by 鍾卓權牧師 (Rev. Bernie Chung)
The Prophet Habakkuk prophesied that the Southern Kingdom of Judah should have prepared to accept God's upcoming discipline, even though its people did not believe that they would be invaded by the faraway Chaldeans. In a commanding voice, the Prophet Zephaniah proclaimed to the people of Judah, the Southern Kingdom, who were soon to be captured. He said: "Sing, Daughter Zion; shout aloud, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem!" (Zephaniah 3:14). Zephaniah continued by saying that God will lead the captives back to Jerusalem, and the people will be happy for the real revival that follows, and they should shout for joy and thank God for it. But before this could happen, the people must first experience God's forgiveness of their punishment and also the ordeal of escaping from their enemies. Zephaniah told them that they should not be afraid anymore because God would be with them.
God has not changed yesterday, today, and will not change ever. As long as we humbly confess and repent, our sins will be forgiven because of the eternal offering for sin that Lord Jesus has completed on the cross. Today we can break away from the bondage of sin, establish a new relationship with God the Father, and enjoy a spiritual new life because the loving God is in us.
Zephaniah comforted the captive remnants of Judah by saying: “Do not fear, Zion; do not let your hands hang limp.” He encouraged and comforted the Israelites while they were waiting to return to Jerusalem. He told them not to be dismayed, afraid, or discouraged, and their hands should not hang limp. As we face the raging new coronavirus pandemic today, our anxiety would be similar to the anxiety of the remaining captives of Judah who were waiting to return to Jerusalem. Zephaniah's prophesy was fulfilled due to almighty God's intervention. The Israeli captives were able to joyously sing and thank God from Jerusalem.
The never changing God is still with us. We must confess our iniquities and be faithful to him. God will help us fight and lead us through this dreadful pandemic we are facing today. Brothers and Sisters, let's support and encourage one another. Do not let our hands go limp. Lend a helping hand to those in needs. Let's look forward to worshipping God in His house, SFCBC, once more. Surely we will shout for joy and thank God when we do. Amen!