The Lord’s Sacrifice Zeph. 1:1-9 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
This first lesson concerns the Lords sacrifice. Zephaniah is a contemporary of Jeremiah for a period. His prophecies are for Judah and Jerusalem. Zephaniah’s prophecies are clearly fulfilled at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. See Zeph 1:7; 1:14-15; 2:2; 3:5; 3:8; 3:13; 3:15; 3:17; 3:20 for some second advent passages. Notice the Lords sacrifice:
All things are consumed – Zeph 1:2 – Men and beasts are killed and eagles clean up the carrion. 2 Ki 24:14 shows us that Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive the mighty men and left the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen [2 Ki 25:12]. So, Zephaniah prophesies of a time that is out beyond the time of Nebuchadnezzar’s destruction. He is prophesying of the second coming of Jesus.
Men, beasts, fowl and fish are consumed – Zeph 1:3 – ecological and environmental laws will not protect these species from the Lord’s destruction. Is 19:8-10 and Hos 4:3 show us that the Lord will destroy these animals because men have been worshipping the creatures rather than the Creator [Rom 1:23-25]. Evolution leads to idolatry.
Baal worshippers and priests are killed – Zeph 1:4 mentions “Chemarims.” They only show up here. These are the priests that were installed by Jeroboam to sacrifice to the calves that he made [Hos 10:5; 1 Ki 12:31-32]. Jehu wiped out Baal worship in the country when he ruled [2 Ki 10:20-28]. But the people went back to it. When Jesus returns, he finishes the job. In 2 Chr 34:3-5 Josiah burned the bones of the priests on the altar which was probably the result of hearing Zephaniah’s prophecies.
Idolaters are killed – Zeph 1:5 – 2 Ki 17:16 says that they worshipped all the host of heaven. In 2 Ki 23:4-5 Josiah had to deal with those who worshipped Baal and burned incense to the sun, moon and planets. Worship of the heavens is the kind of stuff that’s going on today. These idolaters swore by the Lord and by Malcham [Milcom]. They were, in fact, idolaters who swore by the Lord to make it look like they were religious.
The unrepentant are killed – Zeph 1:6 – these are the ones who would turn to the Lord in affliction and then turn away from the Lord and return to idolatry. They were also the ones who would not seek the Lord or inquire of him. They sought familiar spirits, enchantments, necromancy and so forth, instead. And so, God will just have to kill them. He will not tolerate this nonsense.
This slaughter on the day of the Lord is called the Lords sacrifice – Zeph 1:7 – see the cross reference at Rev 19:17-18. The fowls are called to this sacrifice to eat their flesh [Lk 17:37].
The princes and king’s children are killed – Zeph 1:8 – these are the ones who either led them into idolatry, like Jeroboam and Ahab did, or they allowed it to go on unchecked. Their strange apparel is called “vestments” in the Bible and in idolatrous churches today [2 Ki 10:22].
Thieves are killed – Zeph 1:9 – leaping on the threshold is evidently connected with their idolatry. They fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit [Matt 11:12, 24:4]. The Lord said, when he ran them out of the temple, that they had turned his house into a “den of thieves.”
Conclusion: The Lord will return as a jealous God and wipe out all these people who offend by idolatry and he will set up a righteous kingdom in place of their idolatrous worship. That is the Lords sacrifice.