Wise leaders are purveyors of hope. Read Zephaniah 3:8-20.
God had spoken and the people of Judah and Jerusalem would be judged for their attitude, treacherous behavior, lack of justice, and arrogant self-righteousness but Zephaniah’s prophecy ended with hopeful words about their long-term future. Zephaniah offers a plan for repentance and helps the people see a way back to God.
God has high standards and high expectations for those who accept leadership positions. Read Zephaniah 3:1-4.
Through His prophet Zephaniah God condemned Jerusalem for her sin and arrogance. The cities leaders were singled out in verse 4 when it says, “Her prophets are arrogant; they are treacherous men. Her priests profane the sanctuary and do violence to the law.” These leaders are indicted because their character failed and they violated the trust of their offices. When unqualified leaders have control, the whole organization can be ruined.
Tags: Able to Teach, Above Reporach, Arrogance, Failed Character, High expectations, High Standards, Hospitable, Lawless, Leadership position, Profane, Respectable, Self-controlled, Treacherous men, Trust of the office, Violence
Have you experienced the paralysis of fear that has kept you from confronting when necessary? (185-3)
When leaders are willing to confront difficult issues they will win the respect of their team. Read Zephaniah 2:4-15.
Zephaniah not only brought a message of judgment to Judah but in chapter 2 prophecies what lies ahead for Philistia, Moab, Cush, and Assyria. Not everyone agreed with Zephaniah’s judgment of Judah but even in the midst of disagreement on this topic he gained credibility among the people because he confronted difficult issues. He named people groups and named their sin.
Wise leaders understand that a team’s attitude must change from the inside out. Read Zephaniah 2:1-3.
Zephaniah lived during the period of religious reform demanded by King Josiah. Josiah was a godly king of Judah who destroyed idol worship and revived obedience to God, but the outcomes of Josiah’s efforts were incomplete. The people responded to Josiah’s reforms outwardly out of respect for his leadership, but they never acknowledged their own sinfulness and made changes of the heart. Zephaniah knew transformation happens from the inside out.
It takes courage for a leader to speak the truth in the face of opposition. Read Zephaniah 1:1-18.
Zephaniah served as God’s prophet from 635-630 B.C., nearly five years before Jeremiah’s ministry and approximately 50 years before Babylon captured and destroyed Jerusalem. Zephaniah was a contemporary of King Josiah. Josiah was a God-honoring king and sought to bring reform after nearly 60 years of God-defying leadership by Manasseh and Amon. Zephaniah saw that Josiah’s efforts for revival were forcing external change but that the people needed to be transformed in their heart and re-establish core truths that generated true obedience to God. Zephaniah called the people to look at their motives, their desires, their private lives and their heart. He touched a chord that challenged the people to address issues that most leaders fear to bring up.
Tags: Belief in God, Core Truths, Courage, Deaf Ears, External change, Face of Opposition, God-honoring king, Josiah, Motives, No personal agenda, Obedinece to God, Opposition, Passion, Personal Gain, Transformed, Trust in God, Zephaniah