Zephaniah 3:14-15 Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The LORD has taken away the judgments against you, he has cast out your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall fear evil no more.
What’s the story of the Daughter of Zion?
God loves me just as I am, I don’t have to change – I can do what I want!
Nothing bad will ever happen to me, God will protect me.
So, she rebelled against God,
She was not faithful,
But God was not sleeping, and God was not pleased.
We say that the wages of sin is death.
We know that in the OT people who were not faithful, were stoned.
Discipline is not so much giving people the punishment they deserve,
As it is correcting them is such a way that they change their behavior.
God’s plan is not to punish, but to discipline,
The problem is that when you are on the receiving end, its hard to tell the difference. So it was, that Jerusalem fell, and Israel was captured and sent away, to a foreign land – it was a humiliating experience, but God’s intent was not to punish, or else it would have been death, not captivity.
Now captivity is not fun, and because you cannot help yourself, because you cannot free yourself, because there is no hope in yourself -–the people turned to God, they saw their sin, they repented of their sin, and the asked for mercy – not what they deserve, not what they earned, but for mercy. And this is what God was waiting for.
So now comes the promise, the promise is that this captivity will not be forever, that a Savior will come, a new king will arise, and they will be set free. What was the proof? There was no proof, only a promise – for salvation is always by grace through faith.
Was Israel saved? Yes!
What is the purpose of this story?
To learn, that anyone can become the daughter of Zion, that is can rebel against God, and that while it might not happen all at once, God is not sleeping.
Therefore we examine ourselves, we repent of our sins, and we also wait for our savior.
And just as God has been faithful in the past, bringing deliverance at the right time, so also God will continue to be faithful and bring salvation and the forgiveness of sin today, and for years to come.
There is one thing that has changed, no longer do we have to believe, just in a promise, for we know that God has sent His Son to be the Savior of the World, we know that Jesus has won for us and for all, the forgiveness of sins. We still wait, in eager anticipation for his return.
And that is why the daughter of Zion rejoices, because with God there is forgiveness for all our sins.