Nahum, an oft-overlooked minor prophet in the Old Testament, details God’s final judgment on the neo-Assyrian Empire and its leading city, Nineveh. The prophet Jonah, famous for his episode with a fish, had preached in Nineveh a century earlier and sparked a great repentance. In the intervening decades, the Assyrians returned to their wicked ways. Nahum, while showing none of the ethnic animus that so vexed Jonah, felt burdened by the sins of the Assyrians and the oppression of Israel. He asks the Lord what He will do about it, and God replies that His patience passed its limits, Nineveh would soon be destroyed.
Nahum chapter 1 overflows with the power of God, His wrath against evil, and His determination to punish the guilty. The Lord of Hosts reminds His prophet in a thousand ways about His strength to crush His foes and save those who trust in Him. The prophet concludes chapter 1 with the joys of bringing good news – being a herald of peace.
Continue reading “Nahum – The Four Fears”
How can man approach God? People from the Aztecs to the Zulus have asked this since the dawn of humanity, and man has imagined thousands of answers. These answers boil down to three possibilities.
- Man cannot do anything to approach God, and therefore can never approach Him.
- Man does something, or a group of things, to earn the right to approach God.
- Man cannot do anything to approach God, but God in His grace brings man to Him.
These possibilities are exclusive, as each includes a world view that is inconsistent with the others. It is logically impossible to select 1 and 3, for example, or some other combination.
Continue reading “In Christ Alone”
Christ Arose – Low in the Grave He Lay
1 Corinthians 15:50-58
Thus reads the French inscription on the tomb of Edward the Black Prince, in Canterbury, England, who died in 1376.
Such as thou art, so once was I. As I am now, so shalt thou be.
Whether written or not, such are the silent words of every man, woman, and child in every cemetery, every mausoleum, and every inch of land and sea in which a mortal has passed into immortality.
Continue reading “Will We Rise?”
Look for God to arise and do great work in our days. But beware, we will get more than we bargained for when He does.
Believers in the Living God since the Exodus have prayed that God would arise, smite evil, and deliver them from their troubles. In His patience, the Lord delays His judgement, giving each man every opportunity to believe. But eventually, He brings to people what they deserve: disaster to the wicked and blessings to the righteous. Asking God to arise is a dangerous business. We may discover, as Habakkuk did, that God’s plan is neither what we like nor what we want. We will also discover, as Isaiah did, that we are not as righteous as we think we are. When God arises, though our salvation is sure, we will encounter pain and trouble, just like those we oppose.
Do you ever wish that God would arise and oppose evil? Do you wish you could see it? How do we know that God will arise? How do we know that the wicked will be punished? Why does it take so long? This article will examine Isaiah 33:1-17 to discover what happens, and what Christians must do, when God arises.
Continue reading “When God Arises”
The last king of Judah, Zedekiah, was discontent and disobedient to his God. It destroyed him and his whole nation with him. How does his tragic experience inform and challenge us today?
Few Christians look at Jeremiah or the Old Testament prophets for guidance in modern life. Fewer still look at the wicked kings of Israel and Judah. But their folly and failure contain powerful lessons for followers of Christ today. Zedekiah is a good place to start.
Continue reading “Zedekiah – Discontent, Disobedient, and Destroyed”
Should Christians disobey their government? When? Why? What about the consequences?
The United States has no official church as is common in Europe, but individual states had official churches for centuries. People debate whether the United States was established as a Christian nation, but it was founded based on the Judeo-Christian worldview and governance. As a result, Christ-followers in America have faced little overt persecution for four hundred years.
Continue reading “Christians and Civil Disobedience”
Our worries and fears are not uncontrollable emotions, they are decisions, they are unbelief, and they are sin. Our God deserves better. The answer is to praise Him.
“Do not harden your hearts as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the wilderness.” (Psalm 95:8)
Exodus 17:1-7 records the Israelites, camped at Rephidim in the Sinai desert, complaining to Moses that they had no water to drink. This was no little grumbling, as they were accusing Moses of plotting their deaths and preparing to stone him. Moses appealed to God for a solution to the problem and for protection from the mob. The Lord provided water, and things simmered down for a while.
Continue reading “Unbelief”