Thursday, June 8, 2017

Nahum the Prophet


Nahum prophesied about the city of Nineveh which was wealthy and very busy in commerce.  It’s civilization was advanced, but wicked at heart and the citizens were serving false gods.  
Nahum 1:14 And the LORD has given a commandment concerning you, that no more of your name be sown: out of the house of your gods, will I cut off the graven image and the molten image: I will make your grave; for you are vile.

The king was a warrior and his army had made him rich and prosperous with the spoils of war.  There was a great level of expertise and incredible accomplishments in craft and artistic endeavors.  Their furniture was intricate and beautifully fashioned.

Zephaniah 2:15  This is how the once-proud and careless city will end up--the city that was so secure. She thought to herself, "I am unique! No one can compare to me!" What a heap of ruins she has become, a place where wild animals live! Everyone who passes by her taunts her and shakes his fist.

Nahum prophesies in chapter 2 about the destruction of the city and blood running in the streets.  These were hostile angry warriors with a strategy to take a city as an act of war.  The chariots on fire will be like torches, and the city will be completely destroyed and lions will inhabit the land.

Nahum speaks in chapter 3 against the witchcraft, harlotry which God is against, and that the city was full of lies including robbery. The people were prideful and thought they were better than others.  They believed they could conquer anyone.

Approximately 150 years prior to Nahum, the prophet Jonah obeyed God and entered the large city of Nineveh which was took him a three day journey to walk the land. 
Jonah cried “Repent of your wickedness, because in 40 days God will destroy this rebellious city.”  At this time, the King put on sack cloth and ashes and cried out to God as he commanded the people to do likewise.  God was merciful and was pleased at their repentance, but Jonah was not happy, as he felt the city needed to be destroyed.  Jonah pouted and wished to die, but God spoke to Jonah and said, "Should I not spare the innocent babies and the cattle?"

The repentance of Nineveh was short lived and soon they reverted to their old ways of worshipping images and their wicked practices.

Again God’s grace had given the city time to repent, but eventually it was time to realize their shame and to face up by considering their ways.  There was no repentance, so God sent armies to totally destroy all that was then of Nineveh.  It took clever strategy to take the city of Nineveh. 
According to the words of the prophets, the city eventually became buried under much dirt and was hidden for many years.   
Today our strategy is to do spiritual warfare against the spirits of darkness.  We do not fight against flesh and blood but against a spiritual enemy.  Prayer is necessary.

We don’t like some things that are going on about us.  Many Christians especially in foreign lands are being killed and persecuted for their faith.  We must pray deliverance for our brothers and sisters who are being thus treated.

How then should we live?  Joshua declared, “Choose you this day who you will worship and serve.”  Then he added that his decision was to serve the Lord God.

Each of us has a personal responsibility to make this decision, and a wise choice is to follow Christ Jesus.


Karen said...

I love the study the books of prophecy in the Old Testament. I have friends who are present day missionaries in the region that was Nineveh, present day Mosul, Iraq, where there has been so much bloodshed and destruction.

Karen said...

Hazel, are you familiar with Fabian and Carol Grech in Irbil? Freedom to Captives is the name of their ministry. I will pray for your friends and all the missionaries and the refugees there. So wonderful to hear of people coming to Christ in such a crisis.

Unknown said...

I love your lessons. Isn't it a great reflection to know that Joshua reminds us to choose every day who we will worship and service and actually, every moment.