The Journey - May 13, 2014

The Journey with Ron Moore

Trust God | Nahum 1:1-15

Nahum 1:1-15 An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite. 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. 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. He rebukes the sea and dries it up; he makes all the rivers run dry. Bashan and Carmel wither and the blossoms of Lebanon fade. The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it. Who can withstand his indignation? Who can endure his fierce anger? His wrath is poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before him. The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him, but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will pursue his foes into darkness. Whatever they plot against the LORD he will bring to an end; trouble will not come a second time. They will be entangled among thorns and drunk from their wine; they will be consumed like dry stubble. From you, O Nineveh, has one come forth who plots evil against the LORD and counsels wickedness. This is what the LORD says: "Although they have allies and are numerous, they will be cut off and pass away. Although I have afflicted you, O Judah, I will afflict you no more. Now I will break their yoke from your neck and tear your shackles away." The LORD has given a command concerning you, Nineveh: "You will have no descendants to bear your name. I will destroy the carved images and cast idols that are in the temple of your gods. I will prepare your grave, for you are vile." Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace! Celebrate your festivals, O Judah, and fulfill your vows. No more will the wicked invade you; they will be completely destroyed.

Some people are slow learners or fast back-sliders. A century after Nineveh repented under Jonah’s reluctant preaching, the Ninevites were back in their cycle of disobedience. God would not let his people, who were characterized by idolatry, violence, and arrogance, to suffer any longer under the Ninevites’ cruel rule. While Jonah tells the story of God holding back his judgment, in Nahum God lets it fly. Nineveh was proud of its towering wall, which stood between 80 and 100 feet high, and its 150 feet wide and 60 feet deep moat. But against God, human defenses are shattered like a baby rattler under a truck tire. (For clarification: a baby’s plastic rattler, not a baby rattle snake. But either way…)

According to his plan, God raised up the Babylonians to conquer Nineveh. In fact, the overwhelming flood (1.8) occurred when the Tigris River overflowed and destroyed a part of the wall so that the Babylonians could get through. Under the Babylonian king Nabopolassar and his son, Nebuchadnezzar, Assyria was obliterated. After their destruction in 612 BC, the site was not rediscovered until 1842 AD.

Nahum teaches us this: Trust God as your ally in difficult times. Challenges will come. Illness will throw us for a loop. Relationships may break our heart. Death of loved ones will bring overpowering waves of grief. But he is always preparing for our deliverance. For the believer, the best is always yet to come. In the end, WE WIN!!!!!

Father, in our trial of today remind us of our victory in your Son through eternity. Thank you for always being our ally! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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