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Bible Pathways 9/26/2001

September 26

Read Nahum 1 -- Habakkuk 3

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: 8,10). But the Ninevites failed to teach their children about the One True God who had spared them. So, Nineveh, the capital of Syria, which controlled the world, had long since returned to its former sinful behavior. The time had now come for God to judge this cruel, wicked people. The prophet Nahum foretold freedom to Judah, which was oppressed by Assyria, if they remained faithful. 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. 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. . . . O king of Assyria . . . your people are scattered on the mountains (3:1,7,15,18). Nineveh was destroyed exactly as foretold. That once great-city still lies in ruins as a witness to the consequence of ignoring the Word of God.

Habakkuk foretold the coming judgment that God would bring upon His idol-worshiping people in Judah 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, You, O Mighty God, have established them for correction (Habakkuk 1:12; compare Romans 5:3; II Corinthians 4:17; Hebrews 2:10; 12:10-11).

In the midst of numerous, perplexing injustices where evil seems to triumph, since we do not know all the facts, we dare not 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 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 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 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 2:4,14; 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 means collapses, laid waste; 1:12 quiet means strong; 1:14 no more of your name be sown means nothing of your name be born; 2:7 tabering means beating; 3:19 bruit means report. Habakkuk 1:4 slacked means powerless.

Prayer Needs:
Government Officials: Rep. Sue Kelly (NY) · BPM Staff: Ken Sharp · Pray for Joseph Habibi, Abundant Life Center, editorial assistant for Arabic translation · Country: Bangladesh (127 million) in southern Asia · Major languages: Bangla and English · Present religious freedom may become limited · 87% Muslim; 12% Hindu; .2% Roman Catholic; .2% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray to the Lord with earnestness night and day (I Thessalonians 3:10).

Memory Verse for the Week: Luke 6:31

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