Zephaniah 1:12 — The Theory of a Detached God

By Wayne Jackson

In describing the coming destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Babylonians, Zephaniah vividly depicts the attitudes and conduct of the citizens of Judah. They practiced idolatry, political corruption was rampant, and violence and materialism stalked the land.

Did these Hebrews think that this deviate conduct would be overlooked by their Maker? Apparently so.

Many of them affirmed: “Jehovah will not do good, neither will he do evil” (Zephaniah 1:12). The grammatical form indicates that this was a customary saying that reflected their theology. In their opinion, Jehovah was detached. He neither blessed nor cursed. He was oblivious to human affairs.

This notion, of course, placed Jehovah on the same plain with idol gods! It was really a deistic ideology, and it has not died.

But these pompous philosophers were about to find out different, for God was going to bring a nation against them (Babylon — see Habakkuk 1:5-11) that would teach them that the Judge of all does rule in the kingdoms of men (Daniel 4:17), and He disposes of the wicked.

Mark Zephaniah 1:12 in your Bible, and record this comment: The erroneous theory of a detached God. See Acts 17:27,28.

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About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.