD.

3 Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, who do his just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the LORD.

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 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; even the owl and the hedgehog 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.

Things to think about…

1.Look at when Zephaniah is preaching? In the time of Josiah, Zeph 1:1. Josiah was a godly king. He reigned over Judah and a good portion of Israel from 641-609BC. Yet look at the judgement Zephaniah describes – it will be global, Zeph 1:2,3 but will specifically focus on Judah and their apostasy. I believe these to be two separate prophesies. The first is reserved until the great white throne judgement where there will be a new heavens and a new earth, Rev 21. The second is the one that would come in a few short years by the approaching Babylonians at the time of writing. This occurred a number of times as the inhabitants of Jerusalem were taken captive - in 605BC, 597BC with the final destruction of the temple in 586BC.

2.Zephaniah continues his duel theme of judgement upon Judah and judgement upon the earth in Zeph 1:7-18. Judah at the time of writing was being blessed. Josiah had done many wonderful reforms, the land was being cleansed of idols, vineyards were planted, vs 13, temple worship was restored. Yet the heart of the people remained the same. Zeph 1:8 speaks of the officials and king's sons being punished. This is exactly what happened to king Zedekiah, his sons and the officials were killed when the Babylonians came, 2Kings 25:7. They were killed at Riblah and Zedekiah's eyes were put out. He was then taken to Babylon. But as Zephaniah prophesy's about the day of the Lord he also speaks about a global judgement, Zeph 1:14-18. This sounds more like some of the judgements that the earth will experience described in Revelation 16-19 prior to the return of Christ. The OT still has many prophesies yet to be fulfilled.

3.Though judgement is coming upon the land of Judah, what should the righteous do, Zeph 2:1,2. The counsel is to keep seeking righteousness, humility – perhaps they would be spared. We know many Jews were spared when the Babylonians came and settled them in Babylon. A large contingent of Jews lived in Babylon (modern day Iraq) right up to the early 1950's. They were then encouraged to leave – not necessarily by the Iraqis, but by Zionist Jews – so that the land of Israel could be repopulated to fulfil the many prophecies of them returning to their land.

4.Judah's enemies - Assyria, Moab, Cush (Egypt), Ammon, the remnant of the Philistines (Askelon, Ashdod), would also be destroyed, Zeph 2:4-15. Even though the ungodly are raised up to judge the godly, the ungodly will still be judged. Nineveh is still a ruins today fulfilling Zeph 2:13-15.

Vision Point

CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.

Prayer Points

1.Please pray for 5 young people in their 20's who heard the gospel on Sunday morning. They were given the gospel. Please continue to pray for Harry, Bec, Joe, Mary and Anthony. They have all said they will be back.

2.Pray that the rain forecast this week will send healing and relief to the areas affected by the bushfires have so far burned more than 12 million acres, they have killed at least 27 people, 20 from NSW alone 2000 homes have been destroyed. Please consider supporting CBC's Malacoota bushfire appeal. You may give now directed in the announcements.

3.Pray for continued follow up rain across Australia – especially NSW and Vic.

4.Ministry planning and events calendar for this year.

5.Young girl (5 yo) Amelia lost her fight for life with a congenital heart disorder. Daisy is her mother. Please pray for Daisy who is hurting and does not know the Lord. Phil Weston has more details.

6.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.

7.Sunday's message on Acts 26 "Paul's testimony and ours" by Jay.

8.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop and podcast area.

9.Church finances to meet our expenses.

10.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.

11.Some aren't well Tessa Torrington and John Ward. Pray for relief and healing.

Praise Points.

1.Quite a few no people on Sunday – pray as they settle into CBC. Please continue to welcome them and get to know them as you can.

2.Rain falling in drought affected areas of Qld, NSW and Vic today and forecast for the rest of this week.

3.Recharge youth planning night this Friday – pray for Jay, leaders, youth and their parents/carers.

4.Safe return of those travelling from holidays.

5.Praise God for what He will do as we begin and plan for ministry this year at CBC.

6.Unity, peace and Christ's love over our church.

Announcements

1.Willey group - Hosting, morning tea next Sunday morning.

2.Axiom services start on 2nd of February

3.Bushfire appeal – no target has been set but CBC will be raising money towards fireys and bush fire victims. You can donate directly through our "Give" tab on the website http://www.chuwarbaptist.com/give . Label your offering "Bushfire appeal"

4.Picnic at Kholo Gardens – 12pm at Kholo Gardens after church – 26th Jan – Australia Day. Bring a cook, cold meats, salads. There are BBQ's there but they are notoriously slow to heat up. Best to bring food ready to eat.

5.All Kids@Church and Recharge parents will be on a roster to teach their children and attend throughout the year. Rosters will be finalized this week. See Helen to get the email for when you are rostered on.

6.Recharge youth starts at 7pm, Fri 31st Jan for all High Schoolers.

7.Kids@church – for all primary aged children starts 10am Sunday 2nd Feb.

January's catechism question...

Question. 8. What is the second petition?

Answer. "Your kingdom come."

Bible Reference – Matt.6:10; Luke 11:2.


"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3

Pastor Jay

A mighty One who will save
Even when times are tough - God is in control