Therefore earnestly wait for Me, says the Lord, waiting for the day when I rise up to attack as a witness, accuser, or judge and a testimony. For My decision and determination and right it is to gather the nations together, to assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them My indignation, even all the heat of My fierce anger; for in that day all the earth shall be consumed with the fire of My zeal and jealousy.
For then, changing their impure language, I will give to the people a clear and pure speech for pure lips, that they may call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one unanimous consent and one united shoulder bearing the yoke of the Lord.
For some time now, the Lord has drawn me in and out of the book of Zephaniah. I love what the intro in my study bible has to say about this book. “…it promised a blessing of future glory as bright as the doom was dark.” The passage above reflects such a thing.
The Lord was saying, “I am determined and I have a right to gather the nations together and let them know that I am angry and justly so!” But as I read this, it seems that immediately it takes a turn. In saying, “the earth is going to be consumed with the fire of My zeal and jealousy”, it was as though He was stating His desire for His people to understand His passion concerning them and His jealousy for them, that they wholly give their hearts to Him.
Is it this zeal that actually encompasses the fire that would consume us? Zeal is defined as “ardent”, which means characterized by warmth of feeling, passionate, fiery, hot or glowing!
It captivates me to think that the fire I have encountered would be His zeal and His jealousy for me, to have all of me. That He consumes me in it at times to devour anything that would be a barrier between He and I. It would seem a fearful thing to encounter such a fire, yet I know I have and have not been destroyed, (at least not as you might suppose) but rather refined and purified. Anything unfruitful, any branch not of Him, all of the wood, hay and stubble…consumed. But what can remain and what should remain…refined all the more.
The result of the fire here is what verse 9 states, “For then, changing their impure language, I will give to the people a clear and pure speech for pure lips, that they may call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one unanimous consent and one united shoulder bearing the yoke of the Lord.” We clearly see here that there has been a purification and a refining or shall I say, redefining of agenda. One consent! Total agreement. And it speaks of government as well. One shoulder.
This is my prayer…that the fire would continue to come! Don’t leave us like this Lord! Don’t leave us with what you don’t have need of, with desires that are not yours! Purify us! Don’t leave us without one consent. Amen.