ESOCS Devotional 22 November 2023 – Hope for the Righteous
MEMORY VERSE: “At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord. Zephaniah 3:20 KJV
TEXT: ZEPHANIAH 3:11-20 (KJV)
In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain.
12 I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord.
13 The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
14 Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.
15 The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.
16 In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.
17 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.
18 I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden.
19 Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.
20 At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord.
From our text, Zephaniah gives hope to those who were headed for calamity in the destruction of Jerusalem. However, the hope he gives to those of them who would eventually return to the land, would be hope of an era beyond when they repossessed the land. He took their minds to the Messianic era when they would forever be protected from the evils of the nations that would afflict them. God would dwell among them, thus be their continual deliverer. It is important to note that God would do this because of their repentance.
What are the lessons from the passage? Genuine repentance makes God to bring back freedom to the repentant soul. When one repents, it gives hope- true hope grounded in the knowledge of God’s justice and in His love for His people.
Though we live in a fallen world surrounded by evil, we can hope in the perfect kingdom of God to come. Serving God in holiness and righteousness all the days of our life solidifies our hope until the glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus, the Hope of glory.
FURTHER READING: Psalm 34: 4-6; 121:1-end; Zephaniah 3:11-end
ESOCS Devotional 22 November 2023