Recently I have begun a personal study of the book of Zephaniah. Zephaniah is not a popular book in many circles mainly due to the fact that the book is 99% pure judgment. Judah had been wicked, so the LORD sent Zephaniah to prophesy against Judah and tell them of their wickedness and that the Day of the LORD was at hand.
In beginning this study, what caught my eye from the opening verse was Zephaniah’s ancestry. Zephaniah 1:1 says, “The Word of the LORD which came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.” So, this means that Zephaniah was the great great-grandson of King Hezekiah, Hezekiah being one of the most righteous kings in Judah’s history. Since that is true, I had to wonder if Zephaniah was ever held to a higher standard because of his ancestry. Perhaps it was that some might have told him in his lifetime held him to a high standard because of his great great-grandfather. We see this occurring from time to time in various ways today. In order to encourage their children to think before they act, a father might tell them, “Remember who your father is.” This phrase would be sure to be ringing in their ears and preventing them from acting before thinking.
Christians can use this same kind of principle. Yes, in the fact that the righteousness their parents or ancestors can motivate them to act similarly, but even if that isn’t the case, we can all use this principle. Places like Romans 8:12-17 or Galatians 4:1-7 tells us that while we were slaves to sin, God, because of the great love with which He loved us, adopted us as His children. The apostle John would exclaim in 1 John 3:1, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” We can use the fact that God is our Father to motivate us to do the things that we ought to and to be the people that we ought to be. So, I would just encourage each of us—before we do anything to simply be reminded to remember who our Father is.