I will punish the people who rest complacently on their dregs, those who say in their hearts, “The Lord will not do good, nor will the Lord do harm.” Their wealth shall be plundered, and their houses laid waste. … The great day of the Lord is near, near and hastening fast. - Zephaniah 1:12-14
Yikes. Our friend the prophet Zephaniah speaks some tough words, here. Yet, they are words we should listen to as carefully as he hoped those to whom he spoke them would listen, as well.
For Zephaniah, it’s all about complacency. It isn’t so much about what you’re blessed with; it’s about getting lazy with what you’ve been blessed with cuz, guess what? It can all go away tomorrow. And in fact, for him, that’s exactly what he’s saying. The great day of the Lord is right around the corner, and those who have become complacent are going to pay a price for it.
If these COVID days have taught us (or reminded us) of anything, it’s that life can turn on a dime with no warning. It has also taught us, especially in these current days of rapidly rising case numbers, that we can’t be complacent in the ways in which we still need to care for ourselves and for the well-being of the people around us. We’ve been blessed with health, with intelligence, and with scientists and doctors from around the globe who are telling us how to stay healthy. Now isn’t the time to be complacent!
Indeed, whatever our blessings might be, we ought not to ever become complacent, taking them for granted, for anything can happen at any time, and things can change in a heartbeat: accidents, illness, unemployment, shifts in leadership that change the trajectory of policies and ideologies that govern people...you name it. If there’s one certainty in life, it’s that things will change!
So, whether it’s our friend Zephaniah, or Jesus continually telling us to stay awake and stay alert because we know neither the day nor the hour, it bodes well for us to never become complacent to the needs and issues of our world and the people we share it with.
As Aiden Wilson Tozer said, “Complacency is the deadly enemy of spiritual progress. The contented soul is the stagnant soul.”
Creator God, may we never become complacent in our blessings such that we become unaware or apathetic to the world and our neighbors.