What does it mean to have your best health now? There is a lot of garbage out there – littered about by pastors no less – about having perfect, good-looking bodies, being in shape, never being sick, and defying the aging process. We call this “garbage” because it is not biblical. God does indeed desire for you to dwell in perfect spiritual health, but His definitions are much different from any so-called “health and wealth Gospel”.
In Zephaniah 3:9–13 we see that, while God brings His wrath upon cancerous evildoers, He also purifies His people. That is, when God brings His righteous anger upon the world, He will also sanctify His people, and the result will be a people living in perfect spiritual health. But what does that look like?
The answer lies in the intricate relationship between the mouth and the heart. In verse 9, God promises to “change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech” so that “all of them may call upon the name of the Lord”. God illuminates that the mouth speaks what the heart wants. Thus, by changing their speech, God is inevitably changing their hearts. In giving them pure speech, He is making their hearts pure such that they will call upon the name of Yahweh alone. It is this purity that is at the core of true, spiritual health.
Now notice in verses 9 and 10 that God is going to transform all peoples. The term, “peoples,” is a universal term, which encompasses people of all nations. This is profound! For God is going to rescue and transform Jews and Gentiles alike such that all of their hearts will be pure and all of them will have pure speech. This is what verse 10 is all about. You see, Cush represented the southern boundary of the known world in the ancient Near East. Thus to make “worshippers” of people “beyond the rivers of Cush” insinuates that God is going to rescue and transform people from all regions of the world. This includes the Jews who have been exiled. They too will be transformed into true worshipers. This is awesome!
But there is even more. In verses 12 and 13, God clarifies further what the lives of these people, who are living in perfect spiritual health, will look like, and there is quite a list! They will be “humble” and “lowly” (verse 12); they will “seek refuge in the name of the Lord” (verse 12); they will “do not injustice and speak no lies” (verse 13); “nor shall there be found in their mouth a deceitful tongue” (verse 13). This new people of God will prove their health (i.e., their transformation) because they will do justice and speak truth. They will be humble, not proud. Injustice and falsehood will not characterize them.
This is, if you will, the formula for your best health now. It is not flashy or easy. There are no simple three steps to success. It is only through a transformed heart and mouth that true spiritual health can begin, and the proof will be in continual models of healthy living.