Where is the Gospel in Zephaniah?
From coming judgement earlier in the book, when we get to 3.15 we see
The LORD has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.
How did this happen then?
God Himself has taken away the judgements against you.
This is the constant them of Scripture, all of the Old Testament looks ahead to it, and the New Testament is pretty clear how this happened.
1 Peter 2.24
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
1 John 2.2
He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
Then just look what God does for us despite our sinfulness, look what God does for us despite our shame, look what God does for us despite ourselves…
17 The LORD your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
18 I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival,
so that you will no longer suffer reproach.
19 Behold, at that time I will deal
with all your oppressors.
And I will save the lame
and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.
20 At that time I will bring you in,
at the time when I gather you together;
for I will make you renowned and praised
among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
before your eyes,” says the LORD.
Look what God will do for His people.
I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival,
I will deal with all your oppressors
I will save the lame and gather the outcast
I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth
I will bring you in
I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth
This will happen before the very eyes of those who have confessed with their mouths that Jesus is Lord and believed in their hearts that God raised Him from the dead, look what God will do.
The Minor Prophets tend to give the same core message, don’t they, that as people, we are naturally rebellious and we have departed from the life God intended us and desires us to live.
Despite this, however, they also show that God is 100% committed, willing, and wanting to do good to us anyway – in His amazing, saving, justifying, sanctifying, and ultimately glorifying grace.
How can God treat His people with grace and love when, really, they deserve to be forsaken?
This is only resolved finally in the life, death, resurrection, and exaltation of Jesus Christ.
And if you respond to this in faith, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, look what God will do.