READING: Nahum 1-3
Let me get straight to the point today: the repentance of today’s generation is no guarantee of the victory of tomorrow’s generations. We’ve seen that reality in this past week’s readings. In the 8th century B.C., God used Jonah to bring Nineveh to repentance. Jonah didn’t like it, but God nevertheless was compassionate and forgiving toward the Ninevites. Now, in today’s reading, God was ready to bring the hammer of judgment down on Nineveh one century after Jonah had entered the city. Nahum’s voice was the prophetic one that would bring that word to them.
The Ninevites had conquered their foes, deported thousands of them, cruelly piled up the dead, and had even “dashed to pieces” little babies (Nah 3:10). The book of Nahum even ends with a rhetorical question that revealed the extent of their evil: “All who hear the news about you clap their hands at your fall, for who has not felt your endless cruelty?” (Nah 3:19). It’s no wonder, then, that God would vent “his wrath against his enemies” (Nah 1:2) years after He stayed His judgment when they responded to Jonah’s reluctant preaching.
So, what does this book say to us? First, God is “slow to anger” (Nah 1:3), but His slowness does not equal a willingness to overlook sin. God does draw a line in the sand, beyond which we risk His anger. Second, we must teach each next generation the importance of clinging to God and to His Word. If we only assume that those who walk behind us today will follow Him tomorrow, we may well be mistaken.
Finally, the story is not over, as Nahum’s words still foreshadowed those who would proclaim good news: “Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace!” (Nah 1:15). The gospel we proclaim today resounds with these words of peace and good news. Our task is to be the feet who carry that message to every generation.
- Make an extra effort today to make sure your children and grandchildren know the importance of clinging to God. By your passion and your example, make it more difficult for them to stray from God.
- Be alert for hurting people today. Tell them about the good news and peace that Jesus offers.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to invest in the next generations — and then trust them to You.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Habakkuk 1-3; Zephaniah 1-3