THE BLOODY CITY
Suggested Reading: Nahum 3
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Key Verse: Nahum 3:18
“Your shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria; your nobles rest in the dust. Your people are scattered on the mountains, and no one gathers them.”
It is certain that Nahum knew all about the repentance before God of the king, the nobles and the people of Nineveh approximately 65 years before the writing of this book, as a result of the preaching of Jonah (Jonah 3:1-10). Nineveh, over the space of two generations, had degenerated from a God-fearing people to the people Nahum describes, a “bloody city,” “full of lies and robbery,” violence, and sexual seduction. (Nahum 3:1-4). There is sadness in Nahum’s words at the decline of the moral standards of a once upright people. In our key verse, Nahum puts the blame for this turning away from doing what is right in God’s sight directly on the business community (“merchants”), the government (“commanders”, “captains”) and religious leaders (“shepherds”), the leaders of Assyria.
We who live in the developed world have seen a huge change in moral standards over the past 65 years. From the end of the second world war until now, there has been a steady rise in violence on our streets, in our schools and in our homes. The greatest change morally has been the destruction of millions of little lives in what should be the safest place on earth, the wombs of their mothers. This holocaust against these defenceless lives must call out to God for judgment, as did the holocaust against the Jews by the Nazis. Today’s reading should teach us the terrible results when leaders abdicate their responsibility. Eventually “people are scattered”… “injury has no healing”… and the “wound is severe.”
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, I repent for not doing all I might have done to help prevent the moral decline that is obvious to anyone who studies the statistics on violence, family breakdown, sexual promiscuity, etc. I pray for grace to take a stand daily for what is right in Your eyes, holding the truth in love, and living my life with integrity. Keep me faithful to You, O Lord, in reading and making part of myself Your Holy Word every day. May I do as the Psalmist wrote, “Your Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against You!” (Psalm 119:11). May my reading today be not just in my head, but may it penetrate my innermost being. In the Name of the only sinless human Person, Your divine Son, Jesus, I pray. Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
Some scholars believe that Elkosh (Nahum 1:1), the hometown of Nahum, is Capernaum (“Kafer Nahum” – village of Nahum). After Nahum’s accurate prophesies, some say the name of his village was changed to honour him. Capernaum was the town to which Jesus moved after His rejection in Nazareth. It was the home of Matthew, Peter, Andrew, James and John. A New Testament reading today might be Matthew 4:12-17. Here “Jesus began to preach and to say, ‘Repent.'” I think that Nahum would’ve supported Jesus’ message! I’ll try to put below some pictures of the ruins of Capernaum from the time of Jesus.
I have called myself on several occasions “a champion of loosing causes.” The latest being my attempts to influence a majority of Canada’s political leaders to support the traditional and Biblical meaning of the word “Marriage.” I first met the Hon. Jim Flaherty, minister of Finance at both the provincial and federal levels, at one of my speaking engagements for this cause in the city of Oshawa. He assured me of his support. He was given a state funeral in Toronto this past Wednesday, a well-deserved tribute. We do have leaders in government who do not “slumber”, as Nahum said of the Assyrian shepherds. But there are not enough leaders who are wide awake and who stand up for just causes. While I believe the marriage issue is important, I also believe that the “slaughter of the innocents” in the abortion industry is the greatest evil in our land. We are in this respect a “bloody city” (Nahum 3:1a). Canada has absolutely no protection in law for the little ones in the womb. The final prophesy given by Jesus is worth reading again in this context (read Luke 23:28-31). May God have mercy on us!
Yours for remembering that on Good Friday, Jesus took into Himself the judgement deserved by all the sin mentioned in today’s reading, all the sins mentioned in the entire Bible, and all the sins of the human race, past, present and future. On that day, Jerusalem was truly “The bloody city.”
P.S. Jesus prophesied about the town of Nahum, Capernaum, as recorded in Matthew 11:23-30. Capernaum is only a tourist destination today. This once bustling commercial centre is uninhabited today. Here are some pictures which would seem to support Jesus’ prophecy.