Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Nahum: A Prophet of Doom (Nahum 1:9) - Provoking the Lord

What do you plot against the Lord?
    He will make a complete end;
    trouble will not rise up a second time.

Most of us who have reached adulthood can recall specific individuals who, in one form or another, plotted against another and go away with it. Perhaps it was a classmate who wanted to skip class, so they made up an excuse about being sick or a dying grandmother. Or maybe that classmate failed to study for an exam and came up with the idea of sneaking in a cheat sheet.

Maybe we knew of a friend who was given a traffic ticket, took it to court, and used some lame excuse to have the ticket reduced or even dismissed. Maybe it was a more serious matter such as a friend to whom we provided an excuse for their extra marital activities.

Man enjoys devising schemes to enable them to sin and get away with it. Some men become so good at it that their entire life is a lie consisting of such plots.

The warning has been given to Nineveh for their sin. But there are probably some who are already plotting some excuse for their behavior. They are devising a scheme in order to fool their accuser. Nahum asks the rhetorical question, “What do you plot against the Lord?” “Plot” or “contrive” indicates their intent. They might get away with such schemes when standing before men. But do they really think they can devise some plot against YAHWEH?

Oh, how many of us are already plotting our schemes for escaping that final judgment to be given by our God? We have sinned and realize punishment awaits us. But, we are fast talkers, we are clever cheaters, we can get away with anything. True, if we are fast talking or cleverly cheating another man. However, do you honestly believe you will escape the God of the universe? What a fool you are if you truly believe that.

Nahum, for a second time, says, “He will make a complete end.” Observe two clear revealed truths in this phrase. First, “complete end” is “destruction”. Nineveh is the capital of the great Assyrian empire which conquered the entire Middle East. But their destruction is certain. Second, it is “He”, Yahweh, who will bring that destruction. No, Nineveh, you can’t fast talk this God.

“Well, if I can scheme against God, I still have hope. Remember, God is a good God, a kind God, a merciful God. Perhaps, as He did in the days of Jonah, He will provide a stay of execution.”

“Trouble will not rise up a second time.” No, there time has come and gone. The extent of God’s patience towards Nineveh and Assyria has reached its limit. There will be no reprieve, only destruction.

Make no mistake, reader, your end has been foretold by God. If you are a sinner, your end is your eternal destruction. Perhaps God will be patient with you and provide you another opportunity. Perhaps not. As the writer says, “Today is the day of salvation.”

Do not scheme against God. It will not save you. Turn to Christ while the opportunity remains.

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