Memorise Zephaniah 3:2
“She trusted not in the Lord; she drew not near to her God”
There were many sins that Judah was guilty of. Manasseh (though he did repent later on in his life) was one of the most wicked kings ever to rule in Judah. Through his long and evil reign of 55 years (2 Chronicles 33:1) he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and “made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen, whom the LORD had destroyed before the children of Israel.” (2 Chronicles 33:9). Manasseh’s influence extended past his reign, through the two years of his equally wicked son Amon, and continuing into the reign of his grandson Josiah. In his rebuke, Zephaniah denounced Judah for many sins, all of which added up to the judgment that they were to face. Zephaniah 3:2 gives us a short but very telling description of just some of the sins they were guilty of.
They ‘obeyed not the voice’ of God, describing their disobedience to the Word of God. They had cast it aside and lived the way they liked. They did not see God as an authority in their lives at all.
They ‘received not correction’, showing their defiance to God’s rebuke, for God had sent numerous prophets to them but they refused to listen. Instead they persecuted the prophets and even put them to death.
They also ‘trusted not in the Lord’, showing their lack of dependence on Him. Despite all that God had done for them in the past, they turned away from God, went after idols and trusted in their alliances and themselves.
Finally because of all these sins, they ‘drew not near to her God’. They were far from God, distant from the true and living God who loved them. They ran away from every effort that the gracious and merciful God made to draw near to them, and thus had to be heavily chastised by Him.
Dear teen, does this rebuke sound like a description of your relationship with God? Israel was like a rebellious son who refused the love and tender affection of a parent, and had to be punished for it. Is this the way you are living your life, refusing to obey the voice of God, rejecting those who would try to correct you, not relying in the Lord and distancing yourself from Him?
Thought: Do I commit the very sins that God hates?
Prayer: Lord, I have disobeyed You, I repent and seek Your forgiveness.