Zephaniah 3:1–7 (NKJV)
3:1 Woe to her who is rebellious and polluted,
To the oppressing city!
2 She has not obeyed His voice,
She has not received correction;
She has not trusted in the Lord,
She has not drawn near to her God.
3 Her princes in her midst are roaring lions;
Her judges are evening wolves
That leave not a bone till morning.
4 Her prophets are insolent, treacherous people;
Her priests have polluted the sanctuary,
They have done violence to the law.
5 The Lord is righteous in her midst,
He will do no unrighteousness.
Every morning He brings His justice to light;
He never fails,
But the unjust knows no shame.
6 “I have cut off nations,
Their fortresses are devastated;
I have made their streets desolate,
With none passing by.
Their cities are destroyed;
There is no one, no inhabitant.
7 I said, ‘Surely you will fear Me,
You will receive instruction’—
So that her dwelling would not be cut off,
Despite everything for which I punished her.
But they rose early and corrupted all their deeds.
Zephaniah’s prophecy moves from God’s promise to destroy the nations who come against Judah to His displeasure with the condition of Jerusalem itself. He has called her to repentance, and she will eventually respond, but He is right now appalled that Jerusalem is corrupt. He knows what their future holds, but He also knows their current condition. This should help us to see the heart of God. He longs for our holiness. He longs to have fellowship with us. He will defend us because of His love for us. Therefore, we should strive to please Him and honor Him in all that we do. Worship God, for He is worthy!