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The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 

Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 

And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. 

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

The Old Testament prophets were primarily forth tellers rather than foretellers.

They communicated the message of God to the needs of the day.

“Listen to the Major messages of the Minor Prophets’ is the title of the series we will be working through for the next few weeks.

Today we are talking about Zephaniah, Jerusalem’s Sin of Omission.


Zephaniah 3:2 NKJV

She has not obeyed His voice,
She has not received correction;
She has not trusted in the Lord,
She has not drawn near to her God.

Scripture Reading

Zephaniah 3:1-13 NKJV

The Wickedness of Jerusalem

1 Woe to her who is rebellious and polluted,
To the oppressing city!

2 She has not obeyed His voice,
She has not received correction;
She has not trusted in the Lord,
She has not drawn near to her God.

3 Her princes in her midst are roaring lions;
Her judges are evening wolves
That leave not a bone till morning.

4 Her prophets are insolent, treacherous people;
Her priests have polluted the sanctuary,
They have done violence to the law.

5 The Lord is righteous in her midst,
He will do no unrighteousness.
Every morning He brings His justice to light;
He never fails,
But the unjust knows no shame.

6 “I have cut off nations,
Their fortresses are devastated;
I have made their streets desolate,
With none passing by.
Their cities are destroyed;
There is no one, no inhabitant.

7 I said, ‘Surely you will fear Me,
You will receive instruction’—
So that her dwelling would not be cut off,
Despite everything for which I punished her.
But they rose early and corrupted all their deeds.

A Faithful Remnant

8 “Therefore wait for Me,” says the Lord,
“Until the day I rise up for plunder;
My determination is to gather the nations
To My assembly of kingdoms,
To pour on them My indignation,
All My fierce anger;
All the earth shall be devoured
With the fire of My jealousy.

9 “For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language,
That they all may call on the name of the Lord,
To serve Him with one accord.

10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia
My worshipers,
The daughter of My dispersed ones,
Shall bring My offering.

11 In that day you shall not be shamed for any of your deeds
In which you transgress against Me;
For then I will take away from your midst
Those who rejoice in your pride,
And you shall no longer be haughty
In My holy mountain.

12 I will leave in your midst
A meek and humble people,
And they shall trust in the name of the Lord.

13 The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness
And speak no lies,
Nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth;
For they shall feed their flocks and lie down,
And no one shall make them afraid.”


In Jesus name we pray.



Zephaniah gave his pedigree more fully than any other prophet.

He was the great, great grandson of King Hezekiah.

He told us specifically when he prophesied.

Zephaniah 1:1 tells us.

The Great Day of the Lord

1 The word of the Lord which came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.

Like Nahum, Zephaniah foresaw the ruin of Assyria, but he did not exult over it.

Like Habakkuk, he saw the forces at work in the world revolution going on about him.

But he did not seek an answer to the problem raised by God’s use of wicked nations as executioners of His judgement.

As a prophet with a clear vision of the nature and reality of God, Zephaniah’s attention was centred on the life of his nation.

The sins he saw there convinced him that the general upheaval of the world meant the coming of Jehovah in judgement on His own people.

It is likely that Zephaniah, along with Jeremiah and even Habakkuk and Nahum, supported the reforms of Josiah, the last attempt at revival in Judah before the end of the kingdom.

But he clearly saw that however sincere the young king was, the revival itself was phone, outwardly impressive but inwardly failing to change the hearts of the people.

That the king was the chief patron in this new outburst of Jehovah worship did not change the lives of his subjects.

In their hearts they were saying, as many are now, Zephaniah 1:12, “And it shall come to pass at that time That I will search Jerusalem with lamps,
And punish the men Who are settled in complacency,
Who say in their heart, ‘The Lord will not do good,
Nor will He do evil.’ 

They were saying, “He is as indifferent to us as we are to Him.”

Three notes are sounded in Zephaniah, Judgement, wrath, and healing.

The key note in this prophecy is “The rest day of Jehovah is near.”

Unlike Jeremiah, who grieved over the misery and shame sin entailed, Zephaniah was pitiless, seeing only the iniquity of his people, with not a redeeming feature in their lives.

No prophet gives a more vivid picture of God’s coming judgement then he.

In the second part the prophet looks away from Jerusalem and Judah to the surrounding nations, Philistia, Moab and Ammon, Ethiopia (Cush), and Assyria.

God’s wrath is upon them all.

From the circle of nations, the prophet suddenly turns to Jerusalem again.

The thought is if God so smites the surrounding nations with judgement, how certainly will He smite the people of Judah who had privileges above all others.

In the third part the prophet, having looked within at Jerusalem and Judah and around the surrounding nations, looks beyond at a time of healing and blessing after the days of judgement have served their purpose.

There is to be a regathering of the dispersed and a decided change in the people.

God Himself will find pleasure in the Holy City and her people.

All afflictions are to be over, and Israel is to be made “a praise among all the peoples of the earth”.

The heart of Jerusalem’s sins are the sins of neglect.

In one verse (3:2) we have the sins of commission of which Jerusalem was guilty.

How relevant today!

  1. The sin of disobedience.

“She obeyed not the voice.”

Obedience can be true or false.

What are the false forms of obedience?

Sometimes obedience is born of the pressure of fear or the dread of circumstances or some other outward factor.

In the long years of servant obedience to his father, the older brother the story of the loving father in Luke 15:25-32 was like that.

Outwardly he obeyed, inwardly he rebelled.

God cannot accept that.

Sometimes obedience is unthinking, mechanical, dead, an obedience in which our moral nature nether responds or rebels.

This is not the obedience God wants.

Sometimes obedience’s a mere submission to authority, whether that authority is legitimate or not.

What are the true forms of obedience?

Sometimes obedience is born of the conviction that obedience is the best policy.

1 Samuel 15:22 says, Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.

Far from being optional, obedience to the divine will is the only way we have of proving we know God.

Luke 6:46, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?”

Sometimes obedience is born of love and the inward desire to be conformed to God’s will.

Obedience is a demonstration of love, John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

Sometimes obedience is a reasoned response, rooted in moral motivation.

God wants His children to obey because they see that His commands are for their good and given because He loves them.

We cannot disobey the voice and still grow in His grace and knowledge.

Obedience is the key that unlocks the power of God.

2. The sin of stupidity.

“She received not correction,” she didn’t receive instruction,

The nation had failed to learn from experience.

To repeat the same mistakes over and over is stupid.

Geographically, Israel was hemmed in by Egypt on the southwest and in succession by the powers of Syria, Assyria, Babylon, and Persia on the northeast.

Time after time, Israel’s sins had brought God’s judgement upon them as one or another of these great powers laid them in the dust.

“Yet,” Zephaniah said, “she did not learn.”

Israel was a poor teacher and a stupid pupil.

Our world has proved to be a poor teacher.

We make the same mistakes again and again.

The Lord has set definite limits on man’s wisdom but no limits on man’s stupidity.

Our churches have proved to be poor teachers.

We make the same mistakes over and over.

As individuals we have proved to be poor teachers.

We make the same mistakes over and over.

3. The sin of unbelief.

“She trusted not in Jehovah.”

This is not to say that Israel did not believe in God.

She did!

But she had not placed her full dependence on Him.

She had turned first to Egypt and then to Assyria for help but not to God.

That kind of unbelief is deadly.

Only a small percentage of people say, “There is no God,” and mean it.

Unbelief is shown by the person who says, “I believe in God, I an a God fearing person,” then lives as if they had never heard of God.

Faith is not only the willingness to put ourselves into God’s hands, it is actually doing it.

Faith is putting yourself into the hands of God for life or death, for time and eternity, for good or ill.

Have you done this?

4. The sin of irreligion.

“She drew not near to her God.”

When someone is disobedient, stupid, and unbelieving, they are not willing to put much stock in religion.

Some people feel as though they do not need church.

These are the people Zephaniah was talking about when he said 2600 years ago, “She drew not near to her God.”

Some people feel that they do not need to worship.

There are many excuses, but when you get to the bottom of it, many seem to feel that worship does not have values that meet their needs.

They haven’t given it a chance.

James 4:8 says, Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

And apparently some feel as though they do not need to support the church.

If your church should vote to close the church or keep it open, how would you vote?

How have you been voting?


Are these sins not our sins?

Are these failings not our failings?

In our own lives do we not need disobedience to give way to obedience, stupidity to humility, unbelief to trust, and irreligion to devotion and worship?

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us


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Gary Hoban

Refinery Life Church Australia

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