In 1969, a police officer stopped to warn people at a small motel that a tornado was coming. He urged them to leave for a more secure building. The half-intoxicated owner and his friends just laughed at the officer and kept on partying. The tornado arrived with 205 mph winds and all 20 were killed. Pride causes people to make foolish decisions and the results can be disastrous. God sent Zephaniah to warn ancient Israel that judgment was coming. The arrogant people had turned away from God to idol worship and wild living, breaking all the commands God had given them. The prophet told them that a day of terrible judgment was coming. He said that day would cause bitter tears, distress, and anguish. It would be a day of darkness and gloom. He told them the only way to avoid that coming day of disaster would be to turn from their wickedness and humbly seek the Lord and do what is right. Zephaniah’s remedy to avoid calamity was very similar to God’s message to Solomon years before; “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” Today, God wants his people to know He is ready and eager to honor that same promise.
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