Rejoice in Restoration

Zephaniah 3:14–20 (NKJV)

14 Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!

15 The Lord has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; You shall see disaster no more.

16 In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak.

zeph 3-17

17 The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

18 “I will gather those who sorrow over the appointed assembly, who are among you, to whom its reproach is a burden.

19 Behold, at that time I will deal with all who afflict you; I will save the lame, and gather those who were driven out; I will appoint them for praise and fame in every land where they were put to shame.

20 At that time I will bring you back, even at the time I gather you; for I will give you fame and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I return your captives before your eyes,” says the Lord.

In this final passage of Zephaniah’s prophecy, he offers a message of hope to Israel and Judah.  This “counterbalance” was the other side of the coin of God’s judgment.  While God’s judgment would definitely come to those who transgress His law and live in sin and idolatry, He would also restore those who repent and turn back to Him.  The Lord had spoken of a harsh and raw existence after the hand of judgment fell, yet He also speaks through Zephaniah this message that includes commands to sing, shout, be glad, and rejoice!  Judgment is lifted.  Your enemies are gone.  The King of Glory is in your midst.  He will heal, gather, and bring praise to the land again.  Whatever you have lost, turn to God.  He will heal, gather, and defend you in your time of trouble!

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