Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who do his commands; seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the Lord’s wrath. (Zephaniah 2:3)
Or, in King James’s English: Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’s anger.
I’m interested in the parallel phrase and words here.
The meek (or humble) are to seek humility. Those who act righteously are to seek righteousness. The meek and those who act righteously are the same group of people; they are to seek both righteousness and humility. The “meek” are almost always referred to as the “poor” in other Old Testament passages where a parallelism exists, at least in the English Bible (see search results).
It may be (in the context of the whole chapter) that these humble, righteous people are those outside Israel–that is, Canaan, Ashdod, Ekron, Moab, Assyria, etc., which makes it all the more interesting: the chapter is largely a chapter declaring an impending doom on these nations, and it makes most sense that the warning is going out to the humble of these people, not to Israel.
Today’s title comes from The Wizard of Oz–it’s how Dorothy describes herself to the Great and Terrible Oz. And I came across this blog post that picks up on a similar theme.
Oh, for a heart to praise my God,
A heart from sin set free;
A heart that’s sprinkled with His blood,
So freely shed for me.
Oh, for a heart submissive, meek,
Where only Christ is heard to speak,
Where Jesus reigns alone.
Oh, for an humble, contrite heart,
Believing, true, and clean,
Which neither life nor death can part
From Him that dwells within.
A heart in ev’ry thought renewed,
And full of love divine;
Perfect, and right, and pure, and good,
A copy, Lord, of Thine. (words to Praise God).