There is a glorious thoroughness to our great God that is evident throughout all of His works. What is begun by Him is completed by Him. He always works that way. He is remarkably thorough, to the point where Jesus told us this:
18 “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
Jots and tittles were, and remain, the smallest of punctuation marks. Jesus assuring us nothing written in the word of God will NOT come to pass (yes, I’ve written a double-negative), down to the smallest punctuation, exemplifies thoroughness. The word used in Matt 5:18 for “law”, by the way, is “nomos”. It is notable that Paul uses the same exact word in I Cor 14:21 to refer to a writing in Isaiah 28. It would therefore be naive of us to try to torture Matt 5:18 into some “Mosaic-Law-requirements-all-fulfilled-on-the-cross” argument – though some might want to make that argument.
Jesus, after declaring the jot-and-tittle truth, then proceeded to warn the hearers/readers that failing to understand and embrace, or worse yet, teach that truth, would result in diminished reward in the Kingdom of God. I believe that is a test for all teachers, by the way. Would you fear man, or tremble at the Word, and therefore dare not dilute it?
19 “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Let’s determine to not go there.
There’s already several writings on this website mentioning “HHY” – Hasn’t Happened Yet” items of prophecy. Us understanding and respecting the clear revelation of Matt 5:18 will save us from disappointment, embarrassment, frustration, confusion, and worse. What God tells us will happen, will happen. He is thorough.
Solomon concluded Ecclesiastes with a confirmation of God’s thoroughness:
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.
14 For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.
Every work will be evaluated, and then either affirmed or denied by the One who sees all works and judges righteously. Every work. There’s that thoroughness again.
Looking backward in the OT to see forward into our future:
12 “And it shall come to pass at that time that I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men who are settled in complacency, who say in their heart, ‘The LORD will not do good, nor will He do evil.’
Zeph 1:12 tells us that our God is so intent in His zealous purposes that He is infuriated and offended by the ones who would ever dare to represent Him as One who does not do what He says He will do. That ought to send chills into the hearts of any who would think their (perhaps well-intended, albeit humanistically) convincing arguments of hyper-grace will in any way change the plans laid out in the word of God. There’s a lot that has yet to happen, and therefore will happen. We, in fact, are betting our lives on that.
The “at that time” spoken of by Zephaniah is one of those HHY occurrences.
The entire little 3-chapter book packs quite a prophetic wallop. It clearly points us to the season of the return and appearance of Messiah, in Israel, to rescue His people and to judge all people.
It is notable to recognize that most proponents of a kinder-gentler gospel typically like to avoid Zephaniah and Zechariah, as these two books, among others, fly in the face of a softer-landing for the end of this age. Meanwhile, we owe the Lord thanksgiving for telling us in scripture what He has told us in scripture. Thank You, Jesus. The entire book was written for our admonition.
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.
That same “gathering day” is again spoken about in Zechariah:
1 Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst.
2 For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
3 Then (meaning: at that time) the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle.
4 And in that day (same timeframe again) His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south.
It doesn’t seem like any sober reader would check off Zech 14:4 as having already occurred. Logic would then incline us to also include 14:1-3 within that same time period. A day has yet to come, and it will involve all nations gathered, by thorough-God, for a sovereign purpose.
Back to Zephaniah 3:
9 “For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language (HHY), that they all may call on the name of the LORD, to serve Him with one accord (HHY).
10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my worshipers, 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 (HHY).
12 I will leave in your midst a meek and humble people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD (HHY).
13 The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness and speak no lies (HHY), nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth (HHY); for they shall feed their flocks and lie down, and no one shall make them afraid (HHY).”
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 (HHY). The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall see disaster no more (HHY).
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 (HHY).”
The glorious and divine dance party of our Lord has yet to come. And because He is so thorough we can wait with the assurance that it indeed will come – in its time and after all that we are told must come to pass before it happens. It will be a thorough fulfillment. Fully filled. All of it. By Jehovah-Thorough.
These are good things. There is always the sufficient grace of the Lord for all seasons. And there is always grace to succeed within His will. Out of His will is a different story, but as the writer of Hebrews wrote (after penning some severe warnings to New Testament saints about not falling away from the plans and purposes of God):
9 But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner.
10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end,
12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
The times we are entering are, and will continue to be, trying times. The revealed scriptural plan points to increase in intensity and frequency of events, not decrease.
It is part of a divine plan that has a great and glorious outcome to any and all of those who will make the daily, even moment by moment, determination to press in. Whosoever will, says Isaiah.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
It is critical we do not lose sight or let go of our purpose, our calling, and our promised reward. The noise of life can sometimes shout louder than those truths. Dial those down. Dial up the promises of God.
As the old hymn assures us:
“It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus.
Life trials will seems so small, when we see Christ.
One glimpse of His dear face, all sorrows will erase.
So bravely run the race, til we see Christ”.
All scripture NKJV