“She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God.” Zephaniah 3:2
In the book of Zephaniah, God presents a choice – be holy or be judged. God’s mercy always allowed for a righteous remnant to survive, and all who called on Him would be blessed. The Book ends with the promise of the Christ to come and that same great hope transforms the lives of men and women today.
As I read this verse in my daily Bible reading, I felt like changing it around. I am not trying to re-write Scripture but just wondering what it would be like if God was speaking to us women who love and serve Him, and who want to be ready for His coming. So, permit me some leeway and let us read this differently.
Blessed is she who has been forgiven of her sins and is walking with the Lord in righteousness and truth.
1. She has obeyed His voice. God speaks to us in so many ways. As we read His Word in our daily devotional time, He illuminates passages to us, showing us things that He wants us to know. He may speak in a still small voice, as we ask His direction for the day. If we are carefully listening, we will hear Him, and be willing to do whatever He asks us to do.
2. She has received correction. We all know that we correct our children from the time that they are little, to teach them right from wrong. We do it because we love them. Sometimes the Lord may have to correct us, but He does it in love and mercy. He may speak through a Pastor’s message, or He may allow a good friend to admonish us that there is something we should change. The test is how we receive correction. We must be open to what the Lord is telling us, and willing to admit our errors and make a change.
3. She has trusted in the Lord. It is easy to trust the Lord when everything is going well in our lives. But when trials come, when finances are low, when we face hard decisions, or when sickness comes, that is when we must learn to trust God completely. He has promised never to leave us nor forsake us, and He knows exactly what we need.
4. She has drawn near to her God. Jesus is always near, even when we do not feel Him. We need to take time every day to rest in His presence, to draw near to Him. Often, He is just waiting for us to speak His Name and His presence will fill our hearts.
I asked myself the question, “If God were writing about me today, could He say these things about me? How about you? I am sure you feel the same way I do; we want to do everything we possibly can to be a woman who God can bless and use.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for your Word and for your love and your mercy towards me. Let me be a woman that you can use for your honour and glory.
Devotion by Anne Johnston