There is a definite change in tone here â€“ because throughout the first two chapters, Zephaniahâ€™s message has been: â€śif God is against us, who can be for us?â€ť
In chapter 1 Zephaniah spoke of the coming Day of the LORD â€“ the day of wrath and destruction that is coming on the whole earth.
â€śI will utterly sweep away everything from the face of the earth, declares the LORD. I will sweep away man and beast; I will sweep away the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, and the stumbling blocks with the wicked. I will cut off mankind from the face of the earth, declares the LORD.â€ť (1:2-3)
All of creation is under Godâ€™s wrath and curse.
And last time we saw in chapter 2 the application of this to the Jew first, but also to the Greek. The day of the burning anger of the LORD is coming. Therefore Zephaniah calls the humble of the land to seek the LORD. He warns of Godâ€™s coming wrath against Philistia, Moab and Ammon â€“ the near neighbors of Judah â€“ but also Cush and Assyria â€“ the distant enemies of Godâ€™s people.
At the end of chapter 2 he speaks of the coming judgment on Nineveh â€“ the capital of Assyria â€“ but then, at the beginning of chapter 3 he speaks of Godâ€™s wrath against Jerusalem....