TODAY'S WORD FOR Monday, April 08, 2019:
The ability to make a decision or form an opinion; to pass sentence upon a formal decision given by a court or a person in authority; a divine sentence; divine punishment or condemnation.
The Lord is slow to anger and great in power and the Lord by no means will clear the guilty.
The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
It could be said that the book of Jonah has the makings of a great movie plot. It stars a reluctant prophet given a mission by God that he found distasteful. He chose to disobey God and was tragically thrown off a boat in a terrible storm and swallowed by a great fish. It has a happy ending as God spares the prophet's life which leads to his repentance and his fulfillment of his mission from God to bring the people of the wicked city of Nineveh to repentance. This is the account we receive from the book of Jonah and the result was repentance.
But in the book of Nahum (about 100 years later) the story about Nineveh has a different ending.
Yes, Nahum ministered in Nineveh about 100 years after Jonah was there. Over those years the people had again turned to their sinful ways. The Ninevites had no interest in the message that Nahum was preaching and no interest in repentance. They rejected repentance and brought on God’s judgement upon themselves.
Like so many today, they were in denial concerning their sin and rebellion against God. Assyria was the most powerful nation of that day so they believed they were invincible and that they could not possibly be destroyed. God rules over all the earth and no one can escape His authority. Nahum condemns Nineveh and on behalf of God pronounces judgment on the wicked nation for its idolatry, arrogance and cruel oppression.
God is patient. He withheld His judgment for several decades. God never judges in haste. He patiently waits for repentance but those that defy God will receive His judgment. God fulfilled Nahum's prophecy of judgment through the nation of Babylon who destroyed Nineveh and toppled the Assyrian empire.
In Nahum 1:3, Nahum preaches to the Ninevites, "The Lord is slow to anger but He will not leave the guilty unpunished." God knows those who have repented and put their trust in Him and those who trust in Him do not have to fear God’s judgment. The Ninevites did not listen and the result is that the Ninevites rejected repentance and accepted judgment.
We learn by these two accounts, Jonah and Nahum, that every generation has their individualistic responses to God and His message. In Jonah's time the people repented and God blessed them. In Nahum's time they did not repent and thus received God's judgment. We have the same choice in our lives, repentance or judgment.
Here in America we are fast becoming like Nineveh. It was not so many years ago that this country respected God. People were allowed to pray in public, and our leaders honored the Christian-Judean principles that this country was founded on. This is not so true today. Will we repent or receive God's judgment? Remember God honors those that repent of their sins and honor Him. God also judges those who rebel against Him. He has the power to destroy any nation who rejects Him. How long will God withhold His judgement?
Our memory verse for this week is found in II Timothy 4:2.
Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching.
Help my family to learn from these accounts from the Old Testament concerning how the people responded to Your prophets Jonah and Nahum. Thank You that You are patient and compassionate giving us a chance to repent of our sins. Give us the courage to stand up for what we believe and may others be able to see Christ through us and turn from their sins and accept You as their Savior.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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