Monday, March 6th
Devotional written by Pastor Brian Howard, Teaching Pastor
THE GOD WHO IS
To read today: Zephaniah 3:14-17
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love, he will no longer rebuke you but will rejoice over you with singing.
This week we finish our 3-week series in the Old Testament book of Zephaniah. The purpose of our time in this book has been threefold. First, Zephaniah helps us understand the nature and character of God. Through his book, we learn a little more about what God is like. Second, Zephaniah helps us understand the heart of God. As we read it, we see a little more clearly what God loves and what God hates. Finally, Zephaniah helps us understand the actions of God. We have seen that God acts in the world, bringing judgment, correction, purification, and grace to His people and all the nations of the earth.
Like the rest of the prophets, Zephaniah declares, “The Word of the Lord.” We know that the term “The Lord” is an English translation of the Hebrew word Yahweh. This formal name for God means “I am who I am” or “I will be who I will be.” We established in the first week that God is who He is, and we do not get a vote. As we have read through Zephaniah – seeing God’s character, heart, and actions – try to notice where you have received the words with joy and where you have bristled and become defensive or uncomfortable. For some, the discomfort comes with God’s justice and holiness. They prefer to worship a God who is all grace and no truth. For others, the discomfort comes with the ‘key verse’ from today, which talks about how God delights in us. They prefer a God who is all truth but no grace. But to trust in The Lord God of the Bible is to believe in both. As we wrap up the book of Zephaniah this week, I invite you to worship and serve the God who is, not the God you wish would be.
Final Thought: Make a note of any of the parts of the book of Zephaniah that made you uncomfortable or defensive.