Recognizing corruption isn’t hard to do.
Recognizing corruption is really easy to do for true peacemaking children of God who live in His heavenly will, for corruption is all around us, and it’s against, or counter to, the heavenly will of God.
We should even be recognizing corruption that is quite subtle, such as when we hear discussions about ending global warming and they fail to mention the greatest contributor to global warming: raising animals for food, for the methane that is emitted by the animals is 23 times more toxic to the environment than carbon dioxide.
Similarly, we should be recognizing corruption in the people who eat the animal products for they are promoting the raising of animals for food, and in turn the further corruption of creation, which includes water and soil pollution in addition to all the horrible pain, suffering and death of the animals.
We should also be recognizing corruption in political leaders who deny global warming and promote animal agriculture.
And before we leave this discussion about recognizing corruption to our environment, we also need to include some religious leaders who go along with these types of corruption, and deny or distort God’s heavenly will by promoting the things that cause so much pain, suffering, bloodshed, and death, like the eating of animals, hunting, fishing, and the need for firearms.
Recognizing corruption should be easier to spot in those political and religious leaders who promote war, terrorism, and the killing of other human beings.
And this is also true of the people who promote the sale and use of automatic and semi-automatic weapons and large volume magazine clips that are of absolutely no benefit to peace-loving people.
With these things in mind, let’s take a look at Zephaniah who prophesied against the corruption in Israel; so let’s take a look at what is recorded in Zephaniah 3:1-7, and see how it applies to our discussion about recognizing corruption.
1. Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled,
The tyrannical city!
2. She heeded no voice;
She accepted no instruction.
She did not trust in the LORD;
She did not draw near to her God.
Zephaniah is speaking about Israel, and if we look around the world of today, we can see a lot of these kinds of things still going on; it’s like most people are taking their instructions from the devil and not from God, for the world is filled with fear and warring madness, and we have more than 100 billion animals suffering and dying every year to satisfy human gluttony.
3. Her princes within her are roaring lions,
Her judges are wolves at evening;
They leave nothing for the morning.
These kinds of leaders are exploiting and dominating the world around them,
some of which spills out globally; they are doing the exact opposite of
listening to the Lord and freeing creation from its present corruption.
Are we recognizing corruption for what it is, or are we keeping silent and going along with it?
4. Her prophets are reckless, treacherous men;
Her priests have profaned the sanctuary.
They have done violence to the law.
And in this verse, Zephaniah recognized the corruption among the religious
leaders and speaks out against them.
Aren’t these kinds of corrupt leaders being unjust to both humans and animals?
Of course they are, for they cause many of them to suffer and die.
We need to be recognizing corruption for what it is, and speak out against all of it, and doing everything in our power to end the corruption.
5. The LORD is righteous within her;
He will do no injustice.
Every morning He brings His justice to light;
He does not fail.
But the unjust knows no shame.
This is so true, for all we have to do is look around us; we can see the
difference between the things and ways of God and those situations created
or promoted by our corrupt leaders.
We are all going to have to face God one day.
Are we recognizing corruption and violence and actively avoiding it, and doing everything in our power to free creation from its present corruption?
We hope and pray we are, for this is the way God wants us to be.
Then Zephaniah speaks out for God.
6. "I have cut off nations;
Their corner towers are in ruins.
I have made their streets desolate,
With no one passing by;
Their cities are laid waste,
Without a man, without an inhabitant.
This is what will happen to much of the world if we keep going in our
present reckless and ungodly manner.
To the millions of people caught up in war zones, this is already happening.
We also believe that this is true for all the so called “food animals” who see only this corruption, pain, suffering, and death every day of their lives; this is recognizing corruption.
And still God cries out to the ungodly people of this world in hopes that they will turn from their wicked ways, and return to Him.
7. "I said, 'Surely you will revere Me,
So her dwelling will not be cut off
According to all that I have appointed concerning her.
But they were eager to corrupt all their deeds.
God cries out to the corrupt people of this world, but all that most of them
do is reject Him and cause more corruption to His beautiful creation.
There are also many people today, who say that they believe in God, but they still go along with the corrupt ways of this world with no repentance.
Similarly, there are people who are recognizing corruption, but they keep silent and do nothing to end the corruption, even in their own lives.
These are the people that Jesus tells us about who will cry out “Lord, Lord”, as we are told in Matthew 7:21-23…
21. "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.
Note carefully what Jesus is telling us.
Anyone who is recognizing corruption and doing nothing to stop it is not obeying the heavenly will of God; rather they are actually following the corrupt ways of the devil, which is the reason Jesus explains further…
22. "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'
There are religious groups all around the world who do these things, but
they still go along with the corrupt ways of this world, the most obvious of
which is the eating and wearing of animals.
And if you don’t believe me, then believe all the medical evidence that points to almost all of the chronic diseases having their causes rooted in the consumption of animal products, and that by switching to a whole plant food diet (Genesis 1:29-30), most if not all of these illnesses can be reversed or cured.
To us, this is proof that the raising and killing of animals for food is against the heavenly will of God.
This is why Jesus tells those “Lord, Lord” people…
23. "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you
who practice lawlessness.'
Just because there are more of these corrupt people in the world than there
are of those who truly do their best to live in the heavenly will of God,
there is no reason to live like the corrupt people; we are to reject them
and their corrupt way of living.
We are to be recognizing corruption for what it is, and doing everything in our power to counter it in our own lives and in the world around us.
This is what it takes to be true peacemaking children of God.
This is what it takes to begin freeing creation from its present corruption.
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