Zephaniah 1-3, Revelation 16 • Key Verse: Zephaniah 3:17
If there is one direction our thoughts should head today, it is to the birth of Jesus Christ. This is the great moment in which God physically entered into our world. He “became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). If we were to put all this into one word we would say, “Immanuel,” which means, “God with us”(Matt. 1:23).
We also must remember that He did this “to save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). Jesus did not just come for a visit, nor was His birth just the birth of another man. Rather, His birth was the intentional, preplanned act of God whereby He entered our world to become our Savior. He was born to die. That is a simple statement, but do not let the simplicity of it belie the significance of what it says.
Zephaniah the prophet wrote of these two things—God with us and His work of redemption—when he said, “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” (3:17).
On Christmas Day our focus can become blurred by all the cultural trappings of the holiday. Passages such as this call our attention back to what is central to the celebration. It is Jesus, Immanuel, God with us, who came to save. The greatest gift is not found under a tree but in Jesus.
“Thank you, God, for the greatest gift, one not of tinsel and glitter but of eternal value. Thank you for Jesus and for the gift of salvation we receive from You. ”
Woodrow Kroll & Tony beckett