A Complacent God?

Mark Fackler

READ : Zephaniah 1:1-18

“I will punish the people . . . who say . . . ‘The Lord will not do good, nor will he do harm.’” (v. 12)

“Life goes on” was an appropriate motto for Jerusalem’s busy people during the prophet Zephaniah’s ministry. Busy here, busy there; a little worship here, a little fun there. Life just moves along, God’s mission forgotten. The passion to take God seriously simmers low. God becomes an ornament or charm, not doing much good, not doing any harm—a non-factor in most people’s lives.

Clearly this was not God’s plan for his people. God is not a decorative accessory to our lives. God will not be anyone’s dashboard bobble-head.

Zephaniah warns the people of Judah that judgment day is coming, a day when complacent people will find out just how real God is. In this first chapter, Zephaniah offers no alternatives. The prophet is not urging people to change before it’s too late: his message is that it’s already too late!

Is the “great day of the Lord” (v. 14) that Zephaniah warns of the Final Judgment Day or the Babylonian onslaught just ahead? Zephaniah does not say. Instead, he describes, and the picture he paints is grim.

We too must heed the warning. God cannot be anyone’s lucky charm. He will be Lord, King, and Sovereign. To make God anything less is a ticket to judgment.


Put fire back in my faith, Lord.