Yesterday’s devotional of the first chapter of Zephaniah told us that God is Jealous. In today’s world and in a human perspective jealousy is not a good thing. But God’s jealousy isn’t like ours. There is nothing bad in God and so none in His jealousy. (1 John 1:5). He is our creator, when we belong to God, He considers us wholly His. His love for us is passionate, zealous, and intense. But God also disciplines us. He calls us to Him. He calls us to repent. And He calls us to a relationship so close that He indwells us with His Spirit and lets us in on His heart and mind. (Romans 8:9, 1 Corinthians 2:12-16). Time here on earth is short, the time to answer God’s call is now. Verses 1-3,
“Gather together, yes, gather,
O shameless nation,
2 before the decree takes effect
—before the day passes away like chaff--
before there comes upon you
the burning anger of the Lord,
before there comes upon you
the day of the anger of the Lord.
3 Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land,
who do his just commands;
seek righteousness; seek humility;
perhaps you may be hidden
on the day of the anger of the Lord.”
Not everyone answers the call to a relationship with The Lord. God’s people are hidden from His anger, His wrath is directed to our enemies, the enemies of Jesus Christ. And because God loves us so intensely and passionately He doesn’t take kindly to anyone who tries to hurt us. Verses 4-6 read,
“For Gaza shall be deserted,
and Ashkelon shall become a desolation;
Ashdod's people shall be driven out at noon,
and Ekron shall be uprooted.
5 Woe to you inhabitants of the seacoast,
you nation of the Cherethites!
The word of the Lord is against you,
O Canaan, land of the Philistines;
and I will destroy you until no inhabitant is left.
6 And you, O seacoast, shall be pastures,
with meadows for shepherds
and folds for flocks.”
God’s fiery judgement on The Day of the Lord will obliterate all that is evil and be replaced with what is good. And all that good will be for us! Judah’s enemies were destroyed and the remains they left were a gift to Judah. Verse 7 reads,
“The seacoast shall become the possession
of the remnant of the house of Judah,
on which they shall graze,
and in the houses of Ashkelon
they shall lie down at evening.
For the Lord their God will be mindful of them
and restore their fortunes.”
God doesn’t forget us. He wants the best for us. He disciplines us but He also makes good come out of situations to make us more like Jesus. (Romans 8:28-29). He knows what we suffer. He knows the persecution we face. God will destroy the pride His enemies take in their hatred of Christians and the false religions they created. Verses 10-11 read,
“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.”
Verse 15 reads,
“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.”
People do not like to think about God’s jealousy or wrath. But His love is fervent. It wouldn’t say much of God’s deep love for us, if He didn’t care that we were injured. We are God’s possession. Deuteronomy 7:6 says,
“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”
He cherishes us. And He has given us eternal life. Because we belong to Him, we are secure. We have enemies, people hate us because of Christ. We look ridiculous to the world. But we depend on The Lord and He keeps us and carries us through. We are citizens of The Kingdom of Heaven now and one day we will be in our eternal city, New Jerusalem. We are the city of God.
God is jealous for us. Is our love for Him as zealous as it could be?