Highlights In Today's Reading:
Jonah preaches repentance, but Nahum prophesies doom to Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria, because they had returned to their evil ways! Nineveh had become a world empire, but O king of Assyria . . . thy people is (will be) scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them (Nahum 3:18)? The ruins are now in modern-day Iraq! Habakkuk catches the vision (Habakkuk 2:2-4) and sings a glorious song of praise (Chapter 3).
About 150 years had elapsed after the great revival of Jonah's day when the city of Nineveh repented in dust and ashes. They had come to know the true God through Jonah's preaching. However, several generations passed and the Ninevites failed to teach their children about the One True God who had spared their lives and they returned to idolatry and sinful behavior. Nahum had a burden (Nahum 1:1) but no such word could be used to describe Jonah's prophecy.
Assyria is thought to have become the most brutal of all the ancient nations, and its capital Nineveh had greatly enriched itself by horrifying wars. Through Nahum, God forewarned: Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery. . . . Nineveh is laid waste. . . . she went into captivity: her young children also were dashed in pieces. . . . the sword shall cut thee off. . . . O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust (3:1,7,10,15,18).
It all came to pass exactly as Nahum had foretold. The wicked city was destroyed by the armies of the Medes in the north and the Babylonians in the south, and it passed into oblivion. At the time Nahum prophesied, Nineveh was the capital of the mighty Assyrian empire which ruled the world for about 500 years. But Nahum boldly proclaimed its demise as the sovereign God over all nations foretold. Nineveh, the once-mighty city, is still laid waste (3:7) as a witness to the accuracy of the Word of God.
It was evident in Jonah's day that God will forgive sin when anyone repents and the Lord always forgives even the most sinful who truly repent and receive Christ as Savior and Lord of their lives. All mankind will one day realize that the Lord is good, a strong hold (refuge) in the day of trouble; and He knoweth (loves) them that trust in Him (1:7).
We expectantly look forward to that day when the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord (Habakkuk 2:14; compare Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38; 11:1-6). But first it is of utmost importance that we Enter . . . in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. . . . Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves (Matthew 7:13,15).
Thought for Today:
The Ninevites were eventually destroyed because they failed to teach their children about the One True God. Will we be destroyed for the same reason?
As the One whom even the sea obeys (Nahum 1:4). Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea (Matthew 8:26-27).
Nahum 1:12 quiet =b> strong, safe, secure; 1:14 no more of thy name be sown =b> nothing of your name will remain; 2:7 tabering =b> beating; 3:19 bruit =b> report. Habakkuk 1:4 slacked =b> not enforced.
Pray for Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts in Nepal for the week sponsored by Patricia Calhoun • Staff: Ken Sharp • Country: Grenada (97,000) southernmost of the Windward Islands • Major language: English • Religious freedom • 61% Roman Catholic; 31% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for understanding of His will as you read the Word of God (Psa. 25:5).
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Timothy 2:12