I read Nahum this morning. I'll point out a few things that struck me.
"The Lord 's Anger Against Nineveh
2 The LORD is a jealous and avenging God;
the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath.
The LORD takes vengeance on his foes
and maintains his wrath against his enemies.
3 The LORD is slow to anger and great in power;
the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished.
His way is in the whirlwind and the storm,
and clouds are the dust of his feet."
Reading that kind of stresses me out. Yet we read...
9 "Whatever they plot against the LORD
he will bring to an end;
trouble will not come a second time.
11 From you, O Nineveh, has one come forth
who plots evil against the LORD
and counsels wickedness."
Do I plot against the Lord? Do I counsel wickedness? Do any of you? I doubt it. The Lord had a good reason to be angry with Ninevah. The introductory page in my Bible stated that Jonah had been prophesying in Ninevah almost 100 years earlier, yet it is interesting to note the evil and wickedness that had overtaken the place since then. How quickly this can happen.
SInce I have been in the Old Testament a lot this year, I have sensed a certain pattern. It seems as though it is a vicious cycle: people hearing prophets speak the word of God, people listening and believing, people eventually returning to their evil nature/ways, wickedness and idolatry consuming a nation, God becoming angry and placing His judgment and desctruction upon them, and then we are often brought back to the beginning. It resembles human nature, really. We are naturally sinful creatures, prone to wander, complain, and turn from the narrow road. But what are we called to do?
7 "The LORD is good,
a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him,
8 but with an overwhelming flood
he will make an end of Nineveh ;
he will pursue his foes into darkness."
"He cares for those who trust in him." Do you trust Him....with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength? He deserves us in our entirety. He doesn't want 99.9%, He wants ALL of us. I know I've used this verse before, but I find it such a comfort... 1 Peter 5:7, "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." Let Him know how you feel. Sometimes, I'm like, "Ok, obviously God KNOWS how I feel," but to completey surrender to Him requires a pouring out of self. The Lord wants our hearts.
This book reminded me over the bible study I heard last night at ISU- 40 years crammed into 40 minutes about the children of Israel. We got to see another one of those cycles I'm talking about... and the punishment/consequences of wandering in the desert for 40 years as a result. There is a spiritual parallel to learn from, there: Trust in God. Obey God. Do not turn from God. Be faithful to Him, and He will be faithful to you.
Completely reject that advice and you can experience God's wrath and punishment.
Alright... time to step off my soap box...
I like to share this prophecy, though, because I find it fascinating. We don't often read out of Nahum or Habbakuk or Micah or any of those books at church... we rather get caught up in the Psalms and Jeremiah and Isaiah, etc. which are wonderful... but so is Nahum. :-)
I hope you all have a fabulous weekend... and, I love you all.