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Journey to Bethlehem, Our Christmas Devotional Day 16 Zephaniah 3:18-20

Monday, December 17

Zephaniah 3:18-20 

18 I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival,
    so that you will no longer suffer reproach.
19 Behold, at that time I will deal
    with all your oppressors.
And I will save the lame
    and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
    and renown in all the earth.
20 At that time I will bring you in,
    at the time when I gather you together;
for I will make you renowned and praised
    among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
    before your eyes,” says the Lord.

Is there a day in the year that you look forward to? Maybe it’s your birthday although the older we get the less that’s true! It maybe Christmas when all the family is together celebrating. Perhaps a soon-to-be wedding or a new baby?

But is there another day that we should be eagerly anticipating? The prophet Zephaniah tells us there is such a day.

Israel had a day they were looking forward to. It was the day when the Messiah would come and rescue them from their enemies, from those who oppressed them. On that day they would be gathered together, and God would restore their honor and their fortune. The prophet Zephaniah is declaring to them the hope of God’s promised restoration as his people and as a nation.

But is that promise of hope and restoration for the Israelites alone?

No! It is a promise for all of God’s people, a promise that he will gather us together and bring us home with him to a new heaven and earth. Our shame, sorrow, and sin will be removed by the merciful and gracious God through his son, Jesus. The glory and happiness of the believer will be perfect, unchangeable, and eternal when he is freed from earthly sorrows, and brought to heavenly bliss. Now that is a day to look forward to!

Lord, we look forward to your mighty return when we will be gathered to you. Thank you for being born into this world to live among us. Return quickly Lord Jesus, and restore our world in your perfect mercy and grace. Amen