Doom, obstinate one,
the defiled one,
the violent city.
2 She listened to no voice;
she accepted no discipline.
She didn’t trust in the Lord,
nor did she draw near to her God.
3 The princes in her midst are roaring lions.
Her judges are wolves of the evening;
they leave nothing for the morning.
4 Her prophets are reckless, men of treachery.
Her priests pollute that which is holy;
they do violence to the Instruction. (Zeph. 3:1-4, CEB)
As the American Church, we may need to pay close attention to this warning to Judah. Sometimes, if we will do ANY self-examination, we may find that we have become obstinate. The church on the “left” easily accuses the church on the “right” of being obstinate. And the favor is often returned. Yet… look inside. Perhaps there are times we are all obstinate in some way. We have failed to listen to God. We have failed because we are too busy talking and not caught up with listening any more.
We don’t trust God for alternate reasons. We are leaning on the public sector to be our supply… or we are leaning on rugged individualism. Both cases demonstrate a lack of trust in God.
And the spiritual leaders… Are we reckless? Do we care about people any more? It is a careful walk to be a pastor and spiritual leader in the Kingdom of God. We have to be able to see people. We have to be careful with the Word of God. Instruct people faithfully.
These words are harsh from Zephaniah. The easy thing to do is leave them in that era. Yet… we need to carefully hear those words once again. Do we TRUST God? Are we faithful to his Word?