10 For they are like entangled thorns,
like drunkards as they drink;
they are consumed like stubble fully dried.
Practical jokes were a common feature of college life. This was especially true for those of us living in the dorms. Our dorm-mates, including our roommates, were constantly plotting harmless pranks against one another. You see, you wanted to pull off the prank but have some way to give yourself an alibi. This way, you could repeat the prank at various times without your victim knowing who was responsible.
Thus, it is with schemers. Some in Nineveh were developing the plans against Yahweh. When His judgment fell, they believed they would, somehow, deceive the Lord and not receive the punishment.
Nahum disagrees. They will not escape. To prove his point, he describes such plotters using three illustrations of such individuals.
First, they are “entangled thorns”. Such thorns are sharp and painful on all sides. No matter how you grab them, they hurt. The contrivers are like that. They are evil, wicked, angry, furious, outspoken at ever turn. Every characteristic of their behavior is like that of a thorn.
Second, they are “drinking drunkards”. A drunkard has already lost all self-control. They can’t even walk across a room in a straight line. Furthermore, they are oblivious to their surroundings. And those in Nineveh devising their plans against the Lord have not only lost self-control and awareness, they continue to drink!
Lastly, they are fully dried stubble. Such matter catches fire quickly and burns completely. It will be fully consumed.
To believe you can escape the Lord’s judgment by some ill-devised plan is foolishness. You may be as wicked (or even more so) than the entangled thorns of the Assyrians, yet you will be consumed. You may have lost all self-control and awareness of your eternal state, but that will not excuse you on that last day. Your thorns and your drunken stupor place you in the condition of fully dried stubble. When God’s judgment falls, you will be consumed.
Some of us are like those in Nineveh. We live our lives every day, oblivious to God and His Word. We do what we want to do and, at times, are aware what we do is wrong or even wicked. Each of us is like a ball of entangled thorns.
From day to day, we stumble through life as though we are drinking drunkards. We are unaware of God, His Word, and His coming judgment. We have lost all self-control and the ability to change our behavior and our future.
If we would look at our lives from God’s perspective, we would see ourselves as fully dried stubble. All that awaits our consummation is a match! That match, God’s fire, is coming. We will burn. We will be punished. We will be destroyed throughout eternity.
Praise God, He has provided us with a way out! Jesus has lived and died for sinners. He has borne the punishment for every sin committed by those given to Him by the Father. Now, He calls on us to repent (turn from our wicked ways) and believe (trust) in Him.
Will you call upon Jesus this day?