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Bible Pathways - September 26, 2005

September 26

Read Nahum 1

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. They fell back into their sinful behavior and 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 thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off (destroyed) (Nahum 1:15).

Assyria was probably the most cruel and 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 thee 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, Thou hast ordained them (Judah) for judgment; and, O mighty God, Thou hast 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).

In the midst of our numerous, perplexing injustices, evil often seems to triumph; but 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 knoweth (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). Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm (Matt. 8:26-27).

Word Studies:

Nahum 1:12 quiet = strong, safe, secure; 1:14 no more of thy name be sown = nothing of your name will remain; 2:7 tabering = beating; 3:19 bruit = report. Habakkuk 1:4 slacked = not enforced.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Bett Brown · Staff: Ken Sharp · Government Official: Rep. Sue Kelly (NY) · Country: Peru (27 million) on the western coast of South America · Major languages: Spanish and Quechua · Open to evangelism and Bible distribution · 89% Roman Catholic; 4% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Bow before the Lord in a godly reverence as you pray and worship (Exodus 34:8).

Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 2:14

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