By Mike Chaffin
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 3:20
Zephaniah prophesied during the reign of good King Josiah. This was just a few short years before Babylon would conquer Jerusalem and carry into captivity most of its people. He prophesied the day of God’s wrath was near, and so it was. However, by the end of his prophesy he speaks of restoration. His last words here are a prophecy of a promised forgiveness.
As we have seen in previous last words God’s promises always come true. This is no exception. The captives were set free and returned to Jerusalem to build a new temple, a new city, and a new life.
Psalm 126 captures for us the jubilation the Israelites felt in getting to return.
When the Lord restored the captives of Zion,
we thought we were dreaming.
2 Then our mouths were filled with laughter;
our tongues sang for joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord had done great things for them.”
3 The Lord has done great things for us;
Oh, how happy we were!
4 Restore our captives, Lord,
like the dry stream beds of the Negeb.
5 Those who sow in tears
will reap with cries of joy.
6 Those who go forth weeping,
carrying sacks of seed,
Will return with cries of joy,
carrying their bundled sheaves.
Praise God. Here is just one more example of the Bible interpreting the Bible. We can trust what the Bible says, what God says He will do, because we see so much confirmation. Compare the prophecy to the words used in the Psalm over one hundred years later, when God fulfilled his promise.
The last words in Zephaniah give us confirmation that God’s will, and His word, will be fulfilled.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for showing us that scripture interprets scripture. By studying the Bible, we can know your will and not be led astray by wrong teaching. I can stand on your promises, a firm foundation against any storm. I praise you. In Jesus name, amen.