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Joy and Judgement (Zephaniah 3:14-20, Luke 3:7-18)

Graham Brownlee, 16 December 2018
Part of the Hope in precarious times series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

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Zephaniah 3:14–20 (Listen)

14   Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
    shout, O Israel!
  Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
    O daughter of Jerusalem!
15   The LORD has taken away the judgments against you;
    he has cleared away your enemies.
  The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
    you shall never again fear evil.
16   On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
  “Fear not, O Zion;
    let not your hands grow weak.
17   The LORD your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
  he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
  he will exult over you with loud singing.
18   I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival,
    so that you will no longer suffer reproach.
19   Behold, at that time I will deal
    with all your oppressors.
  And I will save the lame
    and gather the outcast,
  and I will change their shame into praise
    and renown in all the earth.
20   At that time I will bring you in,
    at the time when I gather you together;
  for I will make you renowned and praised
    among all the peoples of the earth,
  when I restore your fortunes
    before your eyes,” says the LORD.

(ESV)

Luke 3:7–18 (Listen)

He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

10 And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” 11 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” 12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” 14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”

15 As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, 16 John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

18 So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people.

(ESV)

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