About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
The Word Of Warning
Josiah was king of the
Southern Kingdom of Israel (Judah) from 640 to 609 B. C..
had paganized itself by worshipping pagan gods such as Baal.
After discovering a long lost scroll of the Book of Deuteronomy
in the temple, Josiah proceeded to implement national reforms through
his political decrees. These
reforms were meant to return Judah
to its great and godly beginnings, but they failed.
Legislative reforms do change the laws of the land but they fail
to change the hearts of those who paganize the national landscape.
During Josiah's rule
prophets like Habakkuk and Zephaniah proclaimed the prophetic word of
warning to the unrepentant people of Judah. Unless the people repented
of their sin, their nation would fall as an act of God's judgment.
The people rejected the prophetic warnings of the true prophets
of God. They preferred false
prophets who played on their craving for the good life by prophesying
will be great again. Four
years after Josiah died in 609 B. C., the Babylonian Empire began to mount
attacks against Judah
that culminated in
When the citizens of a
nation consistently reject the prophetic warning, despite all national
reforms, sooner or later, that nation will fall at the hand of their
enemies as an act of divine judgment.
Here is a portion of the prophetic warning to Judah, which by the way, has futuristic hints of world-wide judgment.
Zephaniah 1:2 through 4 reads:
will sweep away everything from
the face of the earth, declares the Lord.
will sweep away both man and beast; I
will sweep away the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea — and the
idols that cause the wicked to stumble.
When I destroy all mankind on the face of the earth, declares the Lord,
will stretch out my hand against
God decides to implement judgment on a nation, He pulls out all of the
stops. Things get real
Judah, our western-world nations have forsaken any godly influence they might
have once had. Also like
Josiah's attempts at national reform, present-day attempts at a return to godliness through judicial and
legislative means will fail. They
did not work in Josiah's day; in any other day in history; and they will
not work in our day. What we
need more than ever are the true prophets of God rising above the false
prophets with the spiritual guts to proclaim the prophetic word of
warning to unrepentant and self-absorbed people of our nations.
Whether on a national level or on an individual level, Jesus rightly
predicted that "unless you repent, you will perish" (Luke