Mourning calls

The Color Red and Mourning Doves

Hello, my Faithfulness Friday friends!  Have you ever considered the Book of Nahum to be a page-turner?  Most people probably wouldn’t think it all that riveting.  Although, some study reveals Nahum to be most interesting!

In an effort to escape my usual ADD-ness and to finish what I started, I’m continuing from last week’s Faithfulness Friday focus (Which Side Are You On?)  where we studied Nahum, chapter one.  Onward now to complete The Book of Nahum.

Remember from chapter one last week that God told Nahum that He was done with Nineveh.   Their doom was eminent.  God continued His description of what was ahead for them in the remaining two chapters of Nahum.  Talk about a tough season!  Nineveh was in for it.

In hindsight, history shows fulfillment of Nahum’s prophesies.  Although, the “sooner rather than later” feeling of these chapters played out much later.  History reveals it was around a hundred years after Nahum’s prophetic words to warn Nineveh.

An attacker advances against you, Nineveh.  Guard the fortress, watch the road, brace yourselves, marshal all your strength!
(Nahum 2:1)

In Assyrian arrogance, they thought they were unstoppable.  Yes, they had a large army, the greatest of all at that time.

They would later find their defense inadequate against the powerful Medes assisted by a then-small Babylon.  Nineveh’s battle ranks wear red.

The shields of the soldiers are red, the warriors are clad in scarlet.
(Nahum 2:3a)

Red means power, Assyria’s chosen color for their army uniforms – all to intimidate.  Does that remind you of Russia?

It may seem at first that ancient Assyria might be current-day Russia, but that’s not the case.  The Assyrian nation was destroyed, a nation never to rise again.  God ordained it, He fulfilled it, and history proves it.

With extremely skilled charioteers of that time, the clatter and gleam of chariot wheels was real – details for which are noted throughout these two remaining chapters of Nahum.  Assyrian charioteer skill was precise, strong, powerful, and flashy.

In prophetic timing, a natural disaster strikes with the flooding of the Tigris River, which ran along one side of Nineveh as a natural hedge for protection.  Or so they thought.

The river gates are thrown open and the palace collapses. It is decreed that Nineveh be exiled and carried away.  Her female slaves moan like doves and beat on their breasts.
(Nahum 2:6-7)

The water opened the palace gates, cleared the streets, and breached their fortress for enemy entry.  The city was taken away as slaves – with the sound of doves.  Have you noticed how doves taking flight sound like they’re beating their chests?

Mourning Doves

The whole of the sound was described as the beating of chests and the mourning call of doves (aka mourning doves).  Combine those sounds in your mind for a minute as you imagine the people crying and beating their chests in despair over the failure of their seemingly strong red army.  Scripture is so poetic.

The Assyrian army had been so brutal in the past that enemies would often commit suicide when their approach was in view.  Their reputation for horrific torture measures preceded them.  And they were terrifying.

But no longer.

God’s destruction of the Assyrians shows His judgment is for other nations besides His beloved Israel.  The Lord is just.  Then and now, God’s justice reigns over Jewish as well as Gentile nations.  We think America is immune because the Lord was in our nation’s making through our founding fathers.  But is America immune to God’s justice when we fall wayward?

God is love.  He is patient.  Our Lord waits and waits for us to come to Him.  He waited over one hundred years for Nineveh to return to Him.  They are a good example that when our hearts are hardened, we set our own path to judgment.  In His divine love, God allows us to choose whether we’ll love Him and obey Him or go our own way.

‘I am against you,’ declares the Lord Almighty.
(Nahum 2:13)

Years earlier, Assyria had one hundred percent turned back to the Lord after Jonah prophesied their doom – and then were spared.  In the years of Nahum, after returning to their former ways, Nineveh (the capitol of Assyria) ultimately decided they had plenty of might on their own and no longer needed the Almighty God.

Nahum’s third chapter describes Nineveh’s complete rebellion, and it is vile.  Prostitution, idol worship, sorcery, witchcraft, a multitude of whoredoms. . . .  God’s declaration is repeated again.

‘I am against you,’ declares the Lord Almighty.
(Nahum 3:5)

The events detailed in chapter three reads like revelation of the end times. Certainly of the years of tribulation ahead.  You might wonder, “Where is God’s faithfulness in that?”  Like I said in my post on chapter one of Nahum, it depends upon which side you stand.  For the righteous, God is with us.

If on the other side, look out.  God’s declaration, stated twice, means He is serious.

Oh, what comfort to be covered by the Lord’s protection.  Through Jesus Christ we stand secure.  In the day of judgment, the Lord covers us with His Mighty Wings.  God is faithful!

Because He lives~

 

 

 

Hi and welcome! It's wonderful to have fellow "embracers" during some pretty tough seasons - and some triumphant ones, too. I invite you to enroll to receive my blog posts by email so you don't miss what's coming next.

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