Nahum 3:3,5,6—Charging horseman, flashing sword, shining spear; heaps of slain, mounds of corpses, dead bodies without end—they stumble over their dead . . . I am against you. This is the declaration of the LORD of Hosts. I will lift your skirts over your face and display your nakedness to nations, your shame to kingdoms. I will throw filth on you and treat you with contempt; I will make a spectacle of you.
Contorted body images flash across the screen of those watching the news. Daily protestors fall slain in streets before the bullets of tyrants. Cries for freedom are met by ruthless rockets. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad refuses to allow democracy but as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, his rule will end. Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatens to build nuclear weapons to destroy Israel. Iran supplies weapons and trains fighters to kill and terrorize any who oppose her agenda. How long before God lifts her skirt and shames her kingdom?
Whenever a nation embraces wickedness know with certainty that God is against her. The main theme of the book of Nahum is God’s impending judgment of Nineveh—the powerful Assyrian capital. God paid her back for her ruthless treatment of her enemies and for mocking Him. His past hand of judgment is not presently asleep. God does not let evil run completely unrestrained.
To be made a spectacle; to be treated with contempt by heaven is a sure indicator that God is provoked. He does not destroy righteous nations. Countries beset with strife and ablaze with chaos reflect the shame that comes from feeding evil. There is no such thing as an enduring immoral empire—the cost of iniquity is eventually paid by the blood of its perpetrators.
But what nation on earth is righteous? The problem so often with those of us who love God is that we like to cheer when the bad guy gets what is coming to him. Would the charging horseman God hates begun riding if there had been fasting saints alert to manifest His love? Whenever there is a spectacle there is always a story behind it. Over a hundred years before Nahum, Jonah shared with Nineveh of God’s impending judgment and the people repented. What happened? Were there no righteous people to continue speaking? Nahum wrote, “The LORD is good, a stronghold in a day of distress; He cares for those who take refuge in Him” (1:7). Too bad the Assyrians lost that truth. May we fear God’s hand and pray that before any are shamed, they might be saved. Spectacles are nothing to celebrate.
In the end that Face which is the delight or the terror of the universe must be turned upon each of us either with one expression or with the other, either conferring glory inexpressible or inflicting shame that can never be cured or disguised. —C.S. Lewis in The Weight of Glory
©2012 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)