If You’d Like to Be Hidden

hiding from terrorI’m not talking about from Donald and Hillary.
Or global warming.   Or terrorism at the mall.
We will all want to be hidden from God’s wrath
in the Day of the Lord!

The book of Zephaniah, one of the minor prophets—because of its small size of only three chapters, not because of its significance—is a special message to you and me that we likely don’t pay attention to like we should.

It has one amazing verse of special significance.   Imagine trying to write one verse that includes all 26 letters of the English alphabet.   It would have to include the challenging letters of playing Scrabble including X, Q, Z, J.   Zephaniah 3:8 is the only verse in the Bible that contains all 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

This is similar to some key chapters in the Bible where each of the 22 Hebrew letters starts a line or more.   Acrostics were indications of perfection and completeness.   For example, Psalm 119 describes God’s perfect law; Proverbs 31 the perfect woman.   This literary technique indicates that a section of Scripture is of special importance.

So we should take note of Zephaniah 3:8: “’Therefore wait for me,’ says the LORD, ‘Until the day I rise up for plunder; my determination is to gather the nations to my assembly of kingdoms, to pour on them my indignation, all my fierce anger; all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.’”

Zephaniah uses the term “Day of the Lord” seven times, more than any other prophet.   He uses variations 23 times. His message is unmistakable.

Zephaniah’s name means “The Eternal Hides” or “Hidden of the Lord.”

We joke about wanting to be hidden from politics! But wanting to be hidden from

God’s wrath in the Day of the Lord

will be no laughing matter.   People will cry out for the rocks to fall on them and end their misery!    Amazingly, they will blaspheme God because of their pain and sores when He is their only hope for rescue.

Zephaniah was a call to repentance to Judah in King Josiah’s day but also for Christians today:   “Before the day of the LORD’s anger comes upon you!   Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility.   It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the LORD’s anger” (Zephaniah 2:2-3).

It would be good for us to read and respond to all of this short but powerful book.

We’re not talking about hiding our eyes.   Luke urges: “Watch therefore and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (21:36).

If we fulfill God’s instructions to the Philadelphia Church, He promises “Because you have kept My command to persevere I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 3:10).

God promises He will take His Church to a Place of Safety for the 3-1/2 years of the Great Tribulation (Revelation 12:14).   What a blessing—to be spared from the time of Jacob’s trouble that will be the worst the earth has ever experienced! (Matthew 24:21-22).   Unless those days are shortened, no flesh would be saved alive!   The Great Tribulation, the fifth seal of Revelation, is Satan’s wrath against physical and spiritual Israel.

As bad as that is, the seventh seal brings the Day of the Lord as the last year of the 3-1/2 years of chaos.   “Who is able to stand?” asks Revelation 6:17.  It’s asking us!

Before the seventh seal begins with its seven trumpets and seven last plagues, God seals “the servants of our God” (Revelation 7:3).   An innumerable multitude “who come out of the great tribulation” will be rescued” (verse 14).   Revelation 15 shows how “those who have the victory over the beast” (verse 2) are spared the seven last plagues.

Now is the time for us all to submit to our Loving God … if you’d like to be hidden.

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