God used the book of Zephaniah to gather His people before His throne. Each of the three sections end with a call to gather.
In the first section the people of God are shown their terrible sin. They are then mercily told to gather themselves around the Lord before His wrath comes. In the second part, God gathers both those who had humbly gathered together before Him [as the NT church (lit. assembly, gathering)] and the arrogant who ignored the Lord. God gathers them all to judge them. Thirdly, the future blessings (fully realized in eternal) are bestowed on only those who formerly gathered themselves together. The others will be gathered by the Lord too, but not for blessing.
Those of the Old Testament covenant who experience judgment find hope in the New Testament covenant. The pattern is the same in the old as well as the new. A group voluntarily gathers before the Lord seeking His grace (Lord’s supper/ communion) and yet still looks for the final gathering (the eternal feast/supper). The existing church is evidence of the eternal blessing, even as the destructive wars and ravages of death serve as evidence of a sooncoming eternal judgment.
B) Willingly Gathering (Zephaniah 2:4-3:13)
Embracing God's global plans
1. By exposing his plan for Judah's neighbors (2:4-11a)
2. By exposing His plan for the Major Powers (12-15)
3. By exposing His plan for God's People (3:1-13)
8 "Therefore, wait for Me," declares the LORD, "For the day when I rise up to the prey. Indeed, My decision is to gather nations, To assemble kingdoms, To pour out on them My indignation, All My burning anger; For all the earth will be devoured By the fire of My zeal.
C) Gladly Gathering (Zephaniah 3:14-20)
Being motivated to do His work
1. A People with the Lord's Joy (3:14)
2. A People with the Lord's Security (3:15-17)
3. A People with the Lord's Vision (3:18-20)
18 "I will gather those who grieve about the appointed feasts--They came from you, O Zion; The reproach of exile is a burden on them. 19 "Behold, I am going to deal at that time With all your oppressors, I will save the lame And gather the outcast, And I will turn their shame into praise and renown In all the earth. 20 "At that time I will bring you in, Even at the time when I gather you together; Indeed, I will give you renown and praise Among all the peoples of the earth, When I restore your fortunes before your eyes," Says the LORD.
We are convinced that this 'gathering together' is the main theme this book rotates about. At the end of each section Zephaniah closes with a section on 'gathering.' This redemptive work of God can be hidden in the words of doom scattered so frequently through this book. But once discovered, one cannot but delight in our Lord's love for us.
Zephaniah study - Call to Revival