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On Whose Side Will You Be Found In The Day Of The Lord's Anger?
The Prophet Zephaniah referred to the "day of the Lord's anger"(Zephaniah 2:3). This was a specific period in his day. But it can also refer to a period in our day as well. Generally speaking, it is a season when God's wrath is manifested against sin and disobedience. As you look upon the world today, you can easily see that many nations - including the USA - are ripe for judgment. The "day of the Lord's anger" is just over the horizon. However, if you are a Christian living for God as you should, then you can expect to be hidden under the wings of Divine Providence during this awful time. This will only happen if you are going after God with all your heart.
"True piety influences both the character and conduct of its subjects."
- Pulpit Commentary - Old Testament
"God is not found then in a careless way."
- Barnes' Notes
In Zephaniah 2:3, the Prophet Zephaniah said to the people - "Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD's anger." Here he was addressing a specific group of people. They happened to be the "meek." In other words, they were the humble or oppressed ones - the ones who were modest or low in their own eyes, mild, gentle, or yielding to others. They were the quiet in the land - those who were not soon angry...not very angry...or not very long angry. They were submissive to God's precepts and providences. At all times, they yielded themselves up in passive obedience to Him and were always open to receive the impressions of His Spirit. They laid aside all parade, show, and ostentation. And they were patient in enduring the disesteem, scorn, ridicule, oppression, and persecution of their enemies - while holding back the power of revenge.
Besides addressing them as "the meek of the earth," Zephaniah narrowed them down even further to those who "have wrought His judgment." What he meant by that phrase was that they were the ones who fulfilled God's law...did that which was good unshrinkingly... honestly endeavored to carry out all that He prescribed...rendered obedience to Him by a heart that was thoroughly loyal to Him...laid themselves out for His honor and interest in the world...and performed all works of righteousness from a right principle and with right views.
To "all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment," this Prophet gave a threefold call - "Seek ye the LORD...seek righteousness, seek meekness."
Why would he issue such a call for the "meek" to "seek" after God, His righteousness, and meekness when they were already walking in obedience to His commands? He was simply calling these righteous ones to persevere and increase more and more in the things of God.
What a word of admonition this is to those of today who feel as though they have "arrived" in their walk with the Lord! It's so easy to compare yourself with someone else who is not quite where you are - spiritually speaking. A certain smugness, arrogancy, or pride tends to fill your heart when you think of how spiritual you are compared to this person or that one. Oh! What a dangerous attitude this is! For, from the moment that you entertained such a thought, you had already fallen into the hands of the devil and had begun to backslide on God. The sin of Lucifer - pride - has gripped your heart and has you already spirally downward for a great fall.
When the "day of the LORD's anger" is hovering over the land, it's not time to back down in our devotions toward God. Rather, it's time to seek Him like never before.
Hence, Zephaniah said - "Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness..." In other words, fear, worship, and depend on God alone. Seek to know and have Him more fully and more perfectly...to hear from Him more clearly...to love Him more ardently...and to cleave to Him more inseparably. Thirst after doing what is pleasing to Him...seek diligently to fulfill all that He has prescribed in His Word...carefully inquire and constantly endeavor to know your duty before Him...and then see that you abound yet more in it. Abandon all practices and habits that are wrong...eradicate all passions and tempers of your mind that are at variance with His commandments...acquire and cultivate holy habits...patiently submit to all His dealings...composedly wait for His deliverance... and persevere in having a humble, gentle temper in all relationships.
Judgment was about to break forth over the land. You would think that all people would be turning to the Lord and living uprightly before Him. Yet, the opposite was true. In fact, His anger was poured out because of these who refused to repent of their idolatries and sin. One such group which drew His wrath and judgment are referred to in Zephaniah 1:6 which says - "And them that are turned back from the LORD; and those that have not sought the LORD, nor enquired for Him."
Notice that, in Zephaniah 2:3, we had "all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment." Now, we see outside this multitude those who have "turned back from the LORD, and...have not sought the LORD, nor enquired for Him." The "meek of the earth" were given the admonition to continue to seek after God and to seek more and more for holiness and a greater rule over their spirit. The people mentioned in Zephaniah 1:6 heard the same admonition but chose to go their own way - the way of indifference and apostasy.
We see the same thing happening in our day and time. God's Judgment is right over the horizon. Yet, we find people who are not troubling themselves about their relationship with Him. They have become totally indifferent to the things of God to the point of ignoring Him and His claims. They are unconcerned about the state of their eternal soul. Property, possessions, and wealth are increasing in their hands. More and more, they are feeling self-confident and comfortable in their worldliness. If they ever do offer Him any service, it is usually listless and heartless. They do not have any time for Him. They never seek Him. They certainly do not take any pains to discover His will for their life. Eventually, this leads to their total defection from Him.
And, to think that this is happening with the "day of the LORD's anger" right in the background!
On whose side will you be found in the day of the Lord's anger?
Are you one who is seeking after Him or one who is guilty of not seeking Him? Are you more interested in discovering God or the "gold" of this world? Who or what really has your heart?
Can you hear the call of the Holy Spirit to "Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness..."? Can you honestly say that you are progressing in your walk with the Lord - by obeying His commands... living holily in this ungodly world...and gaining more and more control over your spirit, soul, and body?
"God is not found then in a careless way."
If you are going to find Him, you will have to seek Him with all your heart.
So many are guilty of the sin of indifference when it comes to going after the things of God. Are you one of them?
Before we forget, it's important that we mention that it pays to live righteously for Zephaniah 2:3 tells us that all those who do will be hid in the day of judgment - "Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger."
You certainly don't want to be found on the side of the indifferent or the backslidden when God's wrath is being poured out.
May God Bless His Word.