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Daily GNT Bible Reading Podcast

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Join us in reading through the whole Good News Bible (GNT) in 365 24-minute-long podcasts!


GN-Day353 Zephaniah 1–2; Isaiah 56; Revelation 10

The concluding words of Habakkuk are the most often quoted and memorized, because they are so encouraging. That quote begins like this:

Hab. 3:17 NLT “Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;”
… yet I will rejoice in the LORD!

Constable tells us that “Zephaniah” means “Yahweh hides [or has hidden],” “Yahweh’s watchman,” or “Yahweh treasured.” The uncertainty arises over the etymology of the prophet’s name, which scholars dispute. I prefer “Yahweh hides.”

Zephaniah was very likely a descendent of king Hezekiah, and he was born sometime during the reign of the wicked king Manasseh, and was active as a prophet during the time of the reign of King Josiah (640-609 BC). Like Nahum, Zephaniah prophesied against Nineveh. He preached vehemently against idols. He also prophesied these important things:

  • A faithful remnant will be delivered from captivity.
  • The Gentile nations will be converted.
  • One day people everywhere— not only in Jerusalem, will worship God (2:11; John 4:21).

Rather than commenting on the Bible translator’s favorite verse (Is. 55:11), I’m picking this section to remind you about of instead:

Is. 55:8 NLT “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

How true it is that God’s thoughts are always counter-intuitive for humans! Take for instance what God says in this chapter: “Come to me. Seek me while I may be found. Come, I am offering eternal food and water for free. You don’t have to earn it.” Time and again, humans think they have to earn salvation. Another way we misunderstand what God offers is by saying that ‘free food and water’ mean that people don’t need to repent. Those who think that should read verses 6-7 of chapter 55 and the whole book or Revelation.

Note that after some huge judgments in Revelation— such as at the end of chapter 6, the people on earth recognize God’s hand and react to the Almighty in some way, such as trying to hide from God. But in response to the plagues in chapter 9 the people close their eyes and refuse to repent of demon worship and all kinds of immorality.

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