Tag Archives: Zephaniah
23 Gazing intently at the high council,[a] Paul began: “Brothers, I have always lived before God with a clear conscience!”
2 Instantly Ananias the high priest commanded those close to Paul to slap him on the mouth. 3 But Paul said to him, “God will slap you, you corrupt hypocrite![b] What kind of judge are you to break the law yourself by ordering me struck like that?”
4 Those standing near Paul said to him, “Do you dare to insult God’s high priest?”
5 “I’m sorry, brothers. I didn’t realize he was the high priest,” Paul replied, “for the Scriptures say, ‘You must not speak evil of any of your rulers.’[c]”
6 Paul realized that some members of the high council were Sadducees and some were Pharisees, so he shouted, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, as were my ancestors! And I am on trial because my hope is in the resurrection of the dead!”
7 This divided the council—the Pharisees against the Sadducees— 8 for the Sadducees say there is no resurrection or angels or spirits, but the Pharisees believe in all of these. 9 So there was a great uproar. Some of the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees jumped up and began to argue forcefully. “We see nothing wrong with him,” they shouted. “Perhaps a spirit or an angel spoke to him.” 10 As the conflict grew more violent, the commander was afraid they would tear Paul apart. So he ordered his soldiers to go and rescue him by force and take him back to the fortress.
11 That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, “Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well.”
The Plan to Kill Paul
12 The next morning a group of Jews[d] got together and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty of them in the conspiracy. 14 They went to the leading priests and elders and told them, “We have bound ourselves with an oath to eat nothing until we have killed Paul. 15 So you and the high council should ask the commander to bring Paul back to the council again. Pretend you want to examine his case more fully. We will kill him on the way.”
16 But Paul’s nephew—his sister’s son—heard of their plan and went to the fortress and told Paul. 17 Paul called for one of the Roman officers[e] and said, “Take this young man to the commander. He has something important to tell him.”
18 So the officer did, explaining, “Paul, the prisoner, called me over and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.”
19 The commander took his hand, led him aside, and asked, “What is it you want to tell me?”
20 Paul’s nephew told him, “Some Jews are going to ask you to bring Paul before the high council tomorrow, pretending they want to get some more information. 21 But don’t do it! There are more than forty men hiding along the way ready to ambush him. They have vowed not to eat or drink anything until they have killed him. They are ready now, just waiting for your consent.”
22 “Don’t let anyone know you told me this,” the commander warned the young man.
Paul Is Sent to Caesarea
23 Then the commander called two of his officers and ordered, “Get 200 soldiers ready to leave for Caesarea at nine o’clock tonight. Also take 200 spearmen and 70 mounted troops. 24 Provide horses for Paul to ride, and get him safely to Governor Felix.” 25 Then he wrote this letter to the governor:
26 “From Claudius Lysias, to his Excellency, Governor Felix: Greetings!
27 “This man was seized by some Jews, and they were about to kill him when I arrived with the troops. When I learned that he was a Roman citizen, I removed him to safety. 28 Then I took him to their high council to try to learn the basis of the accusations against him. 29 I soon discovered the charge was something regarding their religious law—certainly nothing worthy of imprisonment or death. 30 But when I was informed of a plot to kill him, I immediately sent him on to you. I have told his accusers to bring their charges before you.”
31 So that night, as ordered, the soldiers took Paul as far as Antipatris. 32 They returned to the fortress the next morning, while the mounted troops took him on to Caesarea. 33 When they arrived in Caesarea, they presented Paul and the letter to Governor Felix. 34 He read it and then asked Paul what province he was from. “Cilicia,” Paul answered.
35 “I will hear your case myself when your accusers arrive,” the governor told him. Then the governor ordered him kept in the prison at Herod’s headquarters.[f]
They That Wait
(#120 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
But those who wait on Yahweh
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not grow weary,They shall walk and not faint.
Not one more step! Not one more thought of action! I know; I know. This is the place in between life and death. This is the place in which you must trust Me with everything you have. I put enough faith in you to do this. This faith must be put into action in order to please Me (Hebrews 11:6). However, in some instances doing absolutely nothing takes far more faith than doing something. It is in this hold pattern that you will grow far beyond what you imagine. Doing nothing can be a powerful way of doing so much.
When I breathed life into you, I knew. Men explain it this way; “it is utilizing both your left brain and right brain.” I call it My brain. Your zeal to solve what burdens you is My design. It is a trigger I put in place. I also designed the choice you have. It is the choice which allows you to transform the brain to a higher calling, a better purpose. Yes, proactive people are who I desire, but always in accordance with My will. For instance, how many problems have you attempted to solve on your own, only to find the problems increase? You see, I have designed it so that many times, in the waiting, the answer is revealed. The proper choice, when you know not what to do, is to submit and wait. I will solve it for you. I love doing so for My children. Glory is what I desire; glory I will have.
For your comfort My child, let’s do it this way, so as to not cause more anxiety. The next time you have a problem that is affecting your life beyond your ability to solve, make the choice to give it to Me—completely. I will then guide you into the solution, while drawing you closer to a mature relationship with Me. Your part? Praise Me during the process. Confess if you don’t know how, and I will teach you. Your most paramount problems are solved by Praise!
Trust me My child. Test Me; know Me. In the midst of waiting is where some of My best work is done. Remember who designed you. Remember who loves you. And remember it is with a love that never fails.
“Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” (Psalm 50:15)
(#092 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
I will know that you stand firm in One Spirit, contending in One mind for the faith of the good news without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved, and that by the Almighty. (Philippians 1:27-28)
I will not leave this battlefield! I will raise no white flags! It’s not man that I fear, although you might think the tears are a sign of weakness. I know that I am to fear only Yahweh; it has been ingrained into my conscience. You might think that time away from my family will change my course, and in Him I say no. No! I will persevere in the strength of my Heavenly Father, for it is only in Him that I live and move and have my identity (Acts 17:28).
I hide under the shadow of His wings. I cry out, “Be merciful to me, O Mighty One, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.” (Psalm 57:1) I declare to mankind, “Your battle is not with me, but with Him, and therefore my calamity will pass at your expense. Your hopes will be dashed, your tactics exposed. You are powerless in the name of Yahshua. You are defeated in the name of Yahshua. Your lies are exposed in the name of Yahshua. Yahweh will cause [my] enemies who rise against [me] to be defeated before [my] face; they shall come out against [me] one way and flee before [me] seven ways.” (Deuteronomy 28:7) “Your end has come. Cry uncle right now O man; surrender. Ask Yahweh for mercy or your wounds will only be more penetrating. Victory has come for me. Victory has come and it is in the power of the Name; Yahweh!”
Rabbi Tovia Singer has a ministry called Outreach Judaism and tries to teach people Yeshua (Jesus) is not the Messiah. This video is a public call to repent to Tovia Singer and a warning.
Jerusalem’s Rebellion and Redemption
1 What sorrow awaits rebellious, polluted Jerusalem,
the city of violence and crime!
2 No one can tell it anything;
it refuses all correction.
It does not trust in the Lord
or draw near to its God.
3 Its leaders are like roaring lions
hunting for their victims.
Its judges are like ravenous wolves at evening time,
who by dawn have left no trace of their prey.
4 Its prophets are arrogant liars seeking their own gain.
Its priests defile the Temple by disobeying God’s instructions.
5 But the Lord is still there in the city,
and he does no wrong.
Day by day he hands down justice,
and he does not fail.
But the wicked know no shame.
6 “I have wiped out many nations,
devastating their fortress walls and towers.
Their streets are now deserted;
their cities lie in silent ruin.
There are no survivors—
none at all.
7 I thought, ‘Surely they will have reverence for me now!
Surely they will listen to my warnings.
Then I won’t need to strike again,
destroying their homes.’
But no, they get up early
to continue their evil deeds.
8 Therefore, be patient,” says the Lord.
“Soon I will stand and accuse these evil nations.
For I have decided to gather the kingdoms of the earth
and pour out my fiercest anger and fury on them.
All the earth will be devoured
by the fire of my jealousy.
9 “Then I will purify the speech of all people,
so that everyone can worship the Lord together.
10 My scattered people who live beyond the rivers of Ethiopia[a]
will come to present their offerings.
11 On that day you will no longer need to be ashamed,
for you will no longer be rebels against me.
I will remove all proud and arrogant people from among you.
There will be no more haughtiness on my holy mountain.
12 Those who are left will be the lowly and humble,
for it is they who trust in the name of the Lord.
13 The remnant of Israel will do no wrong;
they will never tell lies or deceive one another.
They will eat and sleep in safety,
and no one will make them afraid.”
14 Sing, O daughter of Zion;
shout aloud, O Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
15 For the Lord will remove his hand of judgment
and will disperse the armies of your enemy.
And the Lord himself, the King of Israel,
will live among you!
At last your troubles will be over,
and you will never again fear disaster.
16 On that day the announcement to Jerusalem will be,
“Cheer up, Zion! Don’t be afraid!
17 For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.[b]
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
18 “I will gather you who mourn for the appointed festivals;
you will be disgraced no more.[c]
19 And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you.
I will save the weak and helpless ones;
I will bring together
those who were chased away.
I will give glory and fame to my former exiles,
wherever they have been mocked and shamed.
20 On that day I will gather you together
and bring you home again.
I will give you a good name, a name of distinction,
among all the nations of the earth,
as I restore your fortunes before their very eyes.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”
A Call to Repentance
1 Gather together—yes, gather together,
you shameless nation.
2 Gather before judgment begins,
before your time to repent is blown away like chaff.
Act now, before the fierce fury of the Lord falls
and the terrible day of the Lord’s anger begins.
3 Seek the Lord, all who are humble,
and follow his commands.
Seek to do what is right
and to live humbly.
Perhaps even yet the Lord will protect you—
protect you from his anger on that day of destruction.
Judgment against Philistia
4 Gaza and Ashkelon will be abandoned,
Ashdod and Ekron torn down.
5 And what sorrow awaits you Philistines[a]
who live along the coast and in the land of Canaan,
for this judgment is against you, too!
The Lord will destroy you
until not one of you is left.
6 The Philistine coast will become a wilderness pasture,
a place of shepherd camps
and enclosures for sheep and goats.
7 The remnant of the tribe of Judah will pasture there.
They will rest at night in the abandoned houses in Ashkelon.
For the Lord their God will visit his people in kindness
and restore their prosperity again.
Judgment against Moab and Ammon
8 “I have heard the taunts of the Moabites
and the insults of the Ammonites,
mocking my people
and invading their borders.
9 Now, as surely as I live,”
says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,
“Moab and Ammon will be destroyed—
destroyed as completely as Sodom and Gomorrah.
Their land will become a place of stinging nettles,
salt pits, and eternal desolation.
The remnant of my people will plunder them
and take their land.”
10 They will receive the wages of their pride,
for they have scoffed at the people of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
11 The Lord will terrify them
as he destroys all the gods in the land.
Then nations around the world will worship the Lord,
each in their own land.
Judgment against Ethiopia and Assyria
12 “You Ethiopians[b] will also be slaughtered
by my sword,” says the Lord.
13 And the Lord will strike the lands of the north with his fist,
destroying the land of Assyria.
He will make its great capital, Nineveh, a desolate wasteland,
parched like a desert.
14 The proud city will become a pasture for flocks and herds,
and all sorts of wild animals will settle there.
The desert owl and screech owl will roost on its ruined columns,
their calls echoing through the gaping windows.
Rubble will block all the doorways,
and the cedar paneling will be exposed to the weather.
15 This is the boisterous city,
once so secure.
“I am the greatest!” it boasted.
“No other city can compare with me!”
But now, look how it has become an utter ruin,
a haven for wild animals.
Everyone passing by will laugh in derision
and shake a defiant fist.
1 The Lord gave this message to Zephaniah when Josiah son of Amon was king of Judah. Zephaniah was the son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah.
Coming Judgment against Judah
2 “I will sweep away everything
from the face of the earth,” says the Lord.
3 “I will sweep away people and animals alike.
I will sweep away the birds of the sky and the fish in the sea.
I will reduce the wicked to heaps of rubble,[a]
and I will wipe humanity from the face of the earth,” says the Lord.
4 “I will crush Judah and Jerusalem with my fist
and destroy every last trace of their Baal worship.
I will put an end to all the idolatrous priests,
so that even the memory of them will disappear.
5 For they go up to their roofs
and bow down to the sun, moon, and stars.
They claim to follow the Lord,
but then they worship Molech,[b] too.
6 And I will destroy those who used to worship me
but now no longer do.
They no longer ask for the Lord’s guidance
or seek my blessings.”
7 Stand in silence in the presence of the Sovereign Lord,
for the awesome day of the Lord’s judgment is near.
The Lord has prepared his people for a great slaughter
and has chosen their executioners.[c]
8 “On that day of judgment,”
says the Lord,
“I will punish the leaders and princes of Judah
and all those following pagan customs.
9 Yes, I will punish those who participate in pagan worship ceremonies,
and those who fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit.
10 “On that day,” says the Lord,
“a cry of alarm will come from the Fish Gate
and echo throughout the New Quarter of the city.[d]
And a great crash will sound from the hills.
11 Wail in sorrow, all you who live in the market area,[e]
for all the merchants and traders will be destroyed.
12 “I will search with lanterns in Jerusalem’s darkest corners
to punish those who sit complacent in their sins.
They think the Lord will do nothing to them,
either good or bad.
13 So their property will be plundered,
their homes will be ransacked.
They will build new homes
but never live in them.
They will plant vineyards
but never drink wine from them.
14 “That terrible day of the Lord is near.
Swiftly it comes—
a day of bitter tears,
a day when even strong men will cry out.
15 It will be a day when the Lord’s anger is poured out—
a day of terrible distress and anguish,
a day of ruin and desolation,
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and blackness,
16 a day of trumpet calls and battle cries.
Down go the walled cities
and the strongest battlements!
17 “Because you have sinned against the Lord,
I will make you grope around like the blind.
Your blood will be poured into the dust,
and your bodies will lie rotting on the ground.”
18 Your silver and gold will not save you
on that day of the Lord’s anger.
For the whole land will be devoured
by the fire of his jealousy.
He will make a terrifying end
of all the people on earth.[f]
- 1:3 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
- 1:5 Hebrew Malcam, a variant spelling of Molech; or it could possibly mean their king.
- 1:7 Hebrew has prepared a sacrifice and sanctified his guests.
- 1:10 Or the Second Quarter, a newer section of Jerusalem. Hebrew reads the Mishneh.
- 1:11 Or in the valley, a lower section of Jerusalem. Hebrew reads the Maktesh.
- 1:18 Or the people living in the land.