Daily Devotional Monday 14th December 2020

by William Moody

Zephaniah 1:14–18

14   The great day of the LORD is near,
    near and hastening fast;
  the sound of the day of the LORD is bitter;
    the mighty man cries aloud there.
15   A day of wrath is that day,
    a day of distress and anguish,
  a day of ruin and devastation,
    a day of darkness and gloom,
  a day of clouds and thick darkness,
16     a day of trumpet blast and battle cry
  against the fortified cities
    and against the lofty battlements.
17   I will bring distress on mankind,
    so that they shall walk like the blind,
    because they have sinned against the LORD;
  their blood shall be poured out like dust,
    and their flesh like dung.
18   Neither their silver nor their gold
    shall be able to deliver them
    on the day of the wrath of the LORD.
  In the fire of his jealousy,
    all the earth shall be consumed;
  for a full and sudden end
    he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.

(ESV)

The Day of the Lord is pictured here like a terrible battle (v16). Zephaniah speaks of the speed of the coming of this awful day to undoubtedly encourage people to get ready (v14).

The picture of this day of judgement is frightening with mention of words like bitter, cries, wrath, distress, anguish, ruin, devastation, darkness, gloom (v14-15). God is given us this vision to motivate us to be ready and to encourage others to be ready by fleeing to Christ and repenting of our sin.

While the Gospel is marked with love and grace, judgment is also a vital part of the Gospel message to encourage holiness and cautious godly living.

For those who have arrogantly opposed the Lord, the Day of Judgment will be one of humiliation (v17). The call has to be that either we humble ourselves before God now, or we will be terribly humbled then on that day.

We are reminded that the things that many people live for such as their silver and gold, will be of no benefit when the day of wrath comes (v18). Focusing on the Day of Judgment helps us to realise what is most important.

As you think of the Day of Judgment, pray about what that teaches you about what is most important.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.