Gather Together, Yes, Gather: Zephaniah Part 2

Brian Mahon - 7/9/2023


Call to worship: 2 Chronicles 34:18-28

Text: Zephaniah 2:1-15


While the ungodly world gathers to play God, the remnant of grace gathers to seek the Lord, which is essential, both, to our preservation as God's true and distinctive people and, thereby, our evangelization of an ignorantly taunting world on the cusp of condemnation. It is quite the burden that Zephaniah is made to bear and unload, that while God's Word has been recovered and reformation seems to be underway, God's people must be warned of judgment with the world instead of celebrating the grace that's so obviously set them apart from within it. Outward reformation without inward regeneration and/or revival is not agreeable to saving faith.

Sermon Outline:

  1. The ungodly world and the Lord's certain woes. (2:4-15)
  2. The remnant of grace and the Lord's sanctifying remedies. (2:1-3)
    • Gather together, yes, gather.
    • To seek the Lord.
    • And keep at it---as you see the Day drawing near.
    • Believe, the Lord will be awesome for His own.


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Zephaniah 2. Compare with the texts given for our call to worship and intermediate reading above.
  2. What is the overwhelming assertion in 2:4-15 as it relates to the peoples of the world? List the nations. Why are they the subjects of God's judgment? What ungodliness seems to mark them? What principle is at the heart of ungodliness (2:15)? From where does that principle come? Consider Genesis 3 with Exodus 3:14.
  3. If Zephaniah's prophesying during Josiah's reformation, why does he feel the need to warn and outright condemn the people of God (along with the rest of the ungodly world)? Why is it not a time of rejoicing in the grace of God, but a time of lamenting the judgments of God? What does this imply about the nature of true reformation and/or revival?
  4. In this chapter, we encounter what's sometimes called 'remnant theology,' referring to this remnant of grace within the larger body of God's people, Israel. In light of Zephaniah's repudiation of Judah's 'reformation,' what does God desire for them? Does He desire His people to suffer the same fate as the world? Why might they? What remedies does God highlight for any who will take them (2:1-3)? Who will be faithful to do them?
  5. Why is gathering critical to our sanctification? When we gather, what are we to seek? What do we seek when we gather? What role does endurance play in gathering as the Lord's people (consider 1:6; also Hebrews 10:23-25)? How does our future vindication at the last Day act as a further motive to continue as God's distinctive people in the world? How do we see the promise of that in this text? In what ways are we led to see the beauty of Jesus in this chapter?
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