Zephaniah was written in an attempt to shake the people of Judah out of their complacency and return to God. It was written during the reign of King Josiah and may have been the motivating factor in the reforms implemented by the King. It is a message of both judgment and hope.
Some thoughts from my Life Application Bible....
God does not take sin lightly, and it will be punished. But be encouraged by teh words of hope - our God reigns, and he will rescue his own. Decide to be part of that faithful remnant of souls who humbly worship and obey the living Lord....
Zephaniah warned the people of Judah that if they refused to repent, the entire nation, including the beloved city of Jerusalem, would be lost. The people knew that God would eventually bless them, but Zephaniah made it clear that there would be judgment first, then blessing. This judgment would not be merely punishment for sin, but it would also be a means of purifying the people. Though we live in a fallen world surrounded by evil, we can hope in the perfect Kingdom of God to come, and we can allow any punishment that touches us now to purify us from sin.
3:17 stood out to me....
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
The thought of God, the One who is mighty to save, singing over us and rejoicing over us is amazing. We sing praises to Him all the time, and rightly so. But there will also be a day where He will sing over us with rejoicing.
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
An excellent reminder to guard our tongue, and to be careful what we say, and how we say it.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Ezra 1-2; 2 Timothy 1