“”At that time I will gather you;Zephania 3:20
at that time I will bring you home.
I will give you honor and praise
among all the peoples of the earth
when I restore your fortunes
before your very eyes,”
says the Lord. “
I hated practicing piano…at least the way I should practice. I loved learning the songs I wanted to learn, but when I had to practice scales I hated it. I remember one time my mom coming home from work and asking me if I had practiced piano and I immediately said yes…even though I had not. I felt guilty but I didn’t come clean. It wasn’t until later when mom found my piano books stuffed under my bed did she find out. Punishment was also so difficult for me. I hated getting into trouble. The punishment wasn’t the hard part, it was my parents anger and frustration with me that hurt.
The thing I remember the most about that time was my mom hugging me and holding me close after my punishment. She reminded me that I am loved and accepted even in my sin. There had to be a punishment for my lie and then there was comfort in the punishment.
The first two chapters of Zephania are foretelling the punishment for rebellion and turning away from God. It’s the necessary correction that comes from sin. It seems extreme to us in today’s reality, but punishment we get. However, just like my mom, God turns His warm heart towards His people at their repentance. His heart is for their benefit not their punishment. He desires to bless and prosper them, not to punish them.
I’ve never known what to do with God’s wrath. I still don’t. It’s a part of who He is and I accept that. What I choose to focus on more, is his warm heart at our repentance and turning back.
Dear God, forgive us our sins. Help us to keep coming back. Help us to desire you more than anything else. Thank you that your heart is FOR us and and FOR our good. May we continue to rest in You. Amen.