When we think of God we generally only see Him from whatever side our hearts and faith are coming from. What I mean by that is, we generally look upon God as loving, kind, and compassionate, and those things are all true. As a matter of fact we could backup each one of those attributes with Bible verses.
But there are times when life isn’t going so fair and we might have a little different perspective of God. We might question His involvement with our lives or the lack of His involvement, as if He’s left us all alone. Or we might sense His displeasure with us and feel His heavy hand on our hearts (by the way – that’s the Holy Spirit and that’s not a bad thing!)
But hardly ever do we think of God as having had enough of us and pulling the plug on us. However, I believe there does come a time when God allows us to come to the end of our rope because we have become too prideful and too arrogant. We’ve walked away from His grace and favor and though He has been calling us back, we’ve ignored His voice. He’s called us back to repentance, but we stuck our chest out, held our head high and kept walking.
Today I read the book of Nahum. It’s only three chapters, towards the end of the Old Testament. Those three little chapters tell the prophetic account of the downfall of Assyria. They were a powerful country, with mighty leaders, but they decided they didn’t need God. As a matter of fact the king of Assyria thought he was god and insulted the living God of Israel.
Now, none of that might seem all that important, until you understand a few things.
The capital city of Assyria was Nineveh (now that rings a bell, doesn’t it!) Yes, this the Nineveh that Jonah went to, to tell to repent and turn to God. The whole city was saved. Assyria (Nineveh) and Israel were sworn enemies, that’s why Jonah wanted the city to be destroy and didn’t want God to save it.
The book of Jonah was written between 793-753 B.C. and the book of Nahum was written shortly before 612 B.C. because that was when Nineveh collapsed. So roughly in 150 years, Nineveh lost it’s way and forgot all about God.
Assyria (Nineveh) though it is no more, is in present day Iraq.
Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: First, remember that God wants all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Second, remember that the greatest gift you’ve been given is your faith in Jesus Christ. Don’t ever take that for granted or put it on the back burner of your life. Third, don’t ever believe the lie that you’re God or you can do without God. Nineveh did and lost it all!
Thank You for Nahum’s prophetic word. It’s not just history, it still has a message for our lives today. Jesus, it’s in Your name I pray, Amen.
Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen
Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.