These are notes collected from studying with brothers in Christ. Anything good comes from the Lord. Everything else is from us!

Zeph 1 ~

I am struck by the inclusion of animals in God’s judgment: “I will sweep away both man and beast…birds in the sky…fish in the sea” (1:3). This is pretty tightly corresponds with other places in Scripture: consider the cattle are cursed when Adam sins (Gen. 3); land animals (except those spared in the ark) were killed in the flood; animals are part of the plagues in Egypt; animals are also part of the redemption: when lion will lie down with the lamb (Isaiah). Diff subject on the WHY behind animal inclusion (for a different time), but just wanted to note that it is there. It also gives further evidence that Adam and Eve’s sin introduced death to animals…which makes evolutionary or long-age scenarios of Genesis (where death is before Adam and Eve) difficult (or impossible?) to reconcile.

1:18 – their silver and gold can’t save them from God’s day of wrath. Think of this in light of 1 Pet. 1:17-21: “Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” In other words, though silver and gold cannot pay off God’s wrath, Jesus’ blood can. I continue to see the “Day of the LORD” predicted in the O.T. as being fulfilled firstly in Jesus’ day of death and sacrifice. But then later for all the world’s judgment (with wrath for those that did not accept God’s payment through Christ for our sins).

Zeph 2 ~

“O shameless nation [Israel]…Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land…perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the LORD…” – there is a slight chance if God’s people repent that they won’t face His wrath…
“Gaza shall be deserted…Ashkelon…Ashdod…Ekron shall be uprooted” [land of Philistines]
“The seacoast shall become the possession of the remnant of the house of Judah” (v.7) – that is, the other nations will be judged, and the remnant of God’s people victorious. WOAH!! Did you see how everything is different from here on out?
I’m just amazed at the consistency here:
Ch. 1 – God judges his people
Ch. 2 – a remnant who seek Him may survive; God judges the nations; and the remnant actually thrives victoriously
It all looked like doom at the beginning. But then God’s grace comes in, and repentance and humility is met with kindness.

Reminds me of the gospel: first the bad news that we all deserve God’s wrath; then the good news that He provides a way of escape through Jesus taking the penalty; then the final judgment: where only the remnant who turned to Jesus remain eternally victorious

^^I continue to be amazed at how much the gospel “leaks into” all facets of the Bible. So consistent – this is clearly where God wants our attention drawn.

Zeph 3~

notice the contrast in 3:1-5 between the Lord and the people. Though the people are wicked, “The LORD within her is righteous” (v. 5). This is at the heart of the problem: God is mixing with unrighteous people, so to speak. And it He needs to clearly show that He doesn’t stand for all that (thus the judgment). I’ve heard it said before that revival happens when God realizes how badly the church has sullied his reputation, and wants to amend that (my paraphrase).
As shown elsewhere in the Scripture, the mark of a righteous man is that he accepts correction (vv. 2, 7). Not that he has all the answers, but is always soft and correctable.

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