But back to Judah: Just in case their temple worship leaves the people feeling smug about their chances, Zephaniah interrupts their self-congratulation to lay down the hard truth. “Yo, Judah, I’ma let you finish, but only the truly righteous are going to be here for all time.”
God thought that all the destruction he wreaked on the nations might have made Judah sit up and take notice, but they continued in their corruption.
But on the day when God pours out his anger, he’ll take out the vain and purify the people so that whoever remains will be humble and truthful.
The nation should rejoice because God has destroyed all her enemies. She now has nothing to be afraid of.
God will rejoice, too.
Zephaniah ends by underscoring the value of humility, honesty and fair dealing. The faithful of Israel will be famous among all the nations on earth.
In the nice part of the coming day of the Lord, God’s people return home from exile, he gives them a crown and all the runners-up applaud as the music swells. “There she is, Miss Jerusalem …”