PODCAST: The Scripture & the Sense Podcast #724: Zephaniah 1:4 with Daniel Whyte III

This is Daniel Whyte III president of Gospel Light Society International with The Scripture & the Sense Podcast #724 where I read the Word of God and give the sense of it based on an authoritative commentary source such as the Bible Knowledge Commentary or Matthew Henry Commentary. This podcast is based upon Nehemiah 8:8 where it says Ezra and the Levites “read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.” The aim of this podcast is that through the simple reading of the Word of God and the giving of the sense of it, the church would be revived and the world would be awakened.

Today we are reading Zephaniah 1:4.

4 I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests;

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That was Zephaniah 1:4. Now here is the sense of it.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary reads:

Having set forth in broad terms the major premise of impending doom, the prophet then focused on Judah and Jerusalem. In the Old Testament a generalized statement is often followed by detailed particulars. This section clearly indicates that Judah’s wicked people would be destroyed at the Babylonian invasion of Jerusalem in 586 b.c. But how could Zephaniah at the same time write about universal judgment? How could he turn so quickly from Judah’s destruction in 586 to speak of the “day of the Lord”, a yet-future event separated from that devastation in 586 by many centuries? When Babylon conquered Judah, judgment was not universal; so how could the two be related? One common answer is that every instance of divine judgment is called the day of the Lord. Another answer is that verses 2–3 and 3:8 refer not to universal judgment but to the Babylonian invasion described in words of hyperbole. Perhaps a better explanation is that Zephaniah saw Judah’s destruction and universal judgment as two parts of one grand event, “the great day of the Lord”. The destruction of the prophet’s own people would be so terrible that it was envisioned as ushering in God’s day of wrath on all the world’s wicked. Later Zephaniah again associated God’s judgment on the nations and the whole world with His judgment on Judah. The Babylonian destruction of Judah was thus a step in God’s work of wrath on His people. The day of the Lord was referred to by many of the prophets. In several of these verses and in verses immediately before or after them the day of the Lord is associated with universal judgment. The prophet informed his hearers that the Lord was about to stretch out His hand in judgment and wrath on the Southern Kingdom and its capital, Jerusalem. Every aspect of Baal worship would be removed. Baal was the Canaanite god of fertility whom many in Israel had worshiped in the time of the Judges and in the time of Ahab. Baal worship involved terrible sexual acts. Manasseh, wicked king of Judah, had erected Baal altars, but his grandson Josiah destroyed them. But this “revival” of Josiah’s in 622 b.c. had no lasting effect. Baal was again being worshiped. However, the time would come, Zephaniah wrote, when God would remove every last vestige of that pagan worship. Zephaniah referred to two classes of priests. One group was the pagan priests, non-Levitical appointees by the kings of Judah. The Hebrew word for “pagan priests” is ke-mā-rîm, which means idol-priests, priests who prostrated themselves before idols. The other group was the idolatrous priests, Levitical priests who had defected from the worship of the true God to a superstitious faith.

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Thank you for listening to the Scripture & The Sense Podcast. Remember to read the Word of God each and every day and pray without ceasing to God for wisdom to understand it and apply it to your life. Most importantly, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. Please stay tuned for a complete presentation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ so that you can get your soul saved from Hell to that wonderful place called Heaven when you die. May God bless you and keep you is my prayer.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.