Zephaniah, a minor prophet, consisted of nine prophetic oracles (that is, messages from God). Eight of these oracles were judgment against Judah and Jerusalem for their pride and failure to keep the covenant. This book was written during King Josiah’s reign, a reform-minded monarch. Despite his best efforts, there was still a great deal of injustice in the land.
The ninth oracle, which is part of the lectionary readings for today, is a message of redemption and salvation—of hope. But you can’t read this oracle without being aware of the warnings of judgment which preceded it. In this oracle, which is addressed to “daughter Zion,” the declaration is made that God will become their ruler once again and that when that happens an earthly ruler will no longer be needed. What is of particular interest in this text is the claim that God is singing for the people.
- Zephaniah 3:14 - 20
- Isaiah 12:2 - 6
- Philippians 4:4 - 7