Zephaniah 3: Judgment, Conversion of the Gentiles, and Restoration

(20 verses, 3:35 to read)


What I am about to READ

  • God again warns of the coming judgment, but promises, despite all hardship in this life, to bring the full number of the elect into His heavenly kingdom.


  • vv. 1-5 describe the wickedness of Judah, especially focusing on the state and church authorities.
  • vv. 6-8 describe how God had brought to nothing other nations for their idolatry as a warning to what will happen to Judah, should their wickedness persist.
  • vv. 9-13 describe a conversion of the Gentiles.
  • vv. 14-20 describe the restoration of Judah.


  • As the Old Testament history teaches us, as the kings of Israel go, so do the people. The wickedness of Judah’s leadership is evil in God’s sight, and they will not stand in the coming judgment. God even points to the destruction of other nations as a sign that God does bring judgment to all the ungodly. Surely this could even be seen in Israel’s history, as Joshua led the sons of Israel in conquest of the Canaanite nations in the period of his leadership (cf. the Book of Joshua). But because of their blindness to the Lord’s Word, the leadership of Judah would not be brought to repentance by anything short of the destruction of the city and the temple. This is a picture of God’s judgment for us today. We pray that God would keep us steadfast in His Word, that we would not be swept away by His wrath.
  • Zephaniah, along with some of the other Old Testament prophets, give us a glimpse of the future when they speak of the conversion of the Gentiles. This describes the time following Christ’s ascension into heaven, when the Apostles and their successors would carry the Gospel into all the world (cf. Matthew 28: 19, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:47, and Acts 1:8). This reminds us of how our God had chosen us for salvation, even before we were born. Then, through the preaching of the Gospel and baptism, He brought us at last to realize that promised salvation in Christ.
  • Finally, we see that God would also preserve a remnant of His people. This was to ensure that the promise He made to Adam, Abraham, Judah, and David would come to pass. That a Savior would come from them who would shed His holy and precious blood for them and remove the judgment that stands against all of the children of Adam. This Christ, who stands in the midst of the Church, saves us from death and restores us from sorrow to rejoicing. For in Him, all that was lost in the fall, is restored again, namely our righteous standing before God and perfect communion with Him and one another.


  • Prayer: O Lord, you are present in the midst of Your Church to forgive our sins and bring us to everlasting life. Grant that we may hold fast to this comfort in the  midst of a world that rejoices in our suffering; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/

-Rev. Jordan McKinley, pastor
Trinity Lutheran Church, Vallonia, IN

Learn more about Trinity:
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