Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God will punish the trouble makers and restore the faithful remnant. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to make sure that we are in the faithful remnant group and not in the trouble making group.
Read Zephaniah 3:9-14
I. Purified People. In our Sunday School material a future day is pictured, when the people of God will serve the Lord shoulder to shoulder. The scattered will be gathered to worship and make offerings to the Lord.
Jerusalem’s shame will be removed and the arrogant and boasters will be removed. The remnant will be gathered to sing unto the Lord.
- Purified for God’s purpose. Notice in vss. 9-10 that the Lord will purify, so that the people will call on the Lord, serve together, and worship with sacrifices.
First, as God purifies in the Sunday School material, no matter how messed up a person may be, God is able and willing to clean up those who are willing to repent.
Second, as in the text, God expects something out of purified people. He expects us to serve Him together. Every believer should be engaged in some service, and we do better together.
Third, as in the text, God expects the purified to worship Him with giving. Every believer should be known for regular and enthusiastic worship. Our worship should include our paying our tithes and giving our offerings.
Let’s work on living like people who have been purified. We are purified by accepting Jesus as our savior by faith. And then we are called to live according to God’s word.
- Trouble makers and the faithful remnant. Notice in vss. 11-13 that God has plans for the trouble makers and the remnant. The arrogant boasters will be removed. There will be no wrong doers or deceitful tongues.
First, we should thank God that God sees and will handle those who cause trouble among His people. Second, we should make sure that we avoid being like those who God removes.
Instead of arrogant boasting, we should be known for meekness and humility. Instead of wrong doing and deceitful tongues, we should be known for trusting in the Lord so much that we obey His will.
Third, for those who line up with God’s expectations, there is eating and resting without fear. God is able to supply His people all that they stand in need of. Let’s live like we want to be in the faithful remnant group and not in the removed group of trouble makers.
- Worship. Notice in vs. 14 that God’s people are expected to worship and praise God with enthusiasm. It is sad to see how so many “church goers” sit so non-demonstratively in worship. They sit there like they are simply watching a religious stage production.
This makes sense for unsaved people who are trying to see what church is all about. It even make sense for baby Christians who don’t know any better.
However, it is terrible sinful for people who have been saved for 5, 15, and 25 years to sit like “a bump on a log,” while praise and worship is going on.
We have so much to praise and thank God for. Think about all that God has done, is doing, and promises to do for His people. Let’s work on being more enthusiastic in our worshipping of God.
Read Zephaniah 3:20
II. Precious People. In our Sunday School material the Lord continues to talk about that great day. It will be a day of gathering. It will also be a day of people having their fortunes restored.
- God’s timing. Notice in vs. 20 that God has a timetable. He moves when it is time for Him to move. And He doesn’t move, until it is the right time. The best thing for us to do is to work on trusting God’s timing.
Our faith can be nurtured by prayerfully studying the Bible and reviewing our experiences with God. Let’s work on trusting God’s timing. We cannot hurry God, but we can delay Him by complaining about His timing (see Num. 14:27).
- God’s promises. Notice in vs. 20 that God has a plan to bless His people. God will gather them. The people of the Earth will honor and praise God’s people. He will restore the fortunes of His people. The Lord promises all of the above.
We should not lose heart because of what we see. We should be encouraged by the promises of God. If by chance, God doesn’t give us all of our blessings on this side of grave, we should be excited about how the best blessings come after death to be enjoyed for eternity. Let’s work on trusting the promises of God.
Conclusion: Let’s work on making sure that we
are in the faithful remnant group and not in the trouble making group.
God has much for those who obey Him.