Monday, August 04, 2008

Death of an Enemy!

August 4: Nahum 1-3

1 An oracle concerning Nineveh.

3 The Lord is slow to anger and great in power,
and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty.
His way is in whirlwind and storm,
and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
4 He rebukes the sea and makes it dry;
he dries up all the rivers . . .

5 The mountains quake before him;
the hills melt;
the earth heaves before him,
the world and all who dwell in it. . . .

7 The Lord is good,
a stronghold in the day of trouble;
he knows those who take refuge in him.
8 But with an overflowing flood
he will make a complete end of the adversaries,
and will pursue his enemies into darkness.
Nahum 1:1, 3-4a, 5, & 7-8

18 Your shepherds are asleep,
O king of Assyria;
your nobles slumber.
Your people are scattered on the mountains
with none to gather them.
19 There is no easing your hurt;
your wound is grievous.
All who hear the news about you
clap their hands over you.
For upon whom has not come
your unceasing evil?
Nahum 3:18-19

Death of an Enemy!

When we hear of Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, we often think of Jonah; in some ways we could consider Nahum, "The rest of the story." Jonah foretold the destruction of Nineveh, but to his dismay the people repented. Here we are 100 years later; Nahum has the same message as Jonah, but this time there is no repentance from the Assyrians.

The Assyrians were a bitter enemy of the Israelites; they had already taken the northern kingdom of Israel captive, and now had their eyes on Judah. They were known particularly for their brutality against their enemies, which explains the last part of Nahum 3:19.

All who hear the news about you
clap their hands over you.
For upon whom has not come
your unceasing evil?


Nahum's message, however, was chiefly to the land of Judah, reminding them in Nahum 1:7-8 that God is sovereign: He punishes who He will, and they are powerless to stop Him.

7 The Lord is good,
a stronghold in the day of trouble;
he knows those who take refuge in him.
8 But with an overflowing flood
he will make a complete end of the adversaries,
and will pursue his enemies into darkness
.


This is not a God we hear much about in our day; we are much more comfortable with a God of love and compassion. But, how could He be a God of love and compassion, if He is not also a God of righteousness and holiness, condemning those who treat His children with brutality and refuse to come to repentance?

It is easy to procrastinate, is it not? However, God is a God of Holiness and Purity; though He is truly long suffering, the day will come when His mercy to the ungodly will end.

Pray today that your life, as a Christian, is wholly committed to Him recognizing that His priorities must also be your priorities. If you are not a Christian, come to Christ now before the end of His compassion toward non-believers comes.

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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