The Last Word
Mighty and Just God, I praise You for Your holiness and righteousness. I’m grateful that You uphold justice for all.
Read Nahum 3:1-19
 Woe to the city of blood, full of lies, full of plunder, never without victims!  The crack of whips, the clatter of wheels, galloping horses and jolting chariots!  Charging cavalry, flashing swords and glittering spears! Many casualties, piles of dead, bodies without number, people stumbling over the corpses-  all because of the wanton lust of a prostitute, alluring, the mistress of sorceries, who enslaved nations by her prostitution and peoples by her witchcraft.  “I am against you,” declares the LORD Almighty. “I will lift your skirts over your face. I will show the nations your nakedness and the kingdoms your shame.  I will pelt you with filth, I will treat you with contempt and make you a spectacle.  All who see you will flee from you and say, ‘Nineveh is in ruins-who will mourn for her?’ Where can I find anyone to comfort you?”  Are you better than Thebes, situated on the Nile, with water around her? The river was her defense, the waters her wall.  Cush and Egypt were her boundless strength; Put and Libya were among her allies.  Yet she was taken captive and went into exile. Her infants were dashed to pieces at every street corner. Lots were cast for her nobles, and all her great men were put in chains.  You too will become drunk; you will go into hiding and seek refuge from the enemy.  All your fortresses are like fig trees with their first ripe fruit; when they are shaken, the figs fall into the mouth of the eater.  Look at your troops- they are all weaklings. The gates of your land are wide open to your enemies; fire has consumed the bars of your gates.  Draw water for the siege, strengthen your defenses! Work the clay, tread the mortar, repair the brickwork!  There the fire will consume you; the sword will cut you down- they will devour you like a swarm of locusts. Multiply like grasshoppers, multiply like locusts!  You have increased the number of your merchants till they are more numerous than the stars in the sky, but like locusts they strip the land and then fly away.  Your guards are like locusts, your officials like swarms of locusts that settle in the walls on a cold day- but when the sun appears they fly away, and no one knows where.  King of Assyria, your shepherds slumber; your nobles lie down to rest. Your people are scattered on the mountains with no one to gather them.  Nothing can heal you; your wound is fatal. All who hear the news about you clap their hands at your fall, for who has not felt your endless cruelty? 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.
ReflectWhat terrifying words from ch. 2 are repeated here?
“Woe to the city of blood” (1). When a prophet speaks “woe” to a city or, as Jesus did, to the Pharisees (Matt. 23:27; Luke 11:43), they are in danger of terrible judgment. Nineveh, the great warrior city, is full of blood, plunder and lies (1). She led her many captive nations into her evil idolatry (4). God’s righteous judgment could no longer be withheld. The Lord repeats his horrifying words of 2:13: “I am against you!” If God is for us, no one can stand against us (Rom. 8:31), but if God is against us, no one can protect us. The great, proud city will not be able to avoid the coming judgment (12,13), so it will suffer great humiliation (5). This pitiless people will be shown no pity (6,10). God’s judgment is sure. The Babylonians and Medes invaded Assyria and after two long years of terrible warfare, Nineveh fell. Nahum knew this would be the occasion for great rejoicing among the other nations which had been the victim of Assyria’s “endless cruelty” (19). Nahum’s prophecy reminds us that persistent, unrepentant sin will be punished. God will uphold justice.
Pray about any instances of injustice, large or small, you’re aware of. Ask God to uphold justice quickly.
Righteous God, give me a heart for justice. Show me some ways that I can promote justice in my world.
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