Nahum 3:15b-19

Multiply like grasshoppers,
    multiply like locusts!
16 You have increased the number of your merchants
    till they are more numerous than the stars in the sky,
but like locusts they strip the land
    and then fly away.
17 Your guards are like locusts,
    your officials like swarms of locusts
    that settle in the walls on a cold day—
but when the sun appears they fly away,
    and no one knows where.

18 King of Assyria, your shepherds slumber;
    your nobles lie down to rest.
Your people are scattered on the mountains
    with no one to gather them.
19 Nothing can heal you;
    your wound is fatal.
All who hear the news about you
    clap their hands at your fall,
for who has not felt
    your endless cruelty?
(Nahum 3:15b-19 NIV)

In our last time together, we saw the Lord compare Nineveh to Thebes, a city in Egypt that the Assyrians had conquered.  Just as the Assyrians ruthlessly and inhumanely treated their captors, so would they experience the same brutality – a taste of their own medicine, so to speak.

Today we wrap up the book of Nahum and see what the Lord has to say to the Assyrians, especially the residents of Nineveh.  As we ended our last time together in the middle of verse 15, Nahum was encouraging the Ninevites to do everything they could to prepare for battle.  The encouragement was a mockery and taunt, of course – nothing could prepare them to stand against the Lord.

In the second half of verse 15, Nahum continues his taunt, encouraging the Ninevites (and Assyrians) to multiply like locusts and grasshoppers, enough people to swarm whatever land they choose to occupy.

In fact, the Assyrians had done just that – and Nahum says that the Assyrian traders and merchants had become too many to count (more numerous than the stars in the sky – v. 16).

While that might seem like the Assyrians had economic domination as well as military domination over much of the known world at that time, there was a huge problem.

The Assyrian people had gotten greedy and started living for themselves.  Verse 16 gives us the first hint of this problem… the merchants who were “more numerous than the stars in the sky” were now locusts that strip the land, then fly away.  The loyalty to the Assyrian kingdom and to the king was gone – they were living for themselves.

Verse 17 continues this theme – the military and political leaders were loyal to their country and to the king as long as they were dependent on them.  Once they were able to be independent of them, they disappeared like the locusts.

In verse 18, we see the problem was not isolated to the military and political rulers in Assyria.  The local officials (signified by shepherds) and the extended royal family (the nobles) also were not paying attention to what was happening – they were caught up in their own pursuits of pleasure.  Last but not least, the king of Assyria had no idea that his kingdom was about to collapse.

Even with Nahum’s warning, it was too late to do anything about it.  There was no one to gather the sheep (ordinary citizens, military, political rulers, everyone) back again.

Verse 19 is the end note, the summary of Nahum’s commentary.  Assyria’s dominant power and reign of evil are over, never to be resurrected or restarted again.

In fact, there is no one that will come to the Assyrians’ rescue – people will rejoice and clap their hands in joy, not mourn the loss of Assyria because all (even nations that were friendly to the Assyrians) have felt the horror and inhumanity of their evil ways.

As we learned in the introduction to the book of Nahum, there are many parallels between this book and the book of Jonah.  One similarity, in particular, is that the book of Jonah and the book of Nahum both end with a question.

In the book of Jonah, God questions Jonah’s hatred of the Ninevites and wonders why Jonah was not rejoicing when God withheld His judgment when the Ninevites repented.  Here we see God’s grace and mercy and love being demonstrated when people turn to Him.

In the book of Nahum, we see God ask who had been exempt from the Assyrians’ endless cruelty and injustices and inhumane treatment?  The implied answer is no one.  And for these heinous acts, the Lord would bring justice and judgment.  Here we see God’s righteousness and wrath against sin revealed.

In both the books of Jonah and Nahum, we see the character and attributes of God revealed.  God is kind, loving, and merciful, and He is also all-powerful and just and righteous and holy and takes action against sin.

May we remember that God is sovereign, even in the midst of injustice and rampant sin.

May we choose to live our lives to honor, obey, and glorify Him and Him alone, and not for ourselves and our own selfish motives.

Blessings,

~kevin

Nahum 3:8-15a

Are you better than Thebes,
    situated on the Nile,
    with water around her?
The river was her defense,
    the waters her wall.
Cush and Egypt were her boundless strength;
    Put and Libya were among her allies.
10 Yet she was taken captive
    and went into exile.
Her infants were dashed to pieces
    at every street corner.
Lots were cast for her nobles,
    and all her great men were put in chains.
11 You too will become drunk;
    you will go into hiding
    and seek refuge from the enemy.

12 All your fortresses are like fig trees
    with their first ripe fruit;
when they are shaken,
    the figs fall into the mouth of the eater.
13 Look at your troops—
    they are all weaklings.
The gates of your land
    are wide open to your enemies;
    fire has consumed the bars of your gates.

14 Draw water for the siege,
    strengthen your defenses!
Work the clay,
    tread the mortar,
    repair the brickwork!
15 There the fire will consume you;
    the sword will cut you down—
    they will devour you like a swarm of locusts.
(Nahum 3:8-15a NIV)

As we began Chapter 3, we saw the Lord pronounce His declaration of woe against Assyria, and on Nineveh, its capital city, in particular.  Assyria, the aggressor and cruel warlord, was now about to get a taste of what it had been handing out.

As we begin today’s text, Nahum compares Nineveh to Thebes, the capital city of the southern part of Egypt.  Like Nineveh, Thebes had a river (the Nile River) that provided a natural part of its defense.  Like Nineveh, the citizens and army of Thebes thought of themselves as invincible.

The Assyrians knew the history and details of the fall of Thebes well, as they were the ones that conquered the city.  Even the surrounding nations like the rest of Egypt, Libya, Cush, and Put that were friendly toward Thebes and rose up in her defense were no match for the Assyrians (vv. 8-10).

Now the tables were turned and justice was about to be served.   The Lord was about to give Nineveh the same treatment they had been dishing out for decades.

Verses 11 – 13 provide the description of Nineveh’s fall:

  • like a wobbly-legged drunk
  • like a frightened fugitive
  • like a fig tree that is shaken and drops its fruit
  • like an old woman, unable to defend herself
  • like a city with no gates, completely vulnerable to attack

In verse 14, the Lord taunts Nineveh to prepare herself for battle:

  • draw water (assume your aggressors will cut off the water supply from the city)
  • strengthen defenses (add more defenses to what you already have)
  • work the clay (like brickmaking, give the work your full, undivided attention)
  • tread the mortar (do the physical exertion needed to accomplish the task)
  • repair the brickwork (use the brick and mortar above to reinforce the wall)

This verse is a taunt because all the human effort in the world is no match for the Lord.  No preparation will help – Nineveh’s fate is sealed and its destiny has already been recorded in God’s Book, long before it actually takes place (v. 15a).

As I think about today’s text, I am reminded that no one and nothing can stand in God’s way when He brings justice to a broken world.

And in contrast to the brutality of the Assyrians, I remember God’s mercy and heart toward Nineveh when He sent Jonah to preach repentance to them.  I ponder how God wanted to redeem the city and call them to Himself.

And so it is with you and me – we were enemies of God before we came to Christ, worthy of His justice for all our sins.  But yet, in His mercy, Christ died for our sins and offers us eternal life if we will turn from our wicked ways and make Him the center of our lives.

May we never see God’s judgment and justice without knowing His heart of mercy and love.

Blessings,
~kevin

Nahum 3:1-7

Woe to the city of blood,
    full of lies,
full of plunder,
    never without victims!
The crack of whips,
    the clatter of wheels,
galloping horses
    and jolting chariots!
Charging cavalry,
    flashing swords
    and glittering spears!
Many casualties,
    piles of dead,
bodies without number,
    people stumbling over the corpses—
all because of the wanton lust of a prostitute,
    alluring, the mistress of sorceries,
who enslaved nations by her prostitution
    and peoples by her witchcraft.

“I am against you,” declares the Lord Almighty.
    “I will lift your skirts over your face.
I will show the nations your nakedness
    and the kingdoms your shame.
I will pelt you with filth,
    I will treat you with contempt
    and make you a spectacle.
All who see you will flee from you and say,
    ‘Nineveh is in ruins—who will mourn for her?’
    Where can I find anyone to comfort you?”
(Nahum 3:1-7 NIV)

As we worked our way through Chapter 2, we saw Nineveh captured, then plundered.  Assyria, the seemingly invincible lion of the Middle East, and its impenetrable lion’s den, its capital city of Nineveh, is now in ruins and stripped of all its glory.

As we begin Chapter 3, we see the Lord pronounce His judgment of woe upon Nineveh.  The city is known for its brutality (blood), its deception (lies), its wealth (gained by plundering other nations), and its diversity of people (gained by victimizing the people of conquered nations, dragging them to Nineveh, where they were treated inhumanely as slaves or worse) (v. 1).

Nahum follows the Lord’s pronouncement of woes by painting short vignettes of the sights and sounds of war in Nineveh:

  • the crack of whips
  • the clatter of wheels
  • galloping horses
  • jolting chariots
  • charging cavalry
  • flashing swords
  • glittering spears
  • many casualties
  • piles of dead
  • bodies without number
  • people stumbling over the corpses

Assyria the victimizer is now Nineveh the victim.  The people of Nineveh are being treated the same way that they treated the other nations (vv. 2-3).

Verse 4 gives us the reason for the Lord’s judgment against and devastation of Nineveh – its sin.  Nahum’s language is quite graphic here – he essentially calls Nineveh the “whore of whores” because of her evil desires.  She did not just make a profit from her evil ways; she entrapped and enslaved those whom she lured into her bedchamber.  Her intent was evil from the beginning.

In verse 5, the Lord repeats His pronouncement against Nineveh:  “I am against you.”  The Lord had said this the first time in 2:13, and pronounced judgment by destroying their instruments of war, their military leaders, and their political leaders.

This time, the Lord makes His pronouncement against Nineveh by exposing her sin and showing the world her shameful ways.  The Lord continues the theme of verse 4 and reveals her evil prostitute’s heart.  Nineveh danced about as a majestic maiden, with colorful skirts and petticoats; now her skirts are pulled up over her head and she is a humiliated harlot, covered in filth (verses 5 – 6).

Verse 7 captures the shock and reaction to the neighboring nations as they see Nineveh humiliated and her sin exposed.  No one will come to Ninveh’s aid – they will all run away, leaving her exposed and alone.  Nineveh had no compassion on those nations whom she ravaged and left behind; there is a sense of justice having been served to the evil one of Assyria.  Even the Lord asks, “Where can I find anyone to comfort you?”

As we have said before, Nahum’s portrayal of these events is a prophecy, pronounced decades before they actually happened.

May we know that God’s judgment may be long in coming (according to our calendars), but when it does come, it is swift and sure, and will take our breath away.

Nahum’s pronouncement at the beginning stands true:

The Lord is slow to anger but great in power;
    the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished.
His way is in the whirlwind and the storm,
    and clouds are the dust of his feet.
(Nahum 1:3 NIV)

Blessings,
~kevin

Nahum 2:8-13

Nineveh is like a pool
    whose water is draining away.
“Stop! Stop!” they cry,
    but no one turns back.
Plunder the silver!
    Plunder the gold!
The supply is endless,
    the wealth from all its treasures!
10 She is pillaged, plundered, stripped!
    Hearts melt, knees give way,
    bodies tremble, every face grows pale.

11 Where now is the lions’ den,
    the place where they fed their young,
where the lion and lioness went,
    and the cubs, with nothing to fear?
12 The lion killed enough for his cubs
    and strangled the prey for his mate,
filling his lairs with the kill
    and his dens with the prey.

13 “I am against you,”
    declares the Lord Almighty.
“I will burn up your chariots in smoke,
    and the sword will devour your young lions.
    I will leave you no prey on the earth.
The voices of your messengers
    will no longer be heard.”
(Nahum 2:8-13 NIV)

Last time we looked at the beginning of Chapter 2 – as Nahum prophesied the capture of Nineveh, the Assyrian capital.  The Lord gave Nahum such a clear picture of the devastation, even what means the enemy troops would use to breach the city’s defenses and take over.

If we close our eyes for a few moments, we can hear the rushing of the troops through the city streets, feel the thunder of the chariots as they roll by, see the plumes of black smoke rise as the city is burned, and taste death in the air.

The interesting thing is that even though Nahum painted this word picture so brilliantly, the actual capture of Nineveh was still decades away.

As we look into the second half of Chapter 2, Nahum continues to describe the coming devastation of Nineveh.  At this point, the city has fallen; now, the plunder begins.

Staying with the water theme from earlier in Chapter 2, Nahum describes Nineveh as a pool of riches, gathered from all the Assyrian exploits into neighboring lands. History and Scripture tell us that these gathered riches also included those of Israel and Judah.

Now, the vast pool of Assyrian fortunes is being drained, and quickly.  Silver, gold, treasure and wealth of every kind is flowing out of the city.  There is no stopping the outflow of riches – the plug has been pulled, and the pool will soon be dry (vv. 8-9).

The citizens of Nineveh are overwhelmed.  Nahum paints their picture with his words:  “Hearts melt, knees give way, bodies tremble, every face grows pale.” (v. 10).

Verses 11 – 12 are a mockery of Nineveh.  Where is this Assyrian “lion” who brutally tracked down and killed its prey and dragged the carcasses home to feed his family?  What happened to the “safe haven” of the lion’s den of Nineveh, where no one dared enter?

Now the roles are reversed – the predator has become the prey.

In verse 13, the scene switches from field reporter Nahum to Headquarters in heaven as the Lord takes center stage.  Who would dare oppose the Assyrians, the “lion”?  None other than the Lord Himself.

The Lord says that He will destroy all the Assyrian’s instruments of war (symbolized by the burning of the chariots).  No longer would they have the military might to conquer other nations.

The Lord will also kill all the military officers (symbolized as “young lions”), the ones who brutalized all the surrounding nations, tortured their people, and never once treated them with a shred of dignity.

Last but not least, the Lord promises to silence the political rulers of Nineveh and Assyria.  No longer would the surrounding nations have to listen to the political rhetoric and taunts of the Assyrians.  Never again would an Assyrian king send a military envoy to intimidate and demean its next-door nations as Sennacherib did to King Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:17-37).

May we remember that God brings justice to the nations and protects His people along the way.  His timetable is not ours, and His power to make all things right is more powerful than we could ever think or even imagine.

Ponder on the fourth and fifth stanzas of the old hymn, “This is My Father’s World”:

This is my father’s world
Oh, let me never forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong
God is the ruler yet

This is my father’s world
Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is king, let the heavens ring
God reigns, let the earth be glad

Blessings,
~kevin

Nahum 2:1-7

An attacker advances against you, Nineveh.
    Guard the fortress,
    watch the road,
    brace yourselves,
    marshal all your strength!

The Lord will restore the splendor of Jacob
    like the splendor of Israel,
though destroyers have laid them waste
    and have ruined their vines.

The shields of the soldiers are red;
    the warriors are clad in scarlet.
The metal on the chariots flashes
    on the day they are made ready;
    the spears of juniper are brandished.
The chariots storm through the streets,
    rushing back and forth through the squares.
They look like flaming torches;
    they dart about like lightning.

Nineveh summons her picked troops,
    yet they stumble on their way.
They dash to the city wall;
    the protective shield is put in place.
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 2:1-7 NIV)

As we ended chapter 1, we heard the Lord declare the end of Nineveh ( v. 14) and promise the end of the Assyrian tyranny on Judah (v. 15).  The prophet Nahum was speaking on behalf of the Lord, talking about events yet to come.

As we begin chapter 2, Nahum seems to jump ahead to Nineveh’s capture, as if he was present when the soldiers invaded the city.   We hear the warning come in, that the enemy is on their way.

Listen as the army commander barks out orders to the troops: (v. 1)

Guard the fortress!
Watch the road!
Brace yourselves!
Marshal all your strength!

In verse 2, the Lord offers comfort and hope to Judah, whom the Assyrians have brutally attacked and destroyed.  God promises restoration of the splendor of Judah, despite the devastation that the Assyrians have brought to God’s land and people.

Verses 3 – 4 depict the enemy’s taking of the city.  Soldiers, chariots, spears – it’s all a blur, it’s all happening so fast, all at once, like lightning.  The red and scarlet called out in verse 3 are not colors on the soldiers’ uniforms – those colors are the blood stains from the battle.

Verse 5 portrays the army commanders in Nineveh summoning the elite troops, the honor guard, to come and fight.  The troops initially falter, but then make their way to the city wall and raise the shield against the oppressors.

While the wall shield is effective in stopping the enemy from coming over the wall or shooting arrows over the wall, the enemy takes a completely different approach to breach the city – via the river that runs through the heart of the city.

Nineveh had a large moat that ran around the city, and was fed by the Khosar River.  The Khosar River then fed into the Tigris River.  Through a series of water gates, the enemy could turn off the water supply to the city, and also open up the water supply to the city, essentially flooding it.  Some secular historians believe that the attackers waited until the rainy season, cut off the water supply to Nineveh, let it build up in the tributaries, then released all the water at once to flood the city and collapse part of the wall surrounding the city, providing easy entry for the troops.

Finally, in verse 7, the verdict is in – Nineveh is conquered.  The slave women mourn their loss of safety and security, the deaths of family members, and their masters.   These slave women are all that is left of the city’s population.

God’s Word is coming true – Nineveh will be sacked and overrun by their enemy, the same way that they conquered God’s people in Israel and Judah.

The amazing part of this story is that all this vivid imagery is still a prophecy!  From the time that Nahum wrote this prophetic account of Nineveh’s downfall, it would be many years until it actually happened.

And so the Lord brings justice to the unjust, and hope to the oppressed.  Not on Judah’s timeline, but on God’s.  Not on our calendars, but His.

May we take comfort and find hope in His ways – that even when we are disobedient to Him (like Judah), His heart is to reconcile us to Himself and to restore us to fellowship with Him and with each other.

Blessings,
~kevin

Nahum 1:9-15

Whatever they plot against the Lord
    he will bring to an end;
    trouble will not come a second time.
10 They will be entangled among thorns
    and drunk from their wine;
    they will be consumed like dry stubble.
11 From you, Nineveh, has one come forth
    who plots evil against the Lord
    and devises wicked plans.

12 This is what the Lord says:

“Although they have allies and are numerous,
    they will be destroyed and pass away.
Although I have afflicted you, Judah,
    I will afflict you no more.
13 Now I will break their yoke from your neck
    and tear your shackles away.”

14 The Lord has given a command concerning you, Nineveh:
    “You will have no descendants to bear your name.
I will destroy the images and idols
    that are in the temple of your gods.
I will prepare your grave,
    for you are vile.”

15 Look, there on the mountains,
    the feet of one who brings good news,
    who proclaims peace!
Celebrate your festivals, Judah,
    and fulfill your vows.
No more will the wicked invade you;
    they will be completely destroyed.
(Nahum 1:9-15 NIV)

As we review from our last time together, the prophet Nahum had written about God’s wrath against sin – in particular, Nineveh’s sin.  In the midst of God’s wrath, however, He promised to be a refuge to those who obey Him.  God promised to not sweep away the righteous with the wicked.

Picking up today’s text, we see the Lord continuing His thoughts from verse 8.  The Lord is intervening – He will stop those who plot evil against the Lord and His people (vv. 9-12a).

In verses 12b – 13, the Lord gives words of comfort to Judah.  Yes, the Lord has used the Assyrians to discipline His children, the Jewish people.  God’s people had turned their backs on Him and were worshipping other gods.  The Lord had warned them in His Word as well as through many prophets that there would be consequences for their willful sin, but the people of Judah continued down their selfish paths anyway.  Now the Lord was telling His children that the discipline was over – the Assyrians were about to be forced to release their hold on God’s people.

In verse 14, the Lord pronounces the end of Nineveh.  The Lord has decreed that the Ninevites will be no more – including their descendants.  The Lord is preparing their grave (in this case, a watery one, v. 8).  Not only will the city be wiped out, but also the people and their gods and idols.  Their deities of wood and stone are no match for the Living God.

Verse 15 is another reminder of God’s loving kindness toward His people.  Repeating the thought in verses 12b-13, the Lord reassures the people of Judah that He will not sweep them away with wicked Nineveh, but will rescue and restore them to worship Him once more.

Notice that the emphasis is on the messenger’s feet and message (v. 15).  The Lord is calling out the urgency of the messenger – likely running to proclaim the good news of Judah’s release from Assyrian captivity.  This wasn’t just a casual conversation to be had when the messenger had some spare time – this was freedom!

This emphasis was not on the defeat of the Assyrians, but rather, on the victory of the Lord freeing His children from tyranny and oppression.  Only God could deliver His people in such a huge way!

The Gospel is God’s good news to us – Jesus died for our sins, to break the penalty of sin over us.  His resurrection broke the power of death forever and paved the way for us to have eternal life with God.  God offers us the gift of salvation – it is nothing that we can earn or buy or demand.  We must humbly accept His gift as payment for our sins, placing our trust in Him for eternal life.

Blessings,
~kevin

Nahum 1:1-8

A prophecy concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.

The Lord is a jealous and avenging God;
    the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath.
The Lord takes vengeance on his foes
    and vents his wrath against his enemies.
The Lord is slow to anger but great in power;
    the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished.
His way is in the whirlwind and the storm,
    and clouds are the dust of his feet.
He rebukes the sea and dries it up;
    he makes all the rivers run dry.
Bashan and Carmel wither
    and the blossoms of Lebanon fade.
The mountains quake before him
    and the hills melt away.
The earth trembles at his presence,
    the world and all who live in it.
Who can withstand his indignation?
    Who can endure his fierce anger?
His wrath is poured out like fire;
    the rocks are shattered before him.

The Lord is good,
    a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him,
    but with an overwhelming flood
he will make an end of Nineveh;
    he will pursue his foes into the realm of darkness.
(Nahum 1:1-8 NIV)

As we begin our journey through the book of Nahum, we see Nahum introduce himself, his message, and the intended audience (v. 1).  Nahum is a prophet sent from God, and his message from the Lord is about the Assyrian capital of Nineveh.

As we learned in the Introduction last time, Jonah reluctantly went to Nineveh and preached repentance.  The people of Nineveh, even the rulers, repented and turned to the Lord.  Fast forward about a hundred years later, and Nahum arrives on the scene.  Assyria and Nineveh have reverted back to their old ways, and God has not forgotten His promise of judgment for their evil when they turn their back on Him.

Nahum opens his message with an unmistakable picture of God as being jealous, of executing vengeance, and of wrath.  This is an in-your-face confrontation of our mental image of God as a doting grandfather, isn’t it?

God is jealous because the people of Nineveh have turned their backs on Him, the true and living God, to worship their idols of wood and stone.  God is executing vengeance because of the Assyrian’s brutal treatment of God’s people.  Remember that the Assyrians captured the northern kingdom of Israel, and constantly bullied and made life miserable for the southern kingdom of Judah.  God is ready to pour out His wrath on Nineveh because of the people’s sin.  A holy God cannot tolerate sin, especially unrepentant, deliberate in-your-face sin which the people of Nineveh were engaged in.

In verse 3, Nahum reminds God’s people that He will judge the wicked, but He will not sweep away the righteous with the wicked.  The Jewish people under Nineveh’s rule probably wondered what was going to happen to them as Nahum proclaimed His message from the Lord.  Nahum’s name (“comfort”) rang true for those who repented of their sins and turned their hearts back to the Lord.

Verses 4 – 5 show the power of God, even over nature.  The seas, the mountains, even the trees respond to God’s Power and Presence.  The seas evaporate like the morning dew; the mountains melt like butter before Him.  The natural world and the people living there all tremble at His power.

Verse 6 asks two rhetorical questions – and answers them in the same verse.  Who can withstand God’s indignation and endure His fierce anger?  No one, and nothing.  Even the rocks, impervious to everything, shatter before His very Presence.

Verses 7 – 8 are a contrast – God’s love and mercy toward those who love and revere and obey Him, vs. God’s judgment against Nineveh, who made themselves God’s enemy and are practicing willful disobedience toward Him.  God promises to care for and to protect those who trust in Him – again, a comfort to the Jewish people that would hear Nahum’s words.

Remember how the Lord delivered Jonah from the water (more specifically, using a creature in the water to take Jonah from the water to dry land)?  Now the Lord says that He will use water to destroy Nineveh via a flood.  And as history records, that is exactly what happened – God “hid” the city of Nineveh for nearly 2,500 years.

We love to tell about all of God’s attributes that are to our liking, don’t we?  His love, his comfort, His justice, etc.  But God’s equal attributes of holiness, wrath, and jealousy – do we like them?  Not so much, because they remind us of our sin and our need to obey and follow Him vs. do life on our own.

Here is a great perspective on God’s attributes of holiness and wrath:

“In human affairs we rightly value justice and the “wrath” of the judicial system, for they protect us. If by chance we ourselves run afoul of the law, there is always the chance that we can cop a plea, escape on a technicality or plead guilty to some lesser offense and be excused for it. But we cannot do that with God. With him we deal not with the imperfections of human justice but with the perfections of divine justice. We deal with the one to whom not only actions but also thoughts and intentions are visible. Who can escape such justice? Who can stand before such an unwielding judge? No one. Sensing this truth we therefore resent God’s justice and deny its reality in every way we can.”
(Dr,. James Montgomery Boice, FOUNDATIONS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH, p. 252)

 

May we remember that Jesus stood in our place to take God’s wrath that was meant for us so that we can experience life and peace with God, both now and in eternity.

This is God’s gift to us – we can’t buy it, earn it, or demand it – we must simply and humbly receive it from His good and gracious hand.

Blessings,

~kevin