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Stagnant?
Posted on March 12, 2009

In the Bible study with my sons John and Brian (Jeff being in OK City can’t come) we just finished Zephaniah.  John shared that he has seen a pattern in the prophets.  There is much smiting in the first of the book – lots of smiting – and then there is a remnant in the end.  We laughed, but he is right.

Zephaniah, indeed all of the prophets, shares the reasons for the smiting.  In Zephaniah 1:12 “It will come about at that time That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, And I will punish the men Who are stagnant in spirit, Who say in their hearts, ‘The Lord will not do good or evil!’  (Emphasis added)  Whoa!  The phrase “stagnant in spirit” really gripped me.  For here in the midst of smiting for idolatry, worshiping the host of heaven, folk who do not seek the Lord, and those who fill the temple with violence and deceit, God says he will especially search out those who are “stagnant in spirit” and smite them.  The smiting is hard, read verse 13 for details.

What does it mean to be “stagnant in spirit”?  Zephaniah tells us.  It is having the attitude that the Lord will not do good or evil.  That seems simple on the surface.  As I have thought about this over the past few days.  Some things have unfolded.  This seems to describe the attitude of a lot of the Church.  It is the attitude that it really does not matter what I do, He will not react.  It does not matter if – I am hesitant to give concrete examples here because I risk offending.  That is the crux of the problem is it not.  We have come to the place in the body of Christ that in the name of tolerance or political expedience we look the other way or else define away things that are troublesome in Scripture as perhaps cultural and not applicable in the current time.  Or else we take the position that our situation is unique and that God will in His grace overlook our transgression.  There is always forgiveness.
Category: Spiritual Life

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