July 26 - Zephaniah 3.8-20

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Nations Will Turn to the LORD

8The LORD said:
Just wait for the day when I accuse you nations.
I have decided on a day, when I will bring together
every nation and kingdom
and punish them all in my fiery anger.
I will become furious and destroy the earth.

9I will purify each language
and make those languages acceptable for praising me.
Then, with hearts united,
everyone will serve only me, the LORD.
10From across the rivers of Ethiopia,
my scattered people, my true worshipers,
will bring offerings to me.

11When that time comes, you won't rebel against me
and be put to shame.
I'll do away with those who are proud and arrogant.
Never will any of them strut around
on my holy mountain.
12But I, the LORD, won't destroy any of your people
who are truly humble and turn to me for safety.
13The people of Israel who survive will live right
and refuse to tell lies.
They will eat and rest with nothing to fear.

A Song of Celebration

14Everyone in Jerusalem and Judah,
celebrate and shout with all your heart!
15Zion, your punishment is over.
The LORD has forced your enemies to turn and retreat.
Your LORD is King of Israel and stands at your side;
you don't have to worry about any more troubles.

16Jerusalem, the time is coming,
when it will be said to you:
"Don't be discouraged or grow weak from fear!
17The LORD your God wins victory after victory
and is always with you.
He celebrates and sings because of you,
and he will refresh your life with his love."

The LORD's Promise to His People

18The LORD has promised:
Your sorrow has ended, and you can celebrate.
19I will punish those who mistreat you.
I will bring together the lame and the outcasts,
then they will be praised, instead of despised,
in every country on earth.
20I will lead you home, and with your own eyes
you will see me bless you with all you once owned.
Then you will be famous everywhere on this earth.
I, the LORD, have spoken!

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This reading is from The Holy Bible, Contemporary English Version, copyright © American Bible Society, 1995.

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