Zephaniah 3:5 The LORD within her is righteous;
he does no wrong.
Morning by morning he dispenses his justice,
and every new day he does not fail,
yet the unrighteous know no shame.
When I started reading this chapter, America immediately came to mind. Modern technology allows us to know things that used to be hidden, and some of it is pretty nasty. The point, though, is that in the middle of all the rot, God is still God, and He hasn’t changed. In dark times, light is all the brighter in contrast. Believers aren’t to focus on the evil, except in specific ways that they can counter it, but rather focus on the One in whom there is no evil at all. When we do that, we become transmitters of His light, just as our Scripture passage for the year says. One thing to keep in mind, though, is what the last part of this verse says. Those who love evil aren’t going to be swayed by the righteousness they see in us. Rather, they will despise us because it makes it all the clearer how depraved they are. It really struck me that a primary characteristic of modern society is the lack of shame for evil. In fact, in the US today there is an active program to deny that the shameful is indeed shameful. Those who don’t want to choose God’s way want everyone else to accept that their choices are just as good as choosing righteousness. The flood of that kind of nonsense makes it imperative that we remember that God is still God!
I am thankful for information to help me know how to pray, and for the opportunity to sign petitions that influence legislators, but at the same time there is a real temptation to get agitated over what is going on, forgetting to trust God. I am not to stick my head in the sand and pretend that everything is lovely, but neither am I to get worked up over things I can’t influence. I’ve got to remember that my greatest weapon is prayer in the power of the Holy Spirit, and exercise that faithfully in obedience to God. With all the flood of information, the most important thing to know is that God loved the world so much that He gave His Son, and all who are in the Son by faith are sealed for eternity by the Holy Spirit. As a pastor/teacher, my job is to communicate that information, and to teach and lead others to do likewise.
Father, thank You for this reminder this morning. I do tend to get worked up over some of the stuff I hear! Help me trust You fully and be faithful at the tasks You set for me, not wasting time or energy chasing emotional rabbit trails. Last night the enemy had me running off on some “what if” scenarios. Thank You for reminding me at the time that Your grace will always be sufficient for me. Help me live in the present, with faith and joy, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!