Our Lord, in Matthew 5, advised us New Testament believers that even the smallest punctuation mark of the complete law (“nomos”) of God would be fulfilled. He in fact warned us not to think otherwise. Sounds like He understood beforehand what even would be preached and taught in most churches.
That same word “nomos” was employed by Rabbi Paul in 1 Cor 14:28 in reference to Isaiah 28, so wisdom would have us not assume Jesus was only limiting fulfillment to the Mosaic law. Our Lord was telling us the entire word of God is considered by God Himself as being our law.
That said, reading Zephaniah 3 would invite us to consider whether or not that part of the “nomos” has yet to be fulfilled. Hint: it hasn’t yet been fulfilled, so stay tuned.
Regardless as to what any one of us may have been taught about happy-God always being happy, the reality is that He indeed loves His people, and yet He continues to deal strongly with an increasingly rebellious world. So this entire planet (Jerusalem being central and primary, but not exclusive in regards to accountability) will experience the fullness of God’s plans – to accomplish His purpose and to be doing whatever is necessary to get mankind’s attention, in hopes of turning many to Him. He is not willing that any should perish. Any. He wants all men to be saved.
The NT plan is revealed in the OT verses that are not yet fulfilled. That includes surely they will fear Him (v7).
And now Zephaniah 3. There’s glorious and amazing promises of comfort and joy and restoration and rejoicing, and yet there’s a plan and process through which those components will later be manifested. BTW – the restoration of one pure language confirms the international, global nature of these prophetic words. He is gathering the nations for His purposes, and to see His power.
Our God ain’t just talking Israel here. The glory of His plan is indeed to His people, Jew and Gentile believer alike.
Fact: The God of the whole earth is dealing with the whole earth.
1 Woe to her who is rebellious and polluted, To the oppressing city!
2 She has not obeyed His voice,
She has not received correction;
She has not trusted in the Lord,
She has not drawn near to her God.
3 Her princes in her midst are roaring lions;
Her judges are evening wolves
That leave not a bone till morning.
4 Her prophets are insolent, treacherous people;
Her priests have polluted the sanctuary,
They have done violence to the law.
5 The Lord is righteous in her midst,
He will do no unrighteousness.
Every morning He brings His justice to light;
He never fails,
But the unjust knows no shame.
6 “I have cut off nations,
Their fortresses are devastated;
I have made their streets desolate,
With none passing by.
Their cities are destroyed;
There is no one, no inhabitant.
7 I said, ‘Surely you will fear Me,
You will receive instruction’—
So that her dwelling would not be cut off,
Despite everything for which I punished her.
But they rose early and corrupted all their deeds.
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.
9 “For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language,
That they all may call on the name of the Lord,
To serve Him with one accord.
10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia
The daughter of My dispersed ones,
Shall bring My offering.
11 In that day you shall not be shamed for any of your deeds
In which you transgress against Me;
For then I will take away from your midst
Those who rejoice in your pride,
And you shall no longer be haughty
In My holy mountain.
12 I will leave in your midst
A meek and humble people,
And they shall trust in the name of the Lord.
13 The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness
And speak no lies,
Nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth;
For they shall feed their flocks and lie down,
And no one shall make them afraid.”
14 Sing, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has taken away your judgments,
He has cast out your enemy.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
You shall see disaster no more.
16 In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Do not fear;
Zion, let not your hands be weak.
17 The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
18 “I will gather those who sorrow over the appointed assembly,
Who are among you,
To whom its reproach is a burden.
19 Behold, at that time
I will deal with all who afflict you;
I will save the lame,
And gather those who were driven out;
I will appoint them for praise and fame
In every land where they were put to shame.
20 At that time I will bring you back,
Even at the time I gather you;
For I will give you fame and praise
Among all the peoples of the earth,
When I return your captives before your eyes,”
Says the Lord.