Zephaniah 3:1-2 “Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city! She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God.”
You can't play in the dirt of the world and be surprised that you have become soiled by the world’s filth. You are going to get dirty if you play in the dirt pile. That is what God is teaching in the verse above. God said that Jerusalem had become “filthy and polluted.” The actions of the Jews were a direct result of the filth they allowed in their lives. However, what is it that caused the Jews to become “filthy and polluted”? God shows four things they did that caused them to get in the dirt pile of the world that you must avoid.
First, Jerusalem didn't obey the voice of the LORD. The direct disobedience of the Jews led them to play in the dirt pile of the world. You can't expect to do right when you are not obeying God’s voice in your life. What is God’s voice? His voice is His Word. His voice is the preaching from God’s man. If you don't enjoy preaching or reading God’s Word, it is only because the dirt pile of the world has caused you to despise the voice of God. You won't despise how God speaks if you are not in the world’s dirt. It is uncomfortable to hear God speak to you through His Word and through preaching while you are dirty because of playing in the world’s dirt pile. If you get out of the dirt pile of the world and get cleaned up, you will find that you will enjoy hearing God’s voice through His Word and preaching.
Second, Jerusalem became “filthy and polluted” by not receiving correction. God sent His prophets to prophesy against them, but they rejected the prophet’s message, and many times they either imprisoned the prophet or killed him. One of the most dangerous positions you can place yourself in is the position never to receive correction. Everyone at some point must be corrected because everyone is still a sinner. When you despise and reject the correction that God sends your way through the authorities in your life or through the preaching of God’s man, you will quickly find yourself soiled by the world’s dirt pile.
Third, Jerusalem became “filthy and polluted” by not trusting the LORD. Trusting anything or anyone else other than the LORD will only cause you to be soiled by the one you trust. You can't trust the government over God to supply your needs and not be soiled with its polluted thinking. You can’t trust worldly educators over God and not expect their godless and wicked thinking not to soil your thought process and values. My friend, God must be the ONLY one you trust. When you trust God, your values in life and thinking process will mirror God’s values.
Fourth, Jerusalem became “filthy and polluted” by not drawing near to God. If you are not drawing near to God, then who are you drawing near to? Either you are drawing near to God, or you are drawing closer to the world. There is no in-between. The closer you draw to God, the farther you will get from the world’s dirt pile of filthy thinking and living. The farther you push away from God, the deeper you will get into the world’s dirt pile of evil, unrighteousness, and filthy living.
Let me ask you, are you dirty from playing in the world’s dirt pile? Get out of the world’s dirt pile and get close to God; this is the only way you can avoid God having to send you through His punishment to get cleaned up.