Zephaniah’s prophecy focuses on God’s judgments to come upon those who have rejected His ways. The particular phrase captured in the heading is from chapter 3 and characterizes those who reject God, those who in essence have become a god to themselves.
Shame implies deep regret for having violated predetermined values and character ideals. We have those in God’s laws. When men turn upon and despise God’s commandments, they enter a lifestyle that becomes shameful. They have little or no regard for Christians, and they bristle at those who love the Lord and walk in His ways.
What makes us glad makes them mad.
PRAYER: Father, empower us with Your grace to hold to that which we know to be right … to walk in Your ways and abide in Your teachings.
READING: Zephaniah 1-3
To Habakkuk God revealed that the Babylonians would be permitted to overcome nations functioning as God’s punishing agent. He cited that their might was found in carnal devices, that He wasn’t their God, but that their own strength was their god.
As is the case with unbelievers all around us, they worship their own strength, their cleverness, their personal resources. Jeremiah warned, “Let not the mighty man glory in his might.”
All else will eventually fail. Jesus said, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing.”
PRAYER: Father, You are our source of strength, We trust only You. We are grateful for the strength and health You allow us to have.
READING: Habakkuk 1-3
Nahum spoke of Syria’s fate: “Nothing can heal you; your wound is fatal. All who hear the news about you clap their hands at your fall, for who has not felt your endless cruelty?”
Even in contemporary news, Syria and it’s struggles are obvious.
Nahum and the other minor prophets had sad news for countries and people groups who cut against God’s ways. The Righteous Lord loves righteousness. Those who walk in His ways will be blessed. Those who are against His ways reap constant struggle and defeat.
PRAYER: Father, we desire to walk in Your ways. Deliver us from the pull of evil and the carnal lust of this world. We choose You and Your ways for our families and loved ones.
READING: Nahum 1-3
When reading the prophets we come across verses that we DO understand, that have relevance to the present … such as “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” [Micah 6:8]
These verses have their own “sizzle” in our spirit. They seem to add a spiritual boost to our present daily lives. They show us how God’s Word is truly alive!
PRAYER: Father, surely it was in Your marvelous plan to speak through the lips and pens of ancient men to inject insight, inspiration and direction into our lives thousands of years later. Only Your Holy Word could do that. We praise You.
READING: Micah 5-7
The prophet Micah gives some of the most complete pictures of Christ’s reign on earth. He declares that the nations will come and say, “Let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” [Micah 4:2]
It’s comforting to know that King Jesus will overcome all His enemies and set up an earthly kingdom that shall reign for ever. We can start walking in His Ways right now.
PRAYER: Lord, You are the eternal and coming king. We declare Your rule and Your kingdom by accepting You as our Lord and Savior. Show Your mighty power through our lives today. Let us walk in faith and victory.
READING: Micah 1-4
Jonah was worried about the heat of the sun burning upon his head. God was concerned about the lost souls in the city of Ninevah.
We have our focus on matters of comfort and convenience for ourselves rather than the lives of those around us who are being destroyed by sin.
Let’s ask God to use us to minister rather than to pamper our flesh.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, forgive us for our attitudes of self service. Through Your grace, we place our eyes upon the needs of others rather than our own.
READING: Jonah 1-4
Interestingly, God often refers to men or tribal leaders with whom He had relationship when addressing people groups. He remembers His covenants and rewards or punishes according to the obedience of leaders.
We all have opportunity to sow good seed or bad seed. It will be remembered and grow a crop accordingly.
Confessed sin is forgiven. Unconfessed sin will produce an undesirable crop with a price to pay. We all need to run to Jesus for His cleansing and abundant life.
PRAYER: Father, we take seriously Your principle of sowing and reaping. We will sow in righteousness and reap in mercy. Whom have we in heaven but You and there is none upon earth that we desire beside You.
READING: Amos 8,9; Obadiah 1