Friday, July 13, 2012

Today is Nahum Day!

Yesterday I read the story of Jonah, where Jonah was charged by God to go to Nineveh and tell them that unless they repent they would be destroyed in 40 days. I've never read Nahum before and in the first sentence it says it's an oracle concerning Nineveh. I was immediately interested in Nineveh so decided to do a little research and this is what I found (according to eSword, Magdalena Rebel on the Yahoo! Contributor Network, http://www.christiananswers.net/, and at christiansofiraq.com/cityofnineveh.htm):

After reading Nahum it was pretty obvious that it's an enemy of Israel and there were 4 that I specifically remember from reading Joel: Assyria, Babylon, Greece, and Rome (remember the locusts?). Nineveh was a large city in the country of Assyria, located on the Tigris River, now known as Iraq. It had 15 gates (each dedicated to a different god they served) to its heavily walled city and had the largest castle for it's time - complete with a library! From what I gather it was around the 600's BC that they were destroyed and left in ruins by the Medes and Babylonians, thus destroying the Assyrian empire. This apparently was rather shocking because they were mighty... hm, wonder who's in control?
Picture taken from http://voices.yahoo.com/image/169519/index.html?cat=37 showing what remains of one of the gates of Nineveh.
I love history, so I found this little "study" interesting. The British Museum and a Museum in Baghdad both hold ancient Assyrian ruins discovered in this buried city. I would LOVE to check those out. Now that I have a little bit of background knowledge concering Nineveh this text is much easier to understand.

Join me in reading Nahum!

Nahum had a vision concerning the great city of Nineveh and it's destruction. I'm assuming Nahum is a prophet.

I highlighted 1:2-10 because it shows God's sovereignty and power. The Assyrians were a great and mighty nation, but "Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger?" (1:6) and "What do you plot against the Lord? He will make a complete end; trouble will not rise up a second time." (1:9) Those verses amaze me because they didn't start excavating the ruins until the late 1800's (I believe...) and the city had completely disappeared!

Some verses that show his power:
  • "His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebukes the sea and makes it dry; he dries up all the rivers; Bashan and Carmel wither; the bloom of Lebanon withers. The mountains quake before him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, the world and all who dwell in it." (1:3-4)
  • "His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him." (1:6)
In 1:2 the Lord is taking revenge on Assyria for the trouble it's given Israel, God's chosen people. God does not forget, "The Lord is a jealous and avenging God, the Lord is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies."

Verse 3 shows God's patience, "... slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty."

Everything described in Nahum, obviously happened to the city of Nineveh, to the Assyrian empire. What God says, will be. He is a God to fear, but He is also a God to trust because He does not change.
  • 1:12 "Though they are at full strength and many, they wiil be cut down and pass away."
  • 1:14 "No more shall your name be perpetuated; from the house of your gods I will cut off the carved image and the metal image. I will make your grave, for you are vile."
  • 1:15 "Keep your feasts, O Judah; fulfill your vows, for never again shall the worthless pass through you; he is utterly cut off."
Chapter 2 and 3 describes the utter destruction of the city. Right down to the babies! "... her infants were dashed into pieces at the head of every street..." (2:10) They were utterly destroyed! Again, God's word stands true.

It sounds like the nations around Assyria praised the end because in 3:19 it says, "All who hear the news about you clap their hands over you. For upon whom has not come your unceasing evil?"

God is in control. His sovereignty is obvious in every single book I've read so far. Nahum was an excellent reminder of His power, sovereignty, and trustworthiness - He is a God of His word!

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As I read through the Bible I'm amazed at what I've learned not only about history, but about my God and His unchanging attributes. Join me as I pick up my reading on Monday with the book of Habakkuk. If you just jumped on the bandwagon and have no idea what I'm talking about, check out my other entries and join me as I try to read the Bible through this year:

Read the Bible in a Year Plan
Old Testament Daily Readings
* If you decide to join me, please remember that what I write here are my initial observations. I am by no means a historian or Bible expert. I am simply spending one day each day reading and observing what God has to say, therefore, do not take what I say as absolute truth! I am human!

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