Daily Devotional Wednesday 16th December 2020

by William Moody

Zephaniah 2:8–15

  “I have heard the taunts of Moab
    and the revilings of the Ammonites,
  how they have taunted my people
    and made boasts against their territory.
  Therefore, as I live,” declares the LORD of hosts,
    the God of Israel,
  “Moab shall become like Sodom,
    and the Ammonites like Gomorrah,
  a land possessed by nettles and salt pits,
    and a waste forever.
  The remnant of my people shall plunder them,
    and the survivors of my nation shall possess them.”
10   This shall be their lot in return for their pride,
    because they taunted and boasted
    against the people of the LORD of hosts.
11   The LORD will be awesome against them;
    for he will famish all the gods of the earth,
  and to him shall bow down,
    each in its place,
    all the lands of the nations.
12   You also, O Cushites,
    shall be slain by my sword.
13   And he will stretch out his hand against the north
    and destroy Assyria,
  and he will make Nineveh a desolation,
    a dry waste like the desert.
14   Herds shall lie down in her midst,
    all kinds of beasts;1
  even the owl and the hedgehog2
    shall lodge in her capitals;
  a voice shall hoot in the window;
    devastation will be on the threshold;
    for her cedar work will be laid bare.
15   This is the exultant city
    that lived securely,
  that said in her heart,
    “I am, and there is no one else.”
  What a desolation she has become,
    a lair for wild beasts!
  Everyone who passes by her
    hisses and shakes his fist.

Footnotes

[1] 2:14 Hebrew beasts of every nation
[2] 2:14 The identity of the animals rendered owl and hedgehog is uncertain

(ESV)

Zephaniah’s focus now goes to Ammon and Moab two nations to the east of Judah (v8). Taunting is something that God’s people have to endure regularly from their enemies. But those who make these arrogant taunts are to be pitied as they will be brought low (v9). Sodom and Gomorrah in the bible are regular symbols of God’s judgment. God is not mocked, God does judge.

God’s judgment is to reveal who the one true God is, the truly awesome one will display His greatness (v10-11).

The Cushites (v12) were the people from countries like Egypt and Ethiopia, the Assyrians (v13) were the mighty empire from the north east.

Animals and birds will even to take over their homes (v14-15). The mighty are brought low, the proud are humiliated. As we look at great empires in the world today, we realise they are only secure as long as God allows.

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.