The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
You, my friends, are God’s chosen people, and He wants to lavish you with His love and shower you with blessings that only He can give. But you have to put Him first in your life, above everything else and constantly seek Him. Friends, the day of the Lord is coming. Are you ready? Are you serving Him only? Or are you still dabbling in worldly behaviors?
Zephaniah, Haggai, and Zechariah were all prophets, chosen by God to send messages to His people about the coming day. They had messages of hope and blessings for His people after years of persecution, captivity, and darkness. The only thing they had to do was seek God. They had become complacent, content in their lives, desensitized to the evil that was going on all around them. Some were worshipping idols, others were worshipping their own lives. God loved them enough to send some hard words, warnings of what is to come if they didn’t turn from their wicked ways and follow hard after God.
Zephaniah 3:14-18 is a beautiful, love letter from God to His people then and to us now. You can make this personal and find such hope in these words from your Father. No matter what your life may have looked like, God wants to rescue you and redeem you. I want you to substitute your name in these verses. (Italics mine)
“Sing, O daughter of Zion (your name), be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The Lord has taken away your punishment. He has turned back your enemy. The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you. Never again will you fear harm. On that day, they will say to Jerusalem (your name). “Do not fear, O Zion, (your name), do not let your hands hang limp, the Lord your God is mighty to save. He will take great delight in You! He will quiet you with His love and He will rejoice over you with singing.”
I’m in tears, aren’t you? God, the Great I AM is rejoicing over you with singing!!!
Next comes the book of Haggai. He brings a message of encouragement to the people of Jerusalem. He wanted them to return to the task of building the Temple. When they were first released from exile, they were filled with hope, excitement, and on fire for God. But life and the pressure got to them and they became selfish and they quit doing the work God called them to do. Can you relate?
Haggai was to get them back on track. To get them to stop making excuses and to show them the reasons they were suffering, which were directly related to not putting God first in their lives. How true this is in our own lives. We can get back on track just by asking. It is that simple. And we will be better than we were before because of what we learned in the battle.
“The future glory of this temple will be greater than its past glory, says the Lord Almighty. And in its place, I will bring peace. I, the Lord Almighty, have spoken.”
And last, Zechariah leaves us with the hope of the coming Messiah, the coming of Jesus! He wanted God’s people to know that even in times of discouragement and turmoil, and trials, God is working out His plan in our lives and guides and directs us if we trust and follow Him. Is He going to be your Savior or your judge? Some of His promises are conditional. We must obey Him to receive them. He will give us consistent blessings when we consistently live our lives for Him.
“When that day arrives, The Lord, their God, will rescue His people, just as a shepherd rescues His sheep. They will sparkle in His hand like jewels in a crown. How wonderful, how beautiful they will be. The young men and women will thrive on the abundance of grain and new wine.”
You will be a sparkle in God’s hand! A jewel in a crown. He calls you beautiful and wonderful. Amazing grace! We may feel like our life is a battlefield! As long as we are on this earth, there will always be a battle going on between good and evil. When we turn our lives over to Him, the Great I AM, He will rescue us and keep us secure; safe and in His arms we will dwell. We will never be fully satisfied in life without Him. We were made to need Him.
The Day of the Lord is coming! In the blink of an eye this world will be no more! All that we have endured will be worth it when we look into the eyes of our Savior. Is there something that you need to turn from today? Dear friends, He is worth the sacrifice. Eternity with Him is your reward. You are worth it!
Dear Lord of Heaven’s Army, Messiah, we praise You for sending Your Son to die so that we may live in eternity forever with You. Thank You for all these promises that we are seeing come true in our lives. Thank You that no matter where we have been or what we have done, You will forgive us and set our paths straight again. You long to be our Savior and Redeemer. Thank You for Your Word, and for these prophets You sent before us with Your messages of hope that relate to our lives today. We love You and Praise You. We can’t wait to meet You face to face one day. In Jesus’ name we pray.