Almighty Father, I praise You today for Your unfailing love, Your perfect justice and Your many tender mercies.
Read Nahum 2:1-13
 An attacker advances against you, Nineveh. Guard the fortress, watch the road, brace yourselves, marshal all your strength!  The LORD will restore the splendor of Jacob like the splendor of Israel, though destroyers have laid them waste and have ruined their vines.  The shields of the soldiers are red; the warriors are clad in scarlet. The metal on the chariots flashes on the day they are made ready; the spears of juniper are brandished.  The chariots storm through the streets, rushing back and forth through the squares. They look like flaming torches; they dart about like lightning.  Nineveh summons her picked troops, yet they stumble on their way. They dash to the city wall; the protective shield is put in place.  The river gates are thrown open and the palace collapses.  It is decreed that Nineveh be exiled and carried away. Her female slaves moan like doves and beat on their breasts.  Nineveh is like a pool whose water is draining away. “Stop! Stop!” they cry, but no one turns back.  Plunder the silver! Plunder the gold! The supply is endless, the wealth from all its treasures!  She is pillaged, plundered, stripped! Hearts melt, knees give way, bodies tremble, every face grows pale.  Where now is the lions’ den, the place where they fed their young, where the lion and lioness went, and the cubs, with nothing to fear?  The lion killed enough for his cubs and strangled the prey for his mate, filling his lairs with the kill and his dens with the prey.  “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.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy is there now no hope for Nineveh (13)?
Is God in control? Nahum has no doubt. God raises nations up (2), brings others low (13). Every nation is both precious to God (Isa. 19:25) and accountable to God (Isa. 10:5-7). God had already shown Nineveh great love and mercy (1:3; Jonah 1:2; 3:10; 4:11). One generation repented, the next did not! Nahum’s prophecy is a sober warning to nations and individuals that we mustn’t presume upon God’s mercy. In perfect justice God limits his patience. Those who continue to rebel and reject him (1:9-11) face the consequences (2:1,13; John 3:36). In 612 BC, Nineveh was attacked by a coalition of Babylonians, Medes and Scythians. According to Nahum, God is behind the attack (1,13)! It is troubling to think of our loving God allowing the destructive chaos of war. But God’s judgment on Nineveh was just: a nation grown rich from pillaging and plundering others got the same treatment (10,12,13); a nation that celebrated war (11,12) experienced its horrors (4,6-10). God allows nations to reap what they have sown. This, therefore, should encourage us to pray that our nation and others would heed God’s warnings and repent.
Use today’s news to prompt your prayers for the nations, keeping in mind the declaration of Psalm 99:1.
Lord, give me a heart to pray for my nation and others so that they might be spared Your just judgment.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Discovery is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.