Monday, 25 April 2022
“Your enemy is coming to crush you, Nineveh. Man the ramparts! Watch the roads! Prepare your defenses! Call out your forces! Even though the destroyer has destroyed Judah, the LORD will restore its honor. Israel's vine has been stripped of branches, but He will restore its splendor”. (Nah 2:1-2 NLT)
Story of Nineveh
Today's reading tells the story of the fall of Nineveh. This is the great city, which had heard the word of God and repented during the time of the prophet Jonah; around 150 years before this was written. Now they have gone back from their commitments and have filled up their part to receive the just punishment from God. In chapter 1 we see how God deals with the sins of the world: The LORD is slow to get angry, but His power is great, and He never lets the guilty go unpunished…. (Nah 1:3). Even though He is slow to anger, He will never allow the ungodly go without punishment. He waits patiently and gives them ample time to repent and be right with God. As they finish these times of waiting; then God turns against them and becomes their enemy. Once the anger of God is upon a nation, then nobody can defend the city or nation against God's anger- He will destroy them utterly. We need to understand that God is in absolute control over all the situations that are happening around the world against His elect. There is a day kept for His vengeance against the ungodly.
Two types of Punishment
Here in the above verses we see a comparison between the two types of punishments which are typical in God's dealings. He had used the Assyrians to chastise His chosen ones—the people of Judah. But now when the time of His chastisement was over, He overturns everything. Now His wrath is against the same Assyrians, who were used by God as a rod of chastisement. When He deals with the ungodly, He deals harshly according to their sins, whereas for all those people who are covenanted with Him, He chastises them. Judah was punished for her own good because God wanted them to repent and come back, whereas Nineveh would be utterly destroyed because of their ungodliness.
God’s Action Justified
Many in today’s world see/feel that God is not doing anything against the ungodly and they are going unpunished for their wickedness. Psalmist David tells clearly how God deals with them: Don't worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither. (Psalm 37:1-2). God has a time to act!
In our day, what Apostle Peter wrote in his epistle is relevant: 2 Peter 3:4-10: They will say, "What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created." ---- the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. --- The Lord isn't really being slow about His promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.” God is giving ample chance for people to leave their wickedness and folly and turn to Him before the day He judges the earth.
A word of Caution: “Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live!” (2 Peter 3:11)