2011-08-28 - Holding God's People Accountable
Part 12 ~ Nahum
We have been considering the relationship between God's love and mercy, and righteousness and judgment. We have seen they go hand-in-hand. One side is a blessing to those who are the children of God while the other side is a warning to those who are in rebellion against God. The specific message of Nahum moves beyond warning, with the goal of repentance, to a promise of judgment to those who reject God's mercy.
Nahum has brought God's message of mercy to Israel. Where once God had used Assyria as His instrument of judgment, that instrument was withdrawn, and instead would fall under the hand of God's judgment.
"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." ? 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" (Nahum 1:12-13, 15).
The message to Nineveh is the worst one an individual or a nation can even hear, though sadly those who hear it don't care.
"I am against you," declares the LORD Almighty. "I will burn up your chariots in smoke, and the sword will devour your young lions. I will leave you no prey on the earth. The voices of your messengers will no longer be heard."
"When Assyria touched Israel, God said, "Behold, I am against thee!" This is inevitable if God be true to His promise to Abraham. He had solemnly promised that in just such instances He would curse those who cursed the seed of Abraham. The truth of God's dictum is written in the fate of Nineveh. But the first portion of the promise to Abraham is also true. God has also bound Himself to bless those who bless Israel."
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