God Will Not Tolerate indifference (Zephaniah 1:12)

Zephaniah 1:12


At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps,

and I will punish the men

who are complacent,

those who say in their hearts,

‘The Lord will not do good,

nor will he do ill.’


            There are many people who have a sort of attitude toward God that would say, “He’ll leave me alone and I’ll leave him alone.”  Those who say this assume that, if they do their own thing, God will not be involved in their lives.  They make no demands of God, at least they think they don’t.  They have no expectations from him.  They do not expect him to help them or to hurt them. 


            Sadly for these supposedly self-made men, their position is one that cannot stand.  These men think that they can live on their own, and they miss several truths.  They miss the fact that their very breathing of oxygen is their imposing on the property of the Creator.  They fail to grasp that their reliance on gravity to hold their feet to the ground is their plea to God to keep doing things as he has been doing them since creation.  Their reliance on the sun to come up, on the rain to fall, on the wind to blow, on the snow to melt is all a reliance on the sovereign power of God.


            Most notable, however, is the error in the concept of thinking that one could live without God intervening in his or her life.  The reason this is so tragic is that it is a direct insult to the infinitely holy and infinitely beautiful and infinitely worthy God of the universe.  To expect that God will not matter to your life is for you to turn up your nose at the most important person in the universe and declare him irrelevant.  To say that God will not do anything to punish the wicked is to call him unjust, a liar, a coward, or worse.  To say that God will not do good to his children is to call God unfaithful, uncaring, unloving, unworthy. 


            God created all that he created for the purpose of displaying his glory.  Human beings exist to show off to the universe who God is and what he is like.  For men to assume that God is not relevant to life is for them to attempt by their sinfulness to snuff out the brilliant beauty of God’s glory.  God will not tolerate such an insult.  God will not let us get away with trying to override his plan.  God will not let us steal his glory.


            Look again at the words of Zephaniah 1:12 above.  God makes it absolutely plain that he will not tolerate indifference on the part of his creation.  He has every right to demand that we believe in him, that we take him seriously, and that we give him the glory he deserves.  For us to fail to do that is for us to rebel against God at the very center of our being.


            Now, to many who would read this, Christians who assume that we do take God seriously, this post looks like one of those, “Yeah, those people over there need to hear this,” kind of statements.  But, slow down.  Ask yourself, “Are there places in my life, parts of how I live, where it looks like I neither expect God to do good or ill?”  When you go to worship services on a Sunday morning, do you expect to meet God?  Does your demeanor indicate that you expect that God will show up, speak to you, and change your life?  When you plan how to use your money, does it look like God is an important factor in your decision-making?  When you decide what to buy people for Christmas, is there anything in that decision that says that God is supreme in the universe?


            Christians, let us be careful not to say with our lips that we believe in God and then live in such a way that communicates to the world that God is a non-factor.  God is highly insulted by our indifference.  He will not let us continue to make it look as though he is not real.  Let us be certain that our words and our actions both demonstrate for all to see that God is, that God is good, that God is powerful, that God will act.