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VIDEO: Zephaniah the Poet and Prophet (Come, Follow Me: Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah)

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Zephaniah the Poet and Prophet (Come, Follow Me: Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah) – powered by Happy Scribe

Zephaniah is a poet prophet. His is a book of powerful imagery and sweeping word paintings. After stating his genealogy, Zephaniah rewinds to the days of creation, warning that in response to the evil which has festered and flourished in Israel, the Lord lord is going to destroy rather than nourish it. I will consume man and beast. I will consume the fowls of the heaven and the fishes of the sea and the stumbling blocks of the wicked. And I will cut off man from off the land, saith the Lord. Zeppenaya clarifies that just calling upon the name of the Lord does not make one righteous. For among those to be purged will be all kinds of worshippers and nonwershipers alike. Them that worship the host of heaven upon the rooftops and them that worship and swear by the Lord and that swear by Malcolm and them that are turned back from the Lord and those that have not sought the Lord nor inquired for him. The prophet makes clear that this judgment will be no respector of persons. Those among the elite and those who serve them will all be subject to his judgment. I will punish the princes and the king s children in the same day.

Also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold which fill their masters houses with violence and deceit. And the punishment is going to be terrible. I will bring distress upon men because they have sinned against the Lord. And their blood shall be poured out as dust and their flesh as the dung. Neither shall their silver or their gold be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath. But the whole land shall be devoured, for he shall make even a speedy riddence of all them that dwell in the land. In the second chapter of this threechapter book of poetic prophecy, zephaniah reminds any who will listen seek the Lord all you humble of the land who have fulfilled his law, seek justice. Seek to be humble. Perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s fury. But those ethaniah is specifically a prophet to the people of Judah. He makes it clear that those who will scourge the wayward of Judah are also afflicted with sin and will themselves be scourged. He notes I have heard the insults of Moab and the Gibes of the Ammonites who insulted my people and gloated over their lands.

Therefore, as I live, said the Lord of armies, God of Israel, moab shall be like Sodom and the Ammonites like gamora, nettle growth and salt mine and a desolation for all time. The remnant of my people shall despoil them and the remains of the nation inherit them. And to make clear what is the root cause of all these punishments, the prophet elucidates this shall they have for their pride because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the Lord of hosts. As our latter day prophet Ezrataf benson warned us in his final great sermons, beware of pride. President Benson was a great secular as well as religious leader, a man of enormous integrity and thoughtful words. He had messages printed as pamphlets that addressed every group within the Church. Children, young women, young men, women of all conditions, single, married in the Church or outside of the Church, adult, priesthood holders. No group was forgotten, and each group was fortified by his admonitions and insights. I know I was. And then President Benson offered us a final, monumental talk at the April 1989 General Conference of the Church. He chose to have the talk read by President Hinckley, at that time a longtime counselor in the presidency of the Church.

This was one of the last public declarations President Benson made to me. It was an extraordinarily powerful demonstration of his prophetic calling. He had told us all that needed to be said. Now it was up to us to listen.

Pride is essentially competitive in nature. We pit our will against Gods. When we direct our pride toward God. It is in the spirit of my will, and not thine be done. As Paul said, they seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s. Our will in competition to God’s will allows desires, appetites and passions to go unbridled.

The final vision shared by Zephaniah is of a people purified by the fire of God’s punishments. There is an awful and wonderful explanation that the Lord will indeed devour the earth with fire, but only to purify and redeem the people. The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies, neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth. For they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them raid.



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