ADONAI has expelled an enemy…My Enemy was Debt!
Zephaniah 3:14 Sing, daughter of Tziyon! Shout, Isra’el! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, daughter of Yerushalayim! 15 ADONAI has removed the judgments against you, he has expelled your enemy; the king of Isra’el, ADONAI, is right there with you. You no longer need to fear that anything bad will happen.16 On that day, it will be said to Yerushalayim,
“Do not fear, Tziyon! Don’t let your hands droop down. 17 ADONAI your God is right there with you, as a mighty savior. He will rejoice over you and be glad, he will be silent in his love, he will shout over you with joy.”
NIV translates it as:
Zephaniah 3:17 “The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”18 “I will gather those of yours who grieve over the appointed feasts and bear the burden of reproach [because they cannot keep them]. 19 When that time comes, I will deal with all those who oppress you. I will save her who is lame, gather her who was driven away, and make them whose shame spread over the earth the object of praise and renown. 20 When that time comes, I will bring you in and make you the object of fame and praise among all the peoples of the earth – when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,” says ADONAI. (Complete Jewish Bible)
ADONAI has removed the judgments against you, he has expelled your enemy…my enemy was debt. A mortgage, house insurance, property tax, real estate tax, electric bill, phone bill, cable bill, car payments, car insurance, tickets (yes, I am human), judgments (yes, we had a lien placed on our house due to an out-of-control bill that we could not pay) grocery bill……………..fuel for two vehicles…………………………..dog food………………………………………………………….
Is anybody feeling the weight of debt? My shoulders slump just typing up the list! And I hear your very tired voice say “Bankruptcy?” and the answer is a very empathetic “Yes……..” Calls from debt collectors. Ugly letters in the mail. Bills that had to be put on the bottom of the stack in order to feed your kids.
The final blow? The threat of foreclosure that forced us to consider and eventually put our home up for sale. Big sigh…
I totally get it, but here is where the fun begins. Children grow up and feed themselves. Houses sell and cover liens. The shame of bankruptcy fades into the recesses of our credit history. Bills really can be trimmed away. Even circumstances beyond our control can work in our favor and, just when you thought there was no hope, the “plan” works…God’s plan, not ours.
ADONAI has removed the judgments against you, he has expelled the enemy of unmanageable debt. He was always with us!
This is what we look like now! RabbiRon and I bought an older RV with the proceeds from selling the house. We live in a beautiful place called Blowing Springs with a gorgeous creek right behind our RV and the sounds of tree frogs at night and birds in the morning. Over the next six months we paid off every single debt we owed, bought a piece of property for a few hundred dollars, and reduced our bills (including rent) to approximately $1000 per month. All that’s left is a quiet, weightless sense of peace and a fading recognition of a fear that something bad will happen. Zephaniah 3:15…”the king of Isra’el, ADONAI, is right there with you. You no longer need to fear that anything bad will happen.
There is more to this story and I will post a few writings based on Zephaniah’s prophecy originally and always to Israel, but for us as well. These verses are SCREAMING hope for the practical mess of life we walk through.