Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Chilling words

Battle Nineveh - Nahum 2:1-13
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Nahum 2:1-13

TO CHEW ON: "'Behold, I am against you,' says the Lord of hosts. 'I will burn your chariots in smoke, and the sword shall devour your young lions; I will cut off your prey from the earth, and the voice of your messengers shall be heard no more.'" Nahum 2:13

Nahum 2 predicts the fall of Nineveh in vivid poetic language.
"He who scatters has come up before your face.
Man the fort!
Watch the road!
Strengthen your flanks!" - Nahum 2:1

These staccato lines telegraph the urgency within Nineveh as a coalition of conquered nations (Medes, Babylonians and Scythians)  attacks. The Ninevites prepare their weapons, put on their scarlet uniforms. Soon war chariots are whipping through the streets, "like torches," "like lightning" (bringing to mind scenes from movies like Ben Hur).

The attackers destroy the palace (Nahum 2:6). My Bible's notes explain how:

"Besides the Tigris River on the west, the Khoser, a spring-fed stream, traversed Nineveh. A canal also ran through the city. Sennacherib (705-681 B.C.) had built a series of dams to control water flow. The invaders likely closed the gates of the rivers to stop the flow of water and make their approach to Nineveh easier, then suddenly opened the gates to release torrents of water and unleash a destructive flood on the city. The palace, likely constructed of dried mud bricks, would literally dissolve" - Timothy Mark Powell, notes on Nahum, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1219.

The city is "...empty, desolate, and waste" (Nahum 2:10) because God was against her.

That had not always been the case. Remember Jonah, and how he preached destruction to Nineveh, they repented and God relented? But now they had run out of chances.

We do well to take a lesson from Nineveh for ourselves. God is long-suffering and patient with us (Ezekiel 20:44, 2 Peter 3:9). But there will come a time when His patience is exhausted (Numbers 14:18; John 3:36; Romans 1:18; 2:5). How dreadful the thought of hearing the words "I am against you" directed at us!

Dear God, thank You for being a God in whom love and justice are in perfect balance. Help me to live with Your righteous standards in mind. Amen.

MORE: Nineveh ruins

Nineveh - Nahum 2:1-13

The Royal Lion Hunt at the British Museum from the North Palace Nineveh 645-635BC. The king is shooting arrows while attendants repulse an attack from a wounded lion.

From Wikipedia.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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