Read Zephaniah 3
The Power Of Hope
Zephaniah pleads with the people of Judah, “Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger” (Zephaniah 2:3). In these words there is the implication that the day of grace has passed; there is no hope for God’s wrath to be abated, but rather the only hope that remains is that some may escape.
There is a certain type of people that will be saved in the end: those who are meek, just, righteous, and humble. Those who are strong-willed refuse to bend to God’s precepts. Those who are cruel and unfair are often selfish, looking for ways to get ahead at the expense of their neighbors. Those who are wicked do not care what God has commanded. And those who are proud will seek to be justified in their own works. Yet, no man can save himself. Only God can save, and God will only save those who submit and bend their wills to His will. Indeed, God declares that He “will take away from your midst those who rejoice in your pride, and you shall no longer by haughty in My holy mountain” (Zephaniah 3:11).
When we arrive at the end of Zephaniah’s prophecy, we read of God’s personal interest and investment in redemption. Notice the personal pronouns used: “‘I will gather those who sorrow over the appointed assembly, who are among you, to whom its reproach is a burden. Behold, at that time I will deal with all who afflict you; I will save the lame, and gather those who were driven out; I will appoint them for praise and fame in every land where they were put to shame. At that time I will bring you back, even at the time I gather you; for I will give you fame and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I return your captives before your eyes,’ says the Lord” (Zephaniah 3:18-20).
The work of the redemption of man is the work of the Lord. He has the power to do it. He sets the parameters to which one must submit. We cannot decide for ourselves that we will be saved in any particular way; it is only His way that is acceptable, and only His way that leads to salvation.