#DailyDevotion The LORD Jesus Is Preparing A Sacrifice
Zephaniah 17Be silent before the Lord GOD, because the day of the LORD is near, and the LORD has prepared a sacrifice. He has invited guests and consecrated them. 8On the day of the LORD’s sacrifice I will punish the officials and the king’s sons and all who dress in foreign clothing. 9On that day I will punish all who jump over the threshold to fill their masters’ palace with crime and cheating. 10On that day,” says the LORD, “a cry will come from the Fish Gate and a wailing from the second part of the city, and a loud crash will echo from the hills. 11Weep, you who live in the Mortar, because all the merchants will be wiped out and all who weigh out silver will be destroyed. 12At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish the men who are settled in their complacency, thinking that the LORD doesn’t do anything good or bad. 13Their wealth will be taken as plunder, and their homes turn to ruins. They will build houses, but they won’t live in them. They will plant vineyards, but they won’t drink any wine from them.
Now it is most likely this prophecy is directed most immediately to the coming judgment of Judah and Jerusalem by the LORD through the Babylonians. The prophet calls upon the inhabitants to hush and be still. Why is that? Because the Day of the LORD is near and the LORD has prepared a sacrifice. Now you might remember from Amos, that this day of judgment is not something they should be looking forward to. We will come back to the sacrifice in a moment.
For what is the LORD God going to judge them? In these verse we see the officials’ and king’s sons wearing foreign dress. You might remember from the law of Moses Israelites were to wear single material clothing with tassels at the four corners. Apparently this has been set aside for foreign dress. They seem to be practicing some sort of superstition or pagan practice of jumping over the threshold and on top of that they fill the palace with crime and cheating (probably the same stuff we complain about government today.) The LORD will search out Jerusalem on that day and find those who are complacent and who thinks the LORD doesn’t do anything good or bad. We see echoes of this in Malachi, the second temple prophet whom the LORD testified the people said it doesn’t profit one to serve the LORD. Do we not see this in our own day, people complacent in their sins because they either deny God will punish them or deny he exist at all!
Let’s come back to the sacrifice. It is the people of Judah and Jerusalem that will be the sacrifice. The LORD is going to wipe them out and offer them up as a blood sacrifice to make atonement for their sins with the Babylonians as his priest. The consecrated and invited guest will most likely be the carrion birds of the air and carnivorous animals that roam the countryside who will feast on the carcasses of the people there who will be slain. These people will be building homes and planting vineyards up to this day but they will not enjoy them because they will be dead.
Such is a type for the Day of the LORD, the Last Day when Jesus returns. In Revelation 19 we see the same calls of the birds to feast on the bodies of those who rejected him as their Savior and King. We therefore should search our own hearts, get rid of our complacency and let the LORD judge us now so we can repent and find in Jesus the LORD who will forgive us our sins and deliver us from the wrath to come.
Merciful God and Father, our great Judge, have mercy upon us and expose our sins to us so we may not become complacent in them but repent of them and look to Jesus to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.