What Does Zephaniah 2:3 Mean?

Seek the LORD, All you humble of the earth Who have carried out His ordinances; Seek righteousness, seek humility Perhaps you will be hidden In the day of the LORD'S anger.

Zephaniah 2:3(NASB)

Verse of the Day

It was to the prophet Zephaniah, that God revealed His determination to not only execute judgement upon the whole earth, but also upon His own apostate nation of Israel.

Zephaniah not only heard how the terrors of God's wrath were to destroy the idolatrous Philistines, Moabites, Ammonites, Ethiopians, Assyrians, and other pagan people, including the city of Nineveh who had repented of their sins in the time of Jonah, but he warned that God's righteous judgement would also fall upon Judah and Jerusalem who had followed after the idolatrous ways of their heathen neighbours.

For centuries, holy men of God had beseeched the errant nation of Israel to turn from their wicked ways and to repent of their sins. They had continuously broken the conditions of their covenant with God, which meant that the Lord was soon to punish His people because He not only promised blessings for their obedience, but cursing, punishment, dispersion, and a catalogue of catastrophes because of their defiant rebellion.

Nevertheless, the Lord is gracious and long-suffering towards His people and exhorted them to turn from their wicked ways before the fierce wrath of the Lord came upon them. Zephaniah urged the shameful nation to gather themselves together before the Lord's righteous decree would be carried out - and they were admonished to turn from their wicked ways.

However, the Lord recognised that within the apostate nation there was a righteous remnant, and they were also encouraged to seek the Lord before His judgement would take effect so that they might be saved from the wrath to come: "Seek the Lord, all you humble of the earth," Zephaniah pleaded with the remnant flock of Israel. "Seek the Lord, all you righteous ones, who have carried out His ordinances. Seek after righteousness and humility of heart," was the prophets urgent pleading, "and perhaps you will be hidden in the day of the Lord's anger."

Throughout the history of the nation of Israel, there have always been those that have lived by faith and trusted the Word of the Lord. There has always been a small remnant of men and women like Joseph, Joshua, Ruth, Esther, David, Isaiah, Daniel, and Zephaniah - who trusted the Lord and believed His Word.

Indeed, there was a small remnant of Jewish believers during Christ's earthly ministry, and in the early days of the Church, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and were saved - and today, during this Christian dispensation, there is still a small remnant of Jewish people whose eyes have been opened to the truth of the gospel of grace and who believe that Jesus is the Messiah of Israel and Son of the living God.

This remnant of Church-age Jewish believers who have trusted in Christ's death, burial, and Resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting, is small. But although few in number, there has always been a remnant of Israel that has remained faithful to the God of their fathers. 

As part of the one new man in Christ and members of His mystic Body, the Church, where there is neither Jew nor Gentile, this tiny remnant of Jewish believers who have trusted Christ during the current Church age, could be the ones to whom this verse is alluding - for this is a Scripture that was addressed specifically to the people of Israel and not to the wider body of believers in the Christian dispensation.

There are those that think this verse in Zephaniah could be a concealed allusion to the Rapture of Church age believers - and specifically the little remnant of Jewish believers who would trust in their Messiah during the times of the Gentiles - and throughout the Church age.

Although the One-New-Man-In-Christ and the Rapture of the Church was a mystery that was hidden from Old Testament prophets and pre-Cross generations of believers, and although it was revealed to Church-age saints through the apostle Paul, there has always been a small remnant of Jewish believers in the Messiah in every generation, a tiny remnant of Israel who have sought the Lord in humility of heart, carried out His ordinances, and trusted His Word - because the Word of God has decreed it to be so.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word of truth and for the nation of Israel, through whom came the promised Seed - the Lord Jesus, our promised Saviour and God. Thank You that there has always been a small remnant of Israel who never doubted Your words and through whose faithfulness we received the holy Scriptures and were taught the truth of the gospel of grace. Thank You that none of Your blood-bought children will have to face the wrath of God in the coming time of Great Tribulation, but that we are hidden in Christ and are not appointed to suffer Your wrath. May I live and work for Your praise and glory, and I pray that many Jews and Gentiles who have not yet trusted in Christ, will come to faith in the days ahead and escape the wrath that is to come. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.

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