September 26

Read Nahum 1 -- Habakkuk 3

In Today's Reading:

The supreme authority of God; judgment foretold against Judah; prophecy and fulfillment of Nineveh's destruction; vision of coming woes; prophecy that the earth shall be filled with the knowledge and glory of God; Habakkuk's prayer of praise for the Person, power and purpose of God.

Verses for Today:

Woe to the bloody city! It is all full of lies and robbery. . . . Nineveh is laid waste. . . . the sword shall cut you off. . . . O king of Assyria . . . your people are scattered on the mountains (Nahum 3:1).

About 150 years had passed since the revival of Jonah's day, when all of Nineveh repented and fasted and its king commanded: Let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence . . . God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way (Jonah 3:8). But the Ninevites failed to teach their children about the One True God Who had spared them. So, Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, which controlled the world, had long since returned to its former sinful behavior. The time had now come for God to judge this cruel and wicked people. The prophet Nahum foretold freedom for Judah, which was oppressed by Assyria, if they remained faithful to God. He appealed to them: O Judah, keep [your] solemn feasts, perform [your] vows: for the wicked (king of Assyria) shall no more pass through [your land]; he is utterly cut off. . . . She (Nineveh) is empty, and void. . . . Behold, I am against [you] (Nineveh), says the Lord of hosts (Nahum 1:15; 2:10,13).

Nineveh had enriched itself by wars and conquests and was probably the most brutal of the ancient heathen nations. It was destroyed exactly as foretold and, despite attempts to rebuild, that once-great city is still uninhabited, proving the consequence of ignoring the Word of God.

Habakkuk foretold the coming judgment that God would bring upon Judah, His idol-worshiping people, by using Babylon to punish them. He also foretold the judgment of God upon Babylon for its destruction of Judah: [You have] ordained them (the Babylonians) for judgment; and, O Mighty God, [You have] established them for correction (Habakkuk 1:12; compare Romans 5:3; 2 Corinthians 4:17; Hebrews 2:10; 12:10-11).

In the midst of numerous, perplexing injustices where evil seems to triumph, it is wrong to express doubt in the Holy One by asking: "Why?" But, we can be assured that our Creator God will execute righteous judgment for every situation upon all nations and upon every individual. God is just as uncompromising toward sin today as He was when He punished Israel and destroyed Nineveh and Babylon.

Yet, the Lord, in mercy, forgives even the most sinful person who truly repents and turns to Him. All mankind will one day realize that the justice and mercy of the Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He [knows those who] trust in Him (Nahum 1:7). By faith, we look forward to a day when the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord (Habakkuk 2:14).

Christ Revealed:

As the One Whom even the sea obeys (Nahum 1:4; Matthew 8:26-27).

Word Studies:

Nahum 1:5 burned = collapses, laid waste; 1:12 quiet = strong; 1:14 no more of your name be sown = nothing of your name be born; 2:7 tabering = beating; 3:19 bruit = report. Habakkuk 1:4 slacked = powerless.

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Rep. Sue Kelly (NY) · Pray for the President · Country: Uruguay (3 million) on the southeastern coast of South America · Major language: Spanish · Religious freedom · 60% Roman Catholic; 2% Protestant; 2% Jewish; .7% Eastern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Remember that the Lord is faithful to keep His promises (Hebrews 10:23).

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 14:13