Sunday School Material 6-5-16: The Day of the Lord

(Zephaniah 1:4-6, 14-16; 2:3; 6/5/16)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is God has plans to punish His people, if they don’t repent. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to repent from our sins, so we don’t have to face God’s punishment.

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Read Zephaniah 1:4-6

I. God’s Intentions. In our Sunday School material the Lord declares His wrath towards His people in Judah and Jerusalem. His hand is stretched out against those who worship Baal.

He is against those who tried to worship Him and Molek. The people have turned from following the Lord.

Applications –

- Idolatry. Notice in vss. 4-5 that idolatry triggered God’s punishment. First, anything that we put on the same level or higher than God is an idol. We can tell how important something is by what we do to have it or keep it.

Think about what we do for our jobs, car, home, and pride compared to what we do for God. Second, God’s punishments are terrible for us. God can erase our names. Let’s avoid idols, so we don’t have to deal with God’s punishment.

- Two timing. Notice in vs. 5 that God doesn’t accept our serving Him and other gods. God wants to be number one and the only one. Let’s work on keeping God on the highest level and all by Himself.

Our behavior says more about this application than our words. Think about how some try to be saints on Sunday but ungodly on Saturday.

- Turning from the Lord.

Notice in vs. 6 of our Sunday School material that it appears that there were some who used to serve the Lord, but they turned back.

First, it is terrible to be anything less than committed to learning and obeying God’s will for our lives. All other ground is sinking sand.

Second, it is even worse, when we start out serving the Lord and then turn away from Him. To whom much is given much is required. Third, we should use all of our energy seeking and obeying God’s will.

Prayerfully studying and obeying God’s word with the support of other disciples (i.e., growth group and accountability partner) is a huge step in the right direction. Let’s work on continuing to seek and obey God’s will, instead of ever turning from Him.

Read Zephaniah 1:14-16

II. Great Day’s Anguish. In our Sunday School material a terrible day is said to becoming. In fact, the day is said to be coming quickly. The day will be very destructive against the people of God, in spite of their efforts to be strong.

Applications –

- A quickly approaching day. Notice in vss. 14-16 that God’s punishment comes quickly. First, when God gets fed up, He can move from being slow to punish to being very quick to punish.

Second, when God punishes, we have no defenses against Him. Even fortified city walls are no match for Him. Let’s live obedient lives, instead of aggravating God into sending His punishment quickly.

Read Zephaniah 2:3

III. People’s Attitude. There is a cry for the people to seek the Lord in our Sunday School material. They are called upon to humble themselves and essentially live by God’s will. There is the hope that they will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger, if they repent.

Applications –

- Repentance. Notice in vs. 3 that God’s people are urged to seek the Lord with humility and willingness to live righteously. First, God’s ways are always better than our ways. Therefore, we should seek to live by God’s ways.

Second, we should work on being humble. All that we have is a gift from God and so much of it will be left behind, when we die.  Third, God is calling for right living, not just our knowledge. It is one thing to know right, but it is another to live right.

Fourth, God would rather shelter us than punish us. However, our actions have a great deal to do with which direction God takes. Let’s work on repenting from our sins, so we can experience God’s grace, instead of His punishment.

Conclusion: Let’s work on repenting of our sins, so we don’t have to face God’s punishment. God has much for those who obey His will.

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