What would a life without rules look like? A life without any form of discipline or self-control. A life where I eat what I want, as much as I want, and at anytime of the day that I desire; a life where I can use physical force to take whatever I want from anyone weaker than me without fear of judgement.
If the world were without rules, discipline, and consequences for ignoring rules, it would be a horrible place for everybody. We will all live in constant fear; gentlemen, women, and children will be abused non-stop. While many appreciate rules, there are people who prefer evil and criminality instead of goodness, law and order.
In Zephaniah Chapters 1 and 2, God makes it clear he will judge Judah and the world because of human evil and the violent disorder it brings to society. Zephaniah calls this period of God’s judgement “The Day of the Lord” (Zeph. 1:14-18).
Israel experienced God’s judgement, when they were defeated and captured by the Assyrian empire; Judah experienced it when they were defeated and captured by the Babylonians. The world experienced judgement when the great flood killed all evil people except Noah. However, God’s judgement comes, not to destroy everyone, but as a clean up of evil, so that goodness can flourish once again.
Zephaniah 3:9-11 (GOD’s Word Translation) says: “Then I will give all people pure lips to worship the Lord and to serve him with one purpose. From beyond the rivers of Sudan my worshipers, my scattered people, will bring my offering. On that day you will no longer be ashamed of all your rebellious acts against me. Then I will remove your arrogance and never again will you act proud on my holy mountain.”
LORD, we want a world filled with goodness; may we be among the people of pure lips who survive your day of judgement, Amen!