I have been camping out in Jonah for about six weeks now. Slowly reading, re-reading and taking notes and I pray that when the time comes I will be able to share all of this with you.
I also am part of a One Chapter a day bible reading group. Today we began Nahum and to my surprise here I am reading about Ninevah and the disobedient Ninevites again!! A century later after Jonah preached against them and they repented and were not destroyed by God, here they are again disobeying and angering God! Jonah 3:6 tells us that even the king of Ninevah repented and fasted. Jonah 3:10 says “God saw their actions–they had turned from their evil ways–so God relented from the disaster he had threatened them with. And he did not do it.” And a century later Nahum writes in verses 3:18-19 “King of Assyria, your shepherd slumber, your officers sleep. Your people are scattered across the mountains with no one to gather them together. There is no remedy for your injury; your wound is severe. All who hear the news about you will clap their hands because of you, for who has not experienced your constant cruelty?”
The king in Jonah’s time gathered his people together to repent and fast and to “turn from his evil ways and from wrongdoing.: (Jonah 3:8b).
The king in Nahum’s time had people who were scattered and who would celebrate his death.
What happened to the people of Ninevah during this in between time? Was it a fast decline back to their evil ways or was it slow mindless meandering that led them back? Were the people not intentional in following God and obeying His commands? Did they slip a little here and there? Maybe they decided public prayer was no longer needed. Maybe the people didn’t support one another and became afraid of their neighbors instead of getting to know them and loving them. Maybe their work and entertainment became more important than reaching out to others and sharing life and love. Maybe they just decided it wasn’t fun to follow God. Maybe they felt that the world was falling in around them and they had nowhere to turn so they joined the world in that fall. Maybe it was just easier and more fun to do what everyone else was doing instead of remembering the grace God had showed them when He saved them from destruction.
Over and over in my life I have battled between being good and having fun and living a life of faith and walking with the Lord. Over and over I have asked for forgiveness and rededicated myself to the Lord. Over and over I have failed and walked in the world instead of the Word. I dont want to be like the Ninevites of Nahum! I want God to see that I have repented and to save me from myself! And I pray that the generations that come after me will be followers of God and not followers of the world. It isn’t easy but it is worth it! We do not have to walk in the world. We can be different. We can be strong in the Lord! Our future generations depend on it!
“Turn away from evil and do what is good, and settle there permanently. For the Lord loves justice and will not abandon his faithful one. They are kept safe forever, but the children of the wicked will be destroyed.” Psalm 37:27-28
What is one thing you can do today for the generations that will follow you?
Be well, dwell with God, in His Word and with His people!