Out of His longsuffering love, God sent message after message to His people by various prophets warning of the consequences of persisting in their evil ways and entreating them to repent and turn to Him. Zephaniah spoke clearly of the judgments to come, but also presented hope to those who would seek the Lord. We would do well to consider this as written to us.
"Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger" Zephaniah 2:3. This is what our Savior desires for us – to seek Him. For those who live materialistic, self-serving lives, "Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land" Zephaniah 1:18. They simply would not be able to exist in the presence of our loving God who "is a consuming fire" Hebrews 12:29.
In Isaiah the question is asked, "Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" And the answer is given, "He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil" Isaiah 33:14, 15. It's an amazing thought that closeness to the same Divine being is a welcome and safe place to those who choose His presence, and a consuming fire to those who don't.
Now, for all who choose Jesus-- who choose life-- read this beautiful promise. "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing" Zephaniah 3:17. I do want Him to rejoice over me with joy that springs from His very character of love, and I can hardly wait to hear Him sing for joy over me! What about you?
Kathryn Irizarry is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.