Zephaniah's Lord Will Be Awesome: Zephaniah, Part 3

Brian Mahon - 7/16/2023


Call to worship: John 10:7-18

Text: Zephaniah 3:1-20


Zephaniah pronounces woe on the people of God for a spiritual ugliness, spanning prophet, priest, and people. The primary indicator of death and decay? An unwillingness to be corrected by the Word of God; indeed, they turn attempted correction into accelerated corruption. In the midst of this, the remnant of grace may wonder, 'Will we ever see the beauty of the Lord upon His people again? Will we ever have cause again to joyfully sing aloud?' The first of two main imperatives, God charges His people to wait for His deliverance. He will judge all who have given truth a bad name. He will then create a new people bearing His loveliness, a praying, humble, sincere, well-fed, and fearless sheepfold from all the world; and as the Chief Shepherd is evidently in their midst, they're exhorted to sing aloud with all their heart. For those who mourn for it, He will create and sustain a people reflecting the radiance of His Almighty grace.

Sermon Outline:

  1. Weeping over a people of God proving their rebelliousness. (3:1-8)
  2. Singing over a people of God bearing His loveliness. (3:9-20)


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Zephaniah 3. Compare with the texts given for our call to worship and intermediate reading above.
  2. What marks a rebellious and defiled people? What sort of leaders have they accrued for themselves? What, if any, relationship might the condition of prophet and priest bear to the condition of the people? When such a people are corrected, how do they receive it? What does the proven fact of judgment do for them? Anything?
  3. To whom is God speaking when He commands patience in 3:8? How are we to understand waiting for judgment? How does that judgment relate to what's to come in 3:9-13?
  4. Who is at the head of raising up a new, true, and lovely people of God? What marks that people of God?
  5. Given the grace of God in bringing about a people alive to Him, what imperative is given in 3:14? Have we ever thought that a true and healthy church is cause for rejoicing with all our heart? Why might that be? What sort of people incline God to 'sing'? A people strong in themselves, or a people gathered from among the outcasts, bearing the loveliness of grace? Do we sing aloud with all our heart because of what God has done for us and made of us?
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