A Lesson for Today from Zephaniah
A too-common practice in the United States (and perhaps around the world) is to take parts from different religions and philosophies, mashing them together to form a personal belief system. Doing so is a consumer-centric mindset.
People keep the parts they like, and they ditch the rest. They grab what is comfortable and jettison everything that makes them squirm. It’s akin to reading the Bible with a highlighter in one hand and scissors in the other. People do this now, and they did it back in the days of the prophet Zephaniah.
Making up a belief system in this way is really little more than deciding to believe in yourself.
In doing so people make God in their image, to be who they want and need him to be for their own satisfaction and comfort. It’s a feel-good religion that won’t save them. It has no basis for truth other than what people want it to be.
It may seem like a good approach, but it’s not. The God who is revealed in the Bible doesn’t like it when people mix thoughts and practices from other religions or philosophies. In fact, he has some harsh criticism for them, which he shares with the prophet Zephaniah.
Remember, just because we think something is true, doesn’t make it so. For example, it might be intriguing to say that gravity doesn’t affect me or that 2 + 2 = 5, but those are laughable conclusions. So it is when we make up our own religion.
Speaking through the prophet, God declares his judgment against those who mix the worship of him with the worship of other distractions. In Zephaniah’s time this was the worship of stars and the worship of other gods. Mixing and matching doesn’t work in God’s book.
God is not content to have our partial attention. He is jealous of our affections and wants it completely. We must give ourselves fully to him.
Learn more about all twelve of the Bible’s Minor Prophets in Peter’s book, Return to Me: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope from the Minor Prophets
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.