Meditations on Zephaniah 1:7

Transcript of Midweek Meditations podcast episode aired on Wednesday, 18th November 2020.

I don’t remember much of my wedding day. I remember what happened, but it feels like a blur. There are things I do remember though, like the moment silence fell on everyone in attendance. The music kept playing in the background, but all eyes turned to the back of the hall as my bride stepped in.

As we meditate on God’s Word, we’re reminded to look forward; to look forward to the day of the LORD when he will come in all his glory and majesty. We read in Zephaniah:

Be silent before the Sovereign LORD,
for the day of the LORD is near.
The LORD has prepared a sacrifice;
he has consecrated those he has invited.

Zephaniah 1:7 (NIV)

This day of the LORD is unlike any wedding ever; this is the second coming of Jesus the King, where Jesus will come for his bride, the Church; and he will come to claim his kingdom.

But the silence of this wedding is a mixed silence: there’s the silence of awe as the bride appears before her groom; but there’s also the silence of fear and judgment, because the king has come to judge the living and the dead.

What a terrible and wonderful day it will be! As Christians, what do we do knowing this day will come? The first response should be one of worship: recognising the awesome power of God, his holiness, justice, and righteousness.

Following this, Paul provides us some thoughts in 1 Thessalonians:

But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

1 Thessalonians 5:8 (NIV)

What’s Paul saying? There’s 3 things: don’t freak out, protect your heart with faith and love, and fill your mind with hope.

1) Don’t freak out. For the Christian, the day of the LORD isn’t one to fear, but one of hope. So, let’s not live without direction and purpose, but make the most of each day as we wait for the return of our Lord Jesus.

2) Protect your heart with faith and love. How do we make keep our hearts ready? With faith and love. These aren’t abstract ideas, but practical ones. Feed your faith with the Word of God: read it, listen to it, put it into action. Love others. Love your family. Love the family of God. Love the forgotten. Love strangers.

3) Fill your mind with hope. There are so many voices in our world today. These voices fill our mind with different messages and direct our thoughts. Fill your mind with messages of the hope of the gospel. Remember:

For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.

1 Thessalonians 5:9–10 (NIV)

As you head into a new day, “let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.”

Let’s pray.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, you are an awesome God. You are a holy, just, and righteous God. Forgive us for our sin. Yet, you are a gracious, merciful, and loving God. Thank you for your salvation in our Lord Jesus.

As we belong to the day, prepare us for that great day of the LORD. Help us live this life with sober minds, not distracted or fearful, but pursuing you with every step we take.

Protect our hearts with faith and love. Move our hands and feet to be agents of your gospel and love. Give us faith and help us today to love the people around us.

Fill our mind with the hope of the gospel. Remind us of the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Help us set our minds on the things of heaven, not the things of earth. Filter out the noise of this world, and fill it with heavenly sounds.

This we pray, in Jesus’ name, amen.

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