Zephaniah: Minor Prophet, Major Name


View of the Dead Sea from Masada

A name can influence a destiny and a calling. 
In HebrewZephaniah’s name means “the Lord has protected; treasured by God.” 

While Zephaniah’s book was full of warnings and judgements for Judah-and for surrounding nations- it’s significant that his name symbolized God’s protection and the  coming restoration of Judah’s fortunes. 

The minor prophet Zephaniah was a walking, talking example of competing paradoxes. Think of this: each time someone addressed him by name, the judgement and then joy grew in truth.

Zephaniah’ lived in 7th century BC Jerusalem-located in Judah-Israel’s southern kingdom. Somewhat of a pause existed under honorable King Josiah in between two eras; the occupation of Assyria and the Babylonian exile.

Despite most of Zephaniah’s frightening, vivid descriptions of God’s judgement against the Israelites and the nations of his day, Zephaniah also mentions “the day of the Lord” 23 times regarding both his era and the end times. The last verses of the 3-chapter book are awe-inspiring. It reinforces God’s promises to His treasured chosen people and reminds us that God has saved a remnant of His people to this very day.

A Prayer for Israel
Zachariah 3:20 serves as our platform. “At that time, I will deal with all who oppressed you. I will rescue the lame; I will gather the exiles. I will give them praise and honor in every land where they have suffered shame.  At that time, I will gather you; at that time, I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,” says the Lord.”

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