Vs. 13 (cont.) – Zephaniah records the moral and ethical standard of this new people. His words are an echo of what David wrote many years before in Psalm 15.

The final two lines of this verse depict a people who can live with peace amongst many threats and enemies (Psalm 23:5). This blessed position flows from the Old into the New Covenant (II Timothy 1:7; I John 4:18). The very essence of the Kingdom in which the New Covenant people dwell is peace (Romans 14:17).

Vs. 14 – The prophet issues an invitation to celebrate over what the Lord has done at Calvary (obviously he sees this prophetically in the future).

The reason for the celebration? The answer is encapsulated in Isaiah 53:

Isaiah 53:4 – ‘My griefs (sickness) He bore’ and ‘my sorrows (as I see the broken) He carried.’ (Hebrews 2:14-18; 4:14-16).

Vs. 5 – Transgressions = A revolt. Wilful deviation from the path of righteousness. Premeditated crossing of the line.

Iniquities = Perversity. A depraved action from one who is morally corrupt. The sum of past deeds. (cf. Vs. 6). [Many transgressions make one perverse].

“Crushed for my iniquities” – Gethsemane = the place of crushing (The Garden of Gethsemane had an olive grove and the olives were also pressed (crushed) within the garden itself).

My well being (peace) was secured through His chastening. My health through His scourging.

Peace – Shalom (Hebrew) and Eirene (Greek) = A harmonious state of the soul both externally and internally. Calm delight (Philippians 4:6&7; cf. John. 14:27b). The guarding of your heart and mind are a blood secured (bought) certainty and right.

Vs. 6 – My iniquities only had power until they encountered Him.

Vs. 15 – All judgments that were to be passed against me have been taken away (Hebrews 8:7-13; 9:26; Revelation 12:10&11).

Under the New Covenant all enemies have been cleared away. Here it is necessary to appreciate what “cleared away” actually means. The underlying Hebrew text speaks of something or someone being  “turned away”, “put out of the way”. i.e. Clear away things that are scattered about. Make orderly. Make way clear from obstacles (Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1).

Unlike the arrangements that had gone before with the Lord interacting with His people, albeit through the intermediary ministry of the high priest, on the Day of Atonement, in terms of the New Covenant He would be present with His people all of the time (I Corinthians 3:16f; Revelation 21:3&22).

In addition to all of these benefits, fear and anxiety will now be things one must actively choose to partake in. Fear no longer has jurisdiction over any resident of the New Jerusalem (Philippians 4:6&7; cf. Galatians 5:22&23).

Vs. 16 – For those looking on at Calvary it would have been easy to see only failure and death (cf. John 1:5). He who had promised so much in word and deed was now hanging on a cross in what seemed to be total defeat. Satan was convinced of his victory (I Corinthians 2:8b) but, was himself, the one who suffered permanent defeat (Colossians 2:15; Revelation 12:10&11; 20:10).

Produced by: Adrian Tamblyn-Watts

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