ARE YOU BEING PLUNDERED?(Pt. 3)

“Nineveh, you are under attack! The power that will shatter you has come. Prepare the defenses! Guard the road! Prepare for battle! ( The Lord is about to restore the glory of Israel, as it was before her enemies plundered her)” (Nahum 2:1-2 GNT).

The mere name ” Nineveh” would have made an Israelite shudder. Known for their godlessness, violence and cruelty they were a force with which to be reckoned. Recall, the prophet Jonah disobeyed God’s call to “Go to Nineveh” and warn them of certain judgment. It took a big fish and three nights in the deep to persuade him to fulfill God’s assignment. When given a second chance, Jonah obeyed and through his preaching, Ninevah was spared…for the time being. When they turned back to their godlessness, idolatry and cruel treatment of the Israelites. Finally The Lord God said,”Enough!”. Their cup of iniquity was full due their own sins and their repeated attacks on Israel, “the apple of God’s eye”.  Their day of reckoning had come. The day of destruction was upon them.

THE TIDE TURNS

The prophet Nahum announces the turning of the tide against Israel’s enemies. “I am your enemy!” says the Lord Almighty. “I will burn up your chariots. Your soldiers will be killed in war, and I will take away everything that you took from others. The demands of your envoys will no longer be heard.” (Nahum 2: 13 GNT) God foreshadows Nineveh’s defeat in graphic terms. “The gates by the river burst open; the palace is filled with terror. The queen is taken captive; her servants moan like doves and beat their breasts in sorrow. Like water from a broken dam the people rush from Nineveh! “Stop! Stop!” the cry rings out— but no one turns back. Plunder the silver! Plunder the gold! The city is full of treasure! “I am your enemy!” says the Lord Almighty. “I will burn up your chariots. Your soldiers will be killed in war, and I will take away everything that you took from others. The demands of your envoys will no longer be heard” (Nahum 2:6-9, 13 GNT). It’s one thing to know you have an human enemy but who would want to, as it were, dare get in the ring with the Almighty?

THE GREATEST THREAT

The greatest threat to any nation is not a foreign invasion(As horrible as that would be), rather it is to have God as an enemy! “God is an honest judge. He is angry with the wicked every day” (Psalms 7:11 NLT). God’s anger is always tempered with mercy. But His throne will eventually give way to judgment, knowing what is in the heart. ““I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve”(Jeremiah 17:10 NIV).

RESTORATION & PARTICIPATION

The prophet Nahum also announced good news ,”The Lord will restore the splendor of Jacob like the splendor of Israel, though destroyers have laid them waste and have ruined their vines”(Nahum 2:2 NIV; See also Jeremiah 30). But God does not lead His people without them playing their part. As we sited earlier the prophet Isaiah’s words, they were to do three primary things so as to recover from being victim’s of Nineveh’s cruelty and plunder. (1) Exalt His Word once again in their life. Isaiah 42:”The Lord was pleased, for his righteousness’ sake, to magnify his law and make it glorious”(Isaiah 42:21 ESV). The Word of God must be held with reverence and honor as the guiding star of their life. (2) Ask For Eyes of COMPASSION. “But this is a people plundered and looted; they are all of them trapped in holes and hidden in prisons; they have become plunder with none to rescue, spoil with none to say, “Restore!” (Isaiah 42: 22 ESV)

They must see and recognize the terrible plight of their brethren, in caves and hiding; bruised, battered and wounded. The greater tragedy was that no one cared. They had become desensitized to the plight of their people. (3) Cry out to The Lord for those who have become PLUNDERED.  What are they to cry? Psalm 79 gives some prayer-words for them (and those today) who have been plundered by the enemy. “Do not remember against us our former iniquities; let your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake! Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants be known among the nations before our eyes! Let the groans of the prisoners come before you; according to your great power, preserve those doomed to die! …We your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise”(Psalm 79:8-11, 13 ESV).

(c) Copyright 2014, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not altered in anyway from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

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