每日诗歌: Silent Night
Revelation 15 [Read]
How do you wake up a person deep in sleep? Do you play a lullaby with soothing melody or do you set a loud and noisy alarm? The former will never work for me. Not only I need an alarm, but I need it to be very persistent in making intolerable noise so that I can get out of my comfortable bed. Only such alarm works for me, and I know I am definitely not alone in this.
How do you wake up a nation deep in sleep? Zephaniah was brought up during the reign of Manasseh, one of the worst kings of Judah. In fact, Manasseh was the main reason that brought the eventual judgment of exile from the LORD (2 King 24:3-4). After 55 years of idol worship and immoral deeds, Judah was deep in spiritual sleep. King Josiah was still very young when he began his reign, and the nation was facing great threats from their neighbors. They needed a loud alarm, and Zephaniah was called by God to do just that.
“The great day of the LORD is near, near and coming quickly. Listen! The cry on the day of the LORD will be bitter, the shouting of the warrior there” (Zep 1:14). The imminence of the coming punishment overflows the whole prophecy, and all nations are warned about the horrible scenes on that day (2:4-15). “Seek the LORD, all your humble of the land…Seek righteousness, seek humility” (2:3), and the LORD “will remove from this city those who rejoice in their pride. Never again will you be haughty on my holy hill” (3:11). The message of the prophet might seem harsh and loud, but the spiritual condition of Judah demanded it. The prophet did what the LORD sent him to do, and it’s message like this prepared the way for the great revival during the reign of King Josiah.
In today’s society, such message will likely bring much criticism and even persecution. People are flocking to soothing messages, and they want to hear that God is there solely to love them and serve their needs. Unfortunately, lullaby can only put people deeper in spiritual sleep. We need people to speak about God’s Word as Bible tells it, and we need preachers to sound the alarm to wake people up. Like Israel, we need Zephaniah to bring God’s people back to God’s way.
Keep on reading, you have finished the 62nd book.