I will bring distress on men So that they will walk like the blind, Because they have sinned against the LORD; And their blood will be poured out like dust And their flesh like dung.Zephaniah 1:17(NASB)
The peace we have WITH God through faith in Christ; the blessed hope we have in Jesus, when He comes to take us to be with Himself at the rapture; and the incomprehensible peace OF God that governs our hearts, when our minds are focussed on Him, will be unavailable to those who enter the great and terrible Day-of-the-Lord. It is to be a time when God will bring such severe distress upon men, that they will grope about as if they are blind.
The coming judgement that faces these people, is because they have sinned against the Lord. Sin in the sight of God is shocking, because the price that was paid for sin is the precious blood of the Lord Jesus, which was shed on Calvary's cross. In His fierce anger, the Lord will cause the lifeblood of these sinful men to be poured out like dust on the ground, and their flesh will cover the earth like animal dung.
Zephaniah is one of many prophets who writes about this coming time of terrible judgement, to be poured out on a sinful, godless world. It will be a time when everything that can be shaken will be shaken, for it is the prophesied time of Jacob's Trouble. It is the 70th week of Daniel's prophecy, during which time the Lord will pour out His furious wrath on a Christ-rejecting, sinful world, which refused His gracious offer of salvation.
Zephaniah was a prophet from the royal line of David, who warned the increasingly apostate nation of Israel of terrible times to come, if they did not repent of their sin, and turn back to the Lord their God. He warned that it will be a time when the Lord will utterly cut man off, from the face of the earth. Matthew tells us that this time will be so terrible, that unless those days are shortened, no flesh would be saved - but on account of the elect, those days will be shortened.
Zephaniah's fiery message warned that this coming time of Great Tribulation would be so harsh, that the Lord would consume everything in His path. He warned that the coming judgement would fall on Israel, her neighbours, the city of Jerusalem, and all the people of the earth. He warned everyone with ears to hear, that the coming judgement would be a day of wrath; a day of trouble and distress; a day of destruction and desolation; a day of darkness and gloom; a day of clouds and thick darkness. It would be a day of trumpet and a battle cry against the fortified cities and against the high-cornered towers.
Zephaniah's warning was an attempt to turn the hearts of the people of Israel back to the Lord their God, but his warning was clear... God would bring the most terrible torment on wicked men, who refused to repent and turn to Christ. "I will bring distress on men," Zephaniah wrote, "So they will walk like the blind, because they sinned against the Lord. Their blood will be poured out like dust, and their flesh - like dung."
As Church-age believers, the coming Day-of-the-Lord will not begin to happen until the Restrainer of evil.. (the Spirit of God indwelling the Christian Church) has been removed from the earth, and the identity of the man of sin is revealed. This terrible judgement will not fall on the Body of Christ, for we are not appointed to God's wrath.
God has not destined us for wrath, because Christ took the punishment that we deserve. The wages of my sin and yours is death, but Christ died in our place. He took the punishment that we justly deserve, but by faith, we have been forgiven and clothed in Christ's righteousness. NO, we are not appointed to wrath, but for obtaining full and free salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
However, there are countless men and women, who have not yet believed on Christ for the forgiveness of sin and life everlasting. There are many who have not believed in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, who will have to face the great and terrible day of the Lord if they do not turn from sin and believe on Him, Who died so that they might live. The sad thing is that Christ's died for THEIR sin too, but they have to BELIEVE to be justified in the sight of God - for we are justified by faith.
Just as Zephaniah was called to warn Israel of the coming Day-of-the-Lord, so the Church, which is the Body of Christ, have been commissioned as Ministers of Reconciliation, to tell out the good news of the gospel of God to this lost and dying world.
May we, in the power of the Holy Spirit, tell out the good news of the gospel, to lost men and women - before it is too late.
Heavenly Father, how I thank You for my great salvation, but I realise there are many lost souls, who will be flung into the great and terrible Day of the Lord if they do not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin and life everlasting. Use me, I pray, to tell out the good news to those I meet. Embolden me to speak the truth in love and bring many into Your eternal kingdom, before it is too late. This I ask in Jesus' precious name, AMEN.