Zephaniah exhorts us to wait for God. He’s going to set the world right at just the right time. When he does unity of purpose and mission will be completely restored. All rebellion will be put down. Verse 11 of chapter 3 says, “I will remove from your midst the proudly exultant ones.”
We all like the idea of having the “proud and the haughty” removed from our presence. It would be wonderful to only have to live with those who are kind, humble, and gentle. When we arrive in the coming eternal kingdom prophesied by Zephaniah, we will live in such a world. What a great world to look forward to.

Until then, however, we all have to fight our own battles with pride and arrogance. The truth is we all have our share. C. S. Lewis said that pride, the greatest of all sins, is usually recognized first by those who struggle with it most deeply themselves. Although we have a perfect world to look forward to, we surely don’t have one to live in today. And it’s a constant battle to which we all must remain vigilant. Pride raises its ugly head in all of our lives. The late Prof. Irwin Edman of Columbia University once had a chat with a French monk who bemoaned the fact that his order was not as famous as the Jesuits for scholarship or the Trappists for silence and good works. “But,” he added, “when it comes to humility, we’re tops.”

In the May 13, 2011 issue of “The Week,” researchers at the University of Kentucky conclude that young people “love themselves today more than ever before.” Nathan DeWall and his colleagues analyzed the lyrics of Billboard Hot 100 songs from the past three decades and found an increasing tendency toward self-centeredness and hostility toward others. The article described the current state of affairs as “rampant narcissism.” The result of this, the article goes on to say, is that “more people are apt to feel sad and lonely now than in previous decades.” Thus, never before have needed Paul’s advice more. He says, “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” (Eph 4:2)

“Finally, all of you have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” 1 Peter 3:8