Today’s Reading: Nahum 1-3
When I went to look up to see whose capital city was Nineveh – so I could find out which country Nahum was talking about, I discovered some interesting facts. One of them was that Nineveh was the capital of Assyria which had taken the ten tribes into captivity! So it is actually talking about the country of Assyria. 125 years before, the prophet Jonah had tried to escape bringing a message of warning to them! But after a trip with a detour through the whale’s stomach, his prophesying was so powerful that all of Nineveh and its king repented and thus learned that “The Lord is slow to anger and great in power!” But now at the peak of their rise in power among the nations, they are proudly unrepentant and are now to learn that “The Lord is avenging and wrathful! The king of Assyria had boasted to Hezekiah ‘Don’t let your God in Whom you trust deceive you saying, ‘Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’ Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the lands, destroying them completely. So will you be spared?” The answer of history is actually – Yes! – the book of Nahum! But I have experienced by living in this world that often God’s plan doesn’t seem very plausible! And so Nahum’s prophesying must have seemed like a crazy man’s rant and raving because Assyria was at the peak of their power! Ever feel that way? I promise you, “Trust God, He knows what He’s talking about and will do as He says!”
And so the book of Nahum details not only what God will do, but also details something else about God’s character! I have noticed that God, when He judges His enemies or disciplines His children or people, always chooses the moment when He can point out clearly the reason for His action (I have learned painfully – you can’t cover anything up from God! Be smart and adjust the course of your life away from sin and you won’t end up in a whale’s stomach and your course of life won’t have so many detours!). And so we learn God’s other character – He is not only love but always holy – just! But what comfort that when He shows His love and doesn’t follow the other characteristic of His character, it is often, because He has borne the brunt of the painful cost for sin (at Calvary!).
But Judah will be safe! They may have to pass through discipline for their wilfulness, but in the end, there will be victory – our loving Father’s victory!
And the book details the reasons for His judgement and the extent of evil and the justness of God, for Assyria will suffer the same consequences as their victims have experienced – and when it talks about the world celebrating Assyria’s fall, I am intrigued by the phrase “for who has not felt your endless cruelty?” How true! I promise you, despite the temptation of sin with promises of pleasure, to the contrary, it is ultimately cruel beyond words! Is that why my Saviour felt the need to pay such a personal painful cost to redeem me from sin? Let’s walk in the joy today of knowing that we can never again be separated from our loving Saviour even although sometimes we suffer in discipline – for He Who knows and experienced the cruelty of sin when He paid for it, loves you and me with an UNFAILING love!