Ever hear something that tugs at your soul? When this happens, I need to understand. These inspirations hit me in the oddest ways. This time it was a commercial on a podcast. The speaker read a verse…
“Seek the Lord all you meek of the earth, Who have upheld His Justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden In the day of the Lord’s anger.”
Wow! Does that describe our times? I grabbed my Prophecy Bible and looked it up; Zephaniah 2:3 New King James Version. First, I would like to clarify something. You may be thinking, But Milly, a King James version? Aren’t you a Catholic? Yes, I am.
However, I do not limit God’s word to one translation. This is important to my process of understanding what God is teaching me in his Words. I have my favorite versions, Young’s Literal Translation, New American Bible Revised Edition, and the King James and New King James versions. These are not the only ones I use. They are the versions I understand the best. That being said, let’s get back to Zephaniah.
The first thing I thought was, sounds like us. I am referring to my Country, America. Then my mind questioned, have we listened? Are we meek? Do we seek the Lord? How about righteousness and humility? Nooo… I don’t think so. Growing up, I was taught, ‘Be proud of yourself,’ ‘Never admit you’re wrong,’ and ‘don’t back down.’ There may be a time and a place for these things, but not in this passage.
I looked at the scripture again and whispered, “I want to be hidden In the day of the Lord’s anger.” Look at the words closely. I see a ‘maybe.’ “It may be that you will be hidden In the day of the Lord’s anger.” I begin to think out loud. “Oh Boy, can anyone ‘be hidden’ from the Lord’s anger? If I place my faith in Jesus, they will persecute me, Jesus told us that. I want to be part of the Lord’s remnant. I don’t want to be a part of the “world” in the day of His anger.”
When something grabs my attention in scripture that I don’t understand, I dig deeper. Zephaniah 2:3 has two references in this version. This is where I start:
- Amos 5:6: “*Seek the Lord and live. Lest He break out like a fire in the house of Joseph. And devour it. With no one to quench it in Bethel;”
- Amos 5:6 refers to *Isaiah 55: verses 3, 6, and 7. Here are verses 3-7: “3 Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—The sure mercies of David. 4 Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people, A leader and commander for the people. 5 Surely you shall call a nation you do not know, And nations who do not know you shall run to you, Because of the Lord your God, And the Holy One of Israel; For He has glorified you. 6 Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.”
- The second reference is Psalm 76:9: “When God *arose to Judgment, To deliver all the oppressed of the earth. Selah.”
- Psalm 76:9 refers us to *Psalm 9:7-9: “7 But the Lord shall endure forever, He has prepared His throne for judgment. 8 He shall judge the world in righteousness, And He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness. 9 The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble.”
Sorting through the references, I find a recurring theme. In Zephaniah 2:3 we are told Seek the Lord all you meek of the earth, and to seek righteousness and humility. Amos 5:6 tells us to “Seek the Lord and live.” with a warning if we do not seek out our God. I find Isaiah 55:6-7 the most comforting: 6 Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.” The Psalms show the urgency for repentance and return to God. Once God arises to judgment, he will administer it on all peoples, and the oppressed will find their refuge in the Lord. We do not know the day or the hour of the Lord’s anger. This is why Isaiah says, “Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.”
This is where I stopped my study for the day. The question about that phrase “It may be that you will be hidden” still niggles at me. I do not understand the ‘may be.’ My next step is to read the context and commentary for Zephaniah. Then we will dig into other translations. I may not understand the version I’m reading. This is where we will pick up next week when I continue seeking the Lord on this verse.
Dear Heavenly Father, bring us to a place of peace. Guide us as we seek you and your wisdom. Open our hearts to hear Your Words. As we seek You grant us, the graces of understanding and wisdom to move forward unafraid and confident in You. We love you. You are our refuge in times of trouble. Guide us in your way. In Jesus’ name, amen. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, amen.
Remain faithful, my friends,