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Bible Pathways 09/26/04

September 26

Read Nahum 1 - Habakkuk 3

In Today's Reading:

Prophecy and fulfillment of Nineveh's destruction; vision of coming woes; Habakkuk's prayer

About 150 years had passed since the revival of Jonah's day when all of Nineveh repented and fasted (Jonah 3:5-10). However, as the years passed, several generations of Ninevites failed to teach their children about the One True God who had spared their lives, so they returned to their sinful behavior. The time had now come for God to judge them. Judah was oppressed by Assyria, but the prophet Nahum foretold its freedom if the Israelites remained faithful to God. He appealed to them: O Judah, keep your solemn feasts, perform your vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through you; he is utterly cut off (Nahum 1:15).

Assyria was probably the most brutal of all the ancient heathen nations, and its capital Nineveh had greatly enriched itself by wars. Through Nahum, God forewarned: Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery. . . . Nineveh is laid waste. . . . the sword shall cut you off (3:1,7,15). Nineveh was destroyed exactly as foretold. That once-mighty city is still laid waste as a witness to the accuracy of the Word of God.

Habakkuk foretold the coming judgment that God would bring on His idol-worshiping people in Judah by using Babylon to punish them. O LORD, You have ordained them (Judah) for judgment; and, O mighty God, You have established (ordained) them for correction (Habakkuk 1:12; compare II Corinthians 4:17). He also foretold the judgment of God upon Babylon for its destruction of Judah: The violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon, shall the inhabitant of Zion say. . . . And Babylon shall become heaps (Jeremiah 51:33-37).

Since we do not know all the facts, in the midst of our numerous, perplexing injustices, where too often evil seems to triumph, we should not express doubt in the Holy One (Habakkuk 1:12) by asking: Why me? or Why did He allow this to happen? God is just as uncompromising toward sin today as He was then. Yet the Lord always 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 (refuge) in the day of trouble; and He knows (loves) them that trust in Him (Nahum 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).

Christ Revealed:

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

Word Studies:

Nahum 1:5 burned = collapses, laid waste; 1:12 quiet = strong, safe, secure; 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:

Pray for BP Staff: Ken Sharp · Government Official: Rep. Sue Kelly (NY) · Country: Spain (39 million) in southwestern Europe · Major languages: Castilian Spanish and Catalan · Limited religious freedom · 94% Roman Catholic; .5% Protestant

Prayer Suggestion: Go to God in prayer with a heart and life that are keeping His Commandments and He will answer you (I John 4:7-8).

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 15:1

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