Wednesday Reflection – August 14, 2019
Learning the Lessons of Life
I said, “Surely the citywill fear me, it will accept correction; it will not lose sightof all that I have brought upon it.” But they were the more eager to make all their deeds corrupt. Zephaniah 3:7
It is such an important task for us to learn the lessons of life that are afforded to us every day. I struck me just now that there may be so many lessons that I have missed in my every day experiences…Lord, forgive me. Every experience, whether we have had it or another person that we know of, every person we meet, every conversation we have, absolutely everything, everyday are all here to teach us lifelong lessons.
The book of Zephaniah consists of God’s warning of coming destruction. God declared judgement against Judah, Philistia, Moab, Ammon, Cush and Assyria. God then turns his attention to Jerusalem, his own people. He describes them as being rebellious, defiled, disobedient, arrogant and shameless. They fail to trust in God and is in a long distant relationship with God. The state leaders are vile and cunning, while the religious leaders are arrogant, treacherous, and lack compliance with the law. In the context of this shameful behaviour of the people, God remains present, righteous, just and upright.
In today’s Watchword, God expressed disappointment at the behaviour and conduct of his people. He expected his people to fear him, accept correction and always remember all that he has done for them. However, the people became more corrupt, and of course ungrateful. One would have thought that in the very presence of God destroying others, but as yet sparing them, they would have learnt to fear God, to stand in awe of God for his judgments on others; that they would be in fear of God for his loving longsuffering towards them. Surely one might have expected that under such circumstances they would have repented and received correction, but no! They continued in their old way of living contrary to the will of God.
God’s judgement on others should have served as a lesson for his people, but they missed the lesson and received their own judgment. God was ready to exercise mercy, but only if the people repented. This text holds in proper balance the justice and mercy of God. We should always remember that we serve a God of justice, yet a God of mercy. In the midst of God’s justice is his mercy, and in his mercy is his justice. Our response to God is to acknowledge our sins and sincerely repent of them; to commit to seek first God’s Kingdom and pursue always the things that honour God. We ought always to strive to learn the lessons God is always teaching every day.