Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Zephaniah and God's Judgment

I had to search through my Bible a bit to find the book of Zephaniah. He’s not one of the prophets that I can say I know much about, and the book of his prophecy is only three chapters long. Wanting to justify my unfamiliarity, I did a quick search of the Lectionary, expecting to find that today was the only day that his book is referenced. I was wrong. I found entries not only for Tuesday of the 3rd Week of Advent, but also December 21, the 3rd Sunday of Advent (Cycle C), the 4th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Cycle A), and the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on May 31. I have no excuse.

Zephaniah’s prophecies, we are told at the beginning of the book, were delivered during the reign of King Josiah, the last good king of Judah. Josiah’s great-grandfather, Hezekiah, was king of Judah during the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel. Hezekiah was faithful to the Lord, but grew proud. Hezekiah’s son and Josiah’s grandfather, Manasseh, was wicked. He repented and was forgiven, but it was Manasseh’s reign that sealed the doom of Judah (2 Kings 21:10-15). Josiah turned back to God and instituted reforms throughout Judah, but God had already decided Judah’s fate, and Zephaniah’s prophecy seems to bear this out.

What piqued my curiosity was that, although Judah’s fate was decided during Manasseh’s reign, God’s hand was stayed during the reign of Josiah. It took two generations before God’s judgment was made manifest, first through Neco of Egypt and then through Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. That would be like America today suffering for the sins of the Johnson or Nixon administrations.

Lest you think the comparison is far-fetched, consider that we’ve been living for 39 years with a legal framework that makes abortion-on-demand a constitutional right. Marriage is under attack and the traditional two parent family is becoming the exception rather than the norm. Vague spiritualities are displacing doctrinal Christianity. Nevertheless, there are signs of light. They have stayed the hand of God all these years, and they are not going to vanish quietly into the night.

I cannot help but wonder, in my darker moments, whether the fate of our land has already been decided. America has had its moments as a shining city on a hill, conceived in liberty and blessed by the Almighty, but then so did Judah and Israel. It’s a nice country we’ve got here; it would be terrible if something bad were to happen to it.

I don’t mean to suggest that God is extorting us. What I mean to suggest it that the fate of our country is in our hands. We are in a continuing state of crisis, and the only thing that will stay the hand of God’s judgment is our fidelity. God promised Abraham that Sodom would be spared if only ten righteous men could be found there. Sodom was destroyed.


bryn said...


Jennie said...

Ha! 10 righteous men. Do they have to abuse little boys, or is that optional?

God won't save this country, God doesn't exist. There is no invisible man in the sky.

Instead of reading the ramblings of bronze age goat herders, maybe you should read some gardening books so you'll know how to feed your huge family when the empire collapses.

Kurt H said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jennie. Apparently the Bible or, for that matter, anything hinting at the reality of God are not your cup of tea. That leaves me wondering what brought you here in the first place?

When I say ten righteous men, I hope that you realize that I'm using it in an inclusive sense. Righteous women are needed (and counted)! I think abusiveness toward any child would remove one from the tally.

I don't know any believers who think of God (at least not on purpose) as an invisible man in the sky. It is only through the mystery of the incarnation that we are able to think of God in a human sense. God's intervention in world affairs is not always clearly evident - that doesn't mean that it isn't there. For those who willfully deny his existence, no amount of evidence will be sufficient to overcome their disbelief short of an outpouring of His grace.

As far as I know, Zephaniah was no goat herder. Do you have a bias against goat herders? The prophet Amos was a groomer of sycamore trees before he was called. Is that close enough to a gardener to overcome your bias? Personally, I would not be so arrogant as to assume that we moderns are so much smarter than those who did not enjoy all of the benefits of advanced technology.

As for my huge family - they are beautiful people and dear to me. I'm not asking you to babysit, so what concern is it of yours? Seven dear souls is not really that large a crowd, and we manage to feed them all without government assistance. When the empire collapses, we'll manage.

Anonymous said...

Men are the ones who create evil on Earth. It is the choices they make which enslave their souls to hell.
And that's why you are continually reincarnated. Welcome to the Matrix.

7 billion in 2011. Only 1 billion in 1800 and 2 billion in 1900.
Population explosion is a clue::::The gods are sending everyone back for The End.
There must be some purgatory-like place. Or individual. Like an animal.
Now the gods have sent everyone back to try for one final time to fix their problems and ascend into heaven. Avoiding an animal would have been a big positive because those thrust into this decayed enviornment have less of a chance than those who enjoyed the god's generosity of a slowly decaying enviornment with frightening clues, like the Depression, World at War, the Holocaust, etc.
Anything that can get the poeple frightened and praying is a good. thing. Contentment never motivated anyone.

As we approach the Apocalypse the gods are removing "wrath of god" material from xtian dogma.
As we see wickedness spread throughout the country, like preditory behavior, godlessness, social changes, etc, using cable TV and the spread of "Californication" as justification, they changed xtianity, appropriatly with Catholicism first.
xtianity has changed radically in the 20th century, and everyone should be mindful of the way it was, because the people are in a process of slipping out of god's favor into a state of Damnation, from which the vast majority will never survive.
They used to scare people and make them too afraid to make mistakes. Now people aren't afraid of anything and don't think twice about doing something wicked and evil which will hurt their chances.

Good god says a ceiling on time for everyone (see below). Evil god still gives hope for immortality to people who subscribed to preditory behavior:::Immortality if you are right versus a couple centuries partying at best even if you change now.
Due to institutional evil the closer we get to The End the more evil everyone incurrs (with individual variation due to behavior) which limits the time for everyone.
Probably the children who fix their problems and ascend into heaven as well. Experiencing the evil of modern life in the 20th century costed them, for which limits are placed. They are not the same as their innocent peasantry ancestors from the Old World.
You people have fucked up bad by not getting out before the 20th century.
Just because the gods have to break some eggs doesn't mean they are evil. As management there are hard decisions that must be made. But they used this omelette and sold it to people as temptation, who went out and did things they shouldn't have done thinking being preditory was the way to "earn" their way into heaven.

Employment charity:::Was W able to do his job as President?
I suspect there are many frat-boy types who couldn't or wouldn't study nor do the work necessary so they gained this "benefit" telepathically. This could have been extended to their professional life as well::In most of these cases they don't have what it takes to do their jobs. It is temptation which buys their confidence for life, ensuring no progress is made.
I think employment charity is FAR more common than people may believe.
Another example how they tempted people in this manner is the procurement of sexual relations.
Keep raping these poor girls. You're going to end up as one in your next life.

Another feature which the Gods offer as a clue is very foreboading and ominous. Mt. Zion is a mountain to the north of Diablo (the eye of The Beast) and one which has a working quarry at its base. Consistant with the decay we experience in society, Mt. Zion is being eaten away, slowly stripped of its resources, until one day paradise will be gone forever.

If people only understood the importance of good parents. You won't be going anywhere without them. And it won't happen unless you are one first.