Zephaniah 2:1-3 NKJV – In humble repentance

Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together, O undesirable nation, before the decree is issued, or the day passes like chaff, before the Lord’s fierce anger comes upon you, before the day of the Lord’s anger comes upon you!  Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice.  Seek righteousness, seek humility.  It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger.

God is the righteous judge of all unrighteousness.  God’s anger is consistent with His righteousness and merciful character.  “God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” (Psalm 7:11 NKJV)  Thank you God that Your anger is reluctant and short-lived.  “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.” (Psalm 103:8 NKJV)  But there are times when we provoke God to anger.

What are some of the causes of God’s anger?

Idolatry and unbelief – “So Israel was joined to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel.” (Numbers 25:3 NKJV)

Disobedience and disloyalty – “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” (Ephesians 5:6 NKJV)

Ungodly living – “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.” (2 Timothy 3:1-9 NKJV)

Pride, arrogance and hypocrisy – “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Matthew 23:27-28 NKJV)

Rejection of God’s servants – “Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,”says the Lord.And again, “The Lord will judge His people.”It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:29-31

Tough Scripture to read, isn’t it?  Humans are fallible and true righteousness must be the product of the Holy Spirit’s work in a believer.  Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit in enabling believers to lead holy lives, dedicated to the service of God and conformed to His likeness.

When we are at the point of repentance, it’s God’s desire that we should seek after Him and find Him.  Those who seek God with all their heart are rewarded.  “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me and I will listen to you.  And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for me with all your heart.  I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity.” (Jeremiah 29:12-14 NKJV)

God exalts the humble and believers should humble themselves before the Living God.  “He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly.” (Luke 1:52 NKJV)  “Therefore humble yourselves under the might hand of God that He may exalt you in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6 NKJV) Humility is linked to repentance.  “See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me?  Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days.” (1 Kings 21:29a NKJV) And humility is linked to God’s favor.  “The Lord lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground.” (Psalm 147:6 NKJV)

As our foundational Scripture verse says, “Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together”.  People get ready; Jesus is coming.  Jesus is returning soon to gather up His people.  Now is the time to seek the Lord.  Seek Him in prayers of thanksgiving and repentance.  Call upon the Lord and return to Him.  He is waiting for you.  Prayer brings us to the place where we call upon the Lord.  God exalts the humble and humble prayer captures God’s attention.  When we call upon the Lord in a posture of humility and seek His presence and power, God responds.  Prayer is worship to the Lord.  Humble prayer is glorious worship to the Lord.  In humble prayer we demonstrate our need and dependency on God.  We proclaim that it’s only Him that can save us, touch us, rescue us, and restore us.  We call upon Your Mighty Name Lord.

Holy and merciful Lord.  We humble ourselves before you.  We call upon You Lord and seek Your righteousness.  We are sinners in need of a Savior.  Forgive us Lord where we have failed You in word and in deed.  Thank You for Your infinite mercy and grace.  We anticipate Your glorious return to gather us up and to take us to where You are.  A place You have prepared for us.  We believe and we repent.  In Jesus Mighty Name.  AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

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