In Zephaniah 2:1-3, we see the prophet’s call to repentance.
Even though the destruction is imminent, there is still time to be sheltered from calamity, but only if the nation will repent. The wicked who refuse to repent will be consumed on the day of judgment like chaff. In Psalm 1:4 the wicked are also likened to chaff and, in the end, they perish.
With the words “Seek the Lord,” Zephaniah is encouraging those who humble themselves before God to hold firm in their faith. The prophet teaches that to seek the Lord is the same as seeking righteousness and humility. This attitude of repentance is essential in order to escape the coming judgment.
Zephaniah calls the repentant people the “humble of the land” (Zeph. 2:3, NIV). How do the following passages shed light on this expression, which is also translated as the “poor of the land”? Matt. 5:3, Ps. 76:9, Isa. 11:4, Amos 8:4.
The humble are those people who have remained faithful to God and who are led and taught by Him. The psalmist says: “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way” (Ps. 25: 8-9, NIV). The humble are urged to prepare for the coming judgment by seeking God, righteousness, and humility.
The possibility of survival for the humble who are faithful is expressed through the word perhaps. Survival depends solely on divine grace, and grace is something that never should be taken for granted. In the face of impending doom, there is hope for the future from God, who is merciful. The Lord has promised to shelter all those who trust in Him (Joel 3:16, Nah. 1:7). This type of trust casts out self-reliance, guile, and deception.
“Nothing is apparently more helpless, yet really more invincible, than the soul that feels its nothingness and relies wholly on the merits of the Saviour. By prayer, by the study of His word, by faith in His abiding presence, the weakest of human beings may live in contact with the living Christ, and He will hold them by a hand that will never let go.”—Ellen G. White, Ministry of Healing, p. 182. What has been your own experience with these incredible promises? How can you learn to have that kind of close walk with the Lord?