Punishment And Grace.

What a dramatic picture we see in Zephaniah 3. The city of Jerusalem was under siege, being punished for her many sins (vs 1-7). The LORD Himself was the assailing force, pouring out His wrath, striking the city in His fierce anger. The devastation seemed enough to consume the entire world in an awesome conflagration (v.8).

But there is more.

In the remainder of the Chapter, we make an amazing discovery. As that dreadful night of judgment comes to an end, and day dawns, we realise that there are survivors. We see God’s scattered people, purified, return to their worship of God (vs 9-10). We realise that the arrogance that characterised Jerusalem had been burned away, and the city now held only the meek and humble, who would do no wrong (vs 11-13). And we hear a voice raised in song, tentative at first, but soon swelling in a gold chorus of joy as the people of the city realise that God, mighty to save, is with them, and will quiet them with His love (vs. 14-18). And suddenly we see the city itself begin to glow, as God gives His now holy people the honour and praise they thought that they had forfeited forever by their sin (vs. 19-20).

Just so we need to remind ourselves. When you or I suffer under the discipline of God, everything seems so dark. We feel crushed, unable to go on. Yet if we were only to look beyond, to tomorrow, we could catch a glimpse of the sight seen by Zephaniah.

Just beyond the horizon of your dark day, the dawn of what God intends for you can be seen. Are you purified, restored, and humbled enough to accept God’s love. The cross of Christ has accomplished all that – so that we might go forward with confidence of victory. If God is for us, who can be against us?

Have a great day,

Peter Clark.

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One thought on “Punishment And Grace.

  1. Thank you Peter. Ephesians 3:14-21 is probably full of some of the most important truths for the believer to live a life that grounded in Gods love for them. I remember a couple of weeks ago when I did something that was wrong and condemnation started to come upon me. Unfortunately I let this go on for a day or so. But then like the prodigal ,”who came to his senses”, I said to myself God loves me, and the heaviness lifted straight away. I would learn from that wrong not to do it again and could press on. These verses have help me to be rooted in Gods unconditional love for me. No matter what happens good or bad Im loved by God. Ive experienced this love when I put my faith and trust in the finished work of the cross. My Amplified bible says ,” That you may really come to know practically, through experience for yourselves the love of Christ which far surpasses mere knowledge (without experience). To me this means that I may through the power of the Holy Spirit have a heart knowledge of God’s love for me not just a head knowledge. The heart and the head need to work together. I love these verses because of the truth that is found in them.

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