Zephaniah’s message from the LORD is that things will not continue as they are forever. His people had gotten so deeply set in their ways that they thought idolatry and corruption was something that God could do nothing about. They were wrong. God had a judgment planned that would cut off (destroy completely) the animism that had permeated Judah’s culture, by destroying the idolatrous priests themselves – even destroying the memory of them.
That is what hell is for as well. It is God’s plan to undo what the world thinks is here forever. Do not be misled. Evil is not eternal. God is able to destroy the soul and body of those who are not fit for eternity. That is why Jesus warned us to fear him, and not man (Matthew 10:28). His wrath is terrible, and it will accomplish its purpose – completely. It will annihilate the lost.
Judgment is going to take place. There is no doubt about that. But God’s people are challenged to gather and seek him and his righteousness in humility. Perhaps they will be spared on that great and terrible day of the LORD.
LORD, we seek your kingdom and your righteousness. Hide us from your terrible wrath.