DENIAL OF GOD’S WRATH TO COME REVEALS GODLESSNESS
"I will utterly consume" Zeph. 1:2
Zephaniah exercised his ministry in the days of Josiah. This is an interesting fact, because in his days there was a great reformation, and yet the prophet makes no reference to it. An examination of the history of that reform will show that, so far as the nation was concerned, it was SUPERFICIAL. The king was loyal to God, and sincere. He was also popular with the people, and they followed him in his reforming work, as to external things. But there was NO TRUE REPENTANCE. Therefore Zephaniah did not recognize the reform; and indeed, in all probability the INSINCERITY of it gave greater vehemence to his denunciation of the sin of the people. Taken as a whole this prophecy sets forth the SEVERITY AND GOODNESS of God with overwhelming force; and shows how these apparently contradictory elements of His government move to the same end. The words emphasized give the key note to the prophet's message as to the action of God, consequent upon the sins of the people. This chapter is wholly taken up with THE DAY OF DIVINE WRATH. The outlook was wider than Judah. It began with the declaration that the whole creation, so far as it was polluted, should be destroyed, therefore a need of a new heavens and a new earth (Rev. 21:1). It then dealt with the nation itself, denouncing its sins, and announcing the consuming wrath of God as proceeding against princes, extortioners, the city, the merchantmen, and the luxurious. It is a terrible setting forth of the severity of God against apostasy. There was no hedging, no uncertainty, and no hesitancy, in the prophet's words. They abide for all time, a revelation of the fact that GOD NOT ONLY WILL MAKE NO TERMS WITH SIN, BUT THAT (HE WILL PROCEED AGAINST IT IN FIERY INDIGNATION THAT IT MAY BE UTTERLY CONSUMED. Too many today deny not only God but His indignation.