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Tuesday, 08 December 2015 00:00

Will Judgment Purify Us or Destroy Us?

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Seek the Lord, all who are humble, and follow his commands. Seek to do what is right and to live humbly. Perhaps even yet the Lord will protect you---protect you from his anger on that day of destruction. Zeph 2:3


“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.” (Life Application Study Bible)


We can have faith that our God will protect us from the evil that befalls a nation, our own nation. But, many are nonchalant and think that they can live in sin, call it something else and be blessed by God. It doesn’t work that way. We have been given warning after warning to repent, to get right with the Lord, and live holy lives. It seems to fall on deaf ears. There is always a more tolerant, more politically correct way to get around sin and still call oneself a Christian. Where is the awesome fear of Almighty God? It has been reduced by people to a wishy washy state of grace that excuses everything because after all, we are not supposed to judge. What a very slippery slope this nation is on! Refusing to repent and call sin what it is, will result in God’s judgment. Scoff all you want, there will not be any joking when that judgment hits. Oh how foolish to ignore the powerful magnificent God who created us and think He will just sweep things under the rug. Make no mistake about it--His rug is woven in purity and holiness and the ugliness of sin cannot reside underneath it.


Judgment---and then the purifying. Judgment’s effects will purify us and cause our hearts to tremble at His Word, at His Name, and in His Presence. Then and only then will we be in the place of readiness to receive all He has prepared for us---all He longs to share as He blesses, protects and refines.


Read the book of Zephaniah. It offers a parallel to today’s Babylonian systems. The people were terrified as the judgments fell, but in the aftermath the ones who remained realized a rising Hope, grounded in the knowledge of God’s justice and His deep love for His people. He said “I will remove all proud and arrogant people from among you...those who are left will be the lowly and humble, for it is they who trust in the name of the Lord.” (3:11-12)


The Lord is our Redeemer, Restorer and our only Hope. We must wake up and ready ourselves for His work of refining and purifying His people. “Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:10


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