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Zephaniah, the final book of prophecy to come out of Josiah’s reign, centers around the impending “Day of the Lord,” when the sinful will be held to account and the righteous will enjoy the Kingdom. 

I find this interesting because God is showing a flexibility here in how He tries to reach His people.  Where they have failed to respond to God’s commands when based solely on His authority or on a sense of gratitude for what He has done for them, here He appeals to their reason.  He lays out for them the choice that they have between choosing to remain faithful or to pursue their sinful desires.  It’s an example of how God can reach us where we are, either as someone who repsects authority, responds to emotional appeals, or rationally measures costs and benefits before acting.  For this last group, God will give them all the information they need before making their choices.  This is echoed in Jesus’ call to “count the cost” before deciding whether to accept or reject His mission. 

It also means that the Israelites are without excuse.  They cannot claim to have been unaware of what was at stake when they chose idolatry over faithfulness.  Zephaniah has laid out the alternative consequences.

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