“Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city! She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God. Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow. Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law. The just LORD is in the midst thereof; He will not do iniquity: every morning doth He bring His judgment to light, He faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.” Zephaniah 3:1-5 (KJV)
The prophet states, speaking of the LORD, “He will do no iniquity”. Iniquity is lawlessness, wickedness, and there is no evil within the LORD of all creation. Iniquity is in the hearts of those whom God created in His image, after His likeness; because of Adam’s and Eve’s rebellion in the beginning. Reading the Bible you can see the iniquity of man progressively attacking the very work and character of God; to no avail, of course.
The “Her” of whom the prophet references is the city of Jerusalem, the oppressing city. She would not hear the prophets’ warnings. The false prophets would not correct her, and the priests were vile and did not teach, or wrongly taught the law and Scripture.
Some thoughts from the ESV Study Bible…
3:3 Among those who should lead the city aright, but have in fact turned against her, are its officials, the civil authorities (1:8; 1 Chron. 28:1), and judges, those in charge of settling legal disputes (Ex. 18:13, 22). Instead of showing benevolence, thse leaders were acting as roaring lions, ferocious beasts possessing great power, about to seize prey (Amos 3:4), and as evening (or desert) wolves, known for their ravenous appetite (Gen. 49:27). Leaders, rather than guarding their flock, devour it.
It is iniquity to disobey the word of the LORD. It is iniquity to fail to love the LORD, His Son, and His word.
Will you hear the word of the Lord today, believe it concerning His law, His commandments, His Son and His cross, burial, and resurrection? That is the beginning place – at the cross of Jesus Christ the Son of God, God the Son.