Today you should read: Zephaniah 1
“Just wait ’til your father gets home” are words that every child dreads to hear.
Whether it meant a spanking or just a good “talkin’ to”, it was enough to instill the fear of God in the perpetrator. The reason? The child knew that the crime deserved punishment. Whatever he did wrong — big or small — he knew there were consequences.
That same undertone is what we encounter throughout the minor prophets and especially in Zephaniah. But the “just wait ’til your father gets home” in this book refers to the “Day of the Lord”. We’ve spent a lot of time discussing this theme throughout that last few weeks of Jumpstart. If you missed my earlier post on it, read it here.
Verses 2-6 focus on the judgment that awaited Judah. Verses 2 & 3 reveal the anger of the Lord. Verse 4 revealed the reason: idolatrous priests, the remnant of Baal, and idol worship among the Israelites. Their hearts were given to other gods. The Lord was jealous and angry. Remember what God said about this in the Big Ten?
“You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Deuteronomy 5:7-10 ESV
We might be enticed to sinfully approach this today and say to ourselves, “It’s a good thing I have no carved Baals like the Israelites did” or foolishly assure ourselves we have no idols in our lives. The reality is that each of us has idols that grip our hearts. It may be the acquiring of stuff or the perfect body image or climbing the next rung in the corporate ladder or the approval of others or performance as a Christian. We all have them and we even claim some of them in the name of Jesus! But regardless of how “Christian” we make our idolatry sound, God still hates it; He wants our whole hearts.
Today, let us pause to examine our hearts, identify our idolatry, and turn back to our True Love.
That’s a key sign of being a genuine believer: repentance. Plus, there is too much at stake. The world needs the hope that we have in Jesus. We limit our gospel-impact when we don’t relinquish our idols. Let them go.
After all, Dad is coming home soon.
Posted by: Todd Thomas