“Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall see disaster no more. ” Zephaniah 3:14-15.
Zephaniah looks forward here to the day Israel receives their Messiah. It will be at the end of the tribulation period when the Lord Jesus returns to earth to destroy the Antichrist and his followers.
It is when the annihilation of Israel is imminent that the remnant of Israel looks up to see their Messiah riding down to rescue them. It is at that moment when they realize that it was Jesus all along.
“For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.’” Romans 11:25-27.
“The Redeemer [Jesus] will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” says the Lord. “As for Me,” says the Lord, “this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” says the Lord, “from this time and forevermore.” Isaiah 59:20-21.
As stated in the last post, many believe that all of the children of Israel who enter the 1,000 year reign of Christ including all their descendants will trust in Christ as their Savior. This passage is a clear indication that this is true.
What a day of rejoicing that will be when Israel is no longer under the curse they put on themselves.
“Pilate said to them, ‘What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?’ They all said to him, ‘Let Him be crucified!’ then the governor said, ‘Why, what evil has He done?’ But they cried out all the more saying, ‘Let Him be crucified!’ When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, ‘I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.’ And all the people answered and said, ‘His blood be on us and on our children’” Matthew 27:22-25.
These evil people were no different than their forefathers who rejected God and sinned in the vilest manner long before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
“You shall sow, but not reap; you shall tread the olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil; and make sweet wine, but not drink wine. For the statues of Omri are kept; all the works of Ahab’s house are done; and you walk in their counsels, that I may make you a desolation, and your inhabitants a hissing. Therefore you shall bear the reproach of My people.” Micah 6:15-16.
The reference here is to the Northern Kingdom called Israel; they did not stop their idolatrous practices, which included child sacrifice, and various filthy practices. The statues or ordinances mentioned are idolatrous doctrines of demons which Israel was ruled by.
King Ahab was King Omri’s son and the wickedest of the Northern Kingdom’s kings.
Israel was carried off by the Assyrians shortly thereafter, and Judah the Southern Kingdom who became just as evil was carried off later by the Babylonians. Then about 600 years later the Jews rejected Christ.
“The Lord has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall see disaster no more.” Zephaniah 3:15.
The Lord cast out the enemy of Israel which is first and foremost Satan, the unseen enemy of everyone, and second God cast Israel’s enemy, the Antichrist into the lake of fire, and destroyed his followers.
“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.” Revelation 20:1-3.
“Then the beast [Antichrist] was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword [spoken word] which proceeded from the mouth of Him [Jesus] who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.” Revelation 19:20-21.
I want you to stop right here and see all of this in context, even from Zephaniah 3:8 through the end of this chapter. It is too easy to read words on a page and say, “Well that is nice.” And you would be right, but one misses a great deal if they do.
In many of these passages the smoke is still rising from burning cities. The seas have been turned into blood as of a dead man. The forests have been decimated and the trees and grass that remain are half dead.
Hailstones weighing 100 pounds had smashed cars, buildings, and armored war machines. Finally an earthquake so devastating that it leveled mountains and sank islands had hit the entire earth, killing perhaps more than all other earthquakes in history.
One stands there, the landscape is enveloped in a gray haze as light begins to break through after days or weeks of darkness worldwide. There are dead bodies everywhere! The stench of death and the acrid oxygen poor atmosphere pain the lungs as on a smoggy day.
Thousands of Jews come out of hiding, and many more discard their weapons as they survey the devastation. They drop to their knees, hands limp at their sides and weeping, they have seen the Messiah who rescued them, and He is Jesus! It is over!
After 3 ½ years of intense murderous persecution Jesus will bring peace and healing, gathering them from all over the earth, the war weary, the maimed, the sick, many were enslaved, tortured, raped, and abused. Even these are only words incapable of conveying just how awful…
“In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: ‘Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak. The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.’” Zephaniah 3:16-17.
That is quite a promise; consider the last phrase, “He will rejoice over you with singing.” What do you suppose God’s voice would be like?
Do you suppose His voice would be as sweet as Anya’s, or would it be more like Adele’s in quality.
Perhaps Frank Sinatra’s voice comes to mind, Elvis Presley’s voice was beautiful when singing gospel music. Roy Orbison was an extraordinary singer as well as Chris Isaak. These are well known examples, not recommendations; you may have a Christian artist in mind right now.
Think of the sights and sounds Christians and survivors of the tribulation will experience. Yes, Christians will be there beside Jesus watching Him conquer then rebuild the world to a beauty far beyond what we see today.
Yes, the future holds unspeakable horrors but it also holds the most amazing things ever seen.
“But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’” 1 Corinthians 2:9.
“I will gather those who sorrow over the appointed assembly, who are among you, to whom its reproach is a burden.” Zephaniah 3:18.
For about 2600 years now the Jews have been scattered across the earth, without a temple, without a sacrifice and no way of attending the various appointed feasts which they used to enjoy.
Those who desire to follow their God YAHWEH mourn for these things and have been mocked by unbelievers about their God who seemingly has deserted them.
“As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say to me, ‘Where is your God?’” Psalm 42:1-3.
“Judah has gone into captivity, under affliction and hard servitude; she dwells among the nations, she finds no rest; all her persecutors overtake her in dire straits. The roads to Zion mourn because no one comes to the set feasts. All her gates are desolate; her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness. Her adversaries have become the master, her enemies prosper; for the Lord has afflicted her because of the multitude of her transgressions. Her children have gone into captivity before the enemy.” Lamentations 1:3-5.
“He has done violence to His tabernacle, as if it were a garden; He has destroyed His place of assembly; the Lord has caused the appointed feasts and Sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion. In His burning indignation He has spurned the king and the priest.” Lamentations 2:6.
“Behold, at that time I will deal with all who afflict you; I will save the lame, and gather those who were driven out; I will appoint them for praise and fame in every land where they were put to shame. At that time I will bring you back, even at the time I gather you; for I will give you fame and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I return your captives before your eyes,” says the Lord.” Zephaniah 3:19-20.
The Jews have a saying, “Next year in Jerusalem.” Pray for Israel that the year will come soon.
“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” Revelation 22:20-21.
This is the last part of a 10 part series beginning on 7-31-20.
The Tyrannical City, Part 10 taken from godisrevealed.com posted on 5-7-17, updated on 9-1-20.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.