Text: Zephaniah 3.9-20
Tucked into the end of the Old Testament is the small book of Zephaniah. In this prophecy (given around 640 BC), Zephaniah announces God’s coming judgment on the unbelieving nation of Judah: “I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth…I will sweep away both man and beast; I will sweep away the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea—and the idols that cause the wicked to stumble” (Zephaniah 1.2-3). The judgment will be catastrophic and complete.
But even in the midst of this stark horror, Zephaniah clearly communicates God’s mercy toward his people as he announces a future restoration, “At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes” (Zephaniah 3.20). Two characteristics of those who are restored: meekness and humility (Zephaniah 3.12).
The mercy a gentle God shows his people is the same we’re to show others. God’s gentleness is to be our gentleness. That’s why we need God’s Spirit to produce it in our lives—we can’t do it on our own.
Today, identify one person (one with whom you’ve recently struggled) and send a note of encouragement as you model God’s mercy.