Today’s Bible Reading: Nahum 1-3:19; Revelation 8:1-13; Psalm 136:1-26; Proverbs 30:7-9
Today we read the brief 3-chapter book of Nahum in which he issues a warning to Ninevah, the capital city of Assyria.
God is a jealous God (Nahum 1:2). But unlike human jealousy which is based on selfishness, God’s jealousy is based on selflessness. God is jealous for us (not jealous of us) because He knows how detrimental it is for us to have other gods in our life like career, fame, money, sex, etc. He knows that He is the best thing for us and He gets angry when we stray too far from Him, although He is not quick-tempered (Nahum 1:3). God will gently prod us to get back on track, like a shepherd does to sheep who stray too far out of line. But if we don’t respond then His proddings get more and more assertive in order to get our attention. Sadly, most people just continue to ignore Him.
Just 100 years before, Ninevah heard a similar warning from Jonah and repented. But now it seems that they have backslidden so God sends them another, stronger, message this time through Nahum. We know that Ninevah did not repent a secnd time as the city was destroyed in 612 BC which was about 50 years after Nahum was written. God’s warning of complete destruction (Nahum1:14) came true as Ninevah was so completely destroyed that it was lost to history for centuries. But then in 1840 a city was unearthed in modern-day Iraq near the present city of Mosul. That city turned out to be Ninevah. The more we dig out of the ground the more proof we have that the Bible is 100% accurate.
One of the things that God had against Ninevah was that it exported its immorality (Nahum 3:4). The same can be said of the United States. Some of our sins we have exported officially – such as forcing other nations to adopt the practice of abortion in order to receive financial aid from us. Others have been exported more subtly such as our television programs that are broadcast overseas. Just like people were “enchanted” with the powerful and wealthy Ninevah, people all over the world have been enamored with the United States for decades (perhaps not so much recently, though).
But what impresses man does not impress God. God saw the evil of Ninevah and destroyed them (not before several warnings). The United States would be wise to learn a lesson from history so as to not end up as Ninevah did. But considering the way we are feverishly removing the Bible and Christianity from our country, its doubtful that many (or even any) of our leaders are willing to read the Bible to understand what our future holds if we don’t.
Today Jesus breaks the seventh seal on the scroll He was given by God and the result is complete silence throughout heaven for 30 minutes. Apparently the angels knew what was coming and it was so bad that they were unable to speak. Perhaps the were praying silently. No matter what, as we’ll see the first 6 judgements were bad; the ones that come next are even worse.
The next seven judgements are initiated by seven angels each blowing a trumpet (Revelation 8:2). The first trumpet destroys vegetation (Revelation 8:7). The second trumpet and third destroy the seas and fresh waters, respectively (Revelation 8:8-11). The result of the fourth trumpet is the darkening of the sun, moon, and stars (Revelation 8:13).
Its interesting that God only destroys one-third of nature and the heavens in each of these judgements. God is certainly powerful enough to destroy 100% of them at once. But He will hold back. He actually preserves more than He destroys – initially. There are still more judgements to come.
These events will be so destructive and so sudden that those people who are alive on the earth at this time will have no doubt that they are coming from God. Then they will have a choice. Some will choose to be humbled by these events, believe in God, repent of their sins and go to heaven. But others will dig in their heels against God and continue to hold onto their pride. Through all of this God is trying to get people to believe in Him. He isn’t going to do any of this to hurt us, but to save us.
Before any of this happens God will remove believers from the earth in an event known at The Rapture. So no one alive today has to experience any of these judgements. All you have to do is agree with God about your sinful nature (the Bible calls this agreement “repentance”) and accept His offer of forgiveness through Jesus death on the cross. Anyone who does this before The Rapture will be spared the horrors of the Great Tribulation period we are now reading about.
If you’re keeping score that’s eleven judgements down and ten to go. The worst is yet to come (Revelation 8:13).
What a great prayer in Proverbs 30:8-9. The author asks for not too much in life and not too little – just enough to satisfy his needs (not his wants). The reasoning behind this request is sound: too much or too little wealth can cause people to sin.
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