Today many people are ignoring the things of God. Many people think that the concept of religion and God are no longer needed, that it is an outdated fairy tale and that we as a world can come together and can make our own laws and follow our own desires. Many people think that they are actually their own God and that there is no higher authority than the global leaders. They have no respect for others and have no respect for law and order. What they want is to live the way they choose regardless of how you or I feel about it. Many feel they no longer need to believe in God and certainly won’t! Well, they are not the first to reject God and they will most likely not be the last. We have some warnings for people who mistakenly believe that they have the power to live the way they want. Take a look.
The oracle of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite. A jealous and avenging God is the LORD; The LORD is avenging and wrathful. The LORD takes vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies. The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, And the LORD will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. In whirlwind and storm is His way, And clouds are the dust beneath His feet.
He rebukes the sea and makes it dry; He dries up all the rivers. Bashan and Carmel wither; The blossoms of Lebanon wither. Mountains quake because of Him And the hills dissolve; Indeed the earth is upheaved by His presence, The world and all the inhabitants in it. Who can stand before His indignation? Who can endure the burning of His anger? His wrath is poured out like fire And the rocks are broken up by Him.
The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him. But with an overflowing flood He will make a complete end of its site, And will pursue His enemies into darkness. Whatever you devise against the LORD, He will make a complete end of it. Distress will not rise up twice. Like tangled thorns, And like those who are drunken with their drink, They are consumed As stubble completely withered. From you has gone forth One who plotted evil against the LORD, A wicked counselor.
Thus says the LORD, “Though they are at full strength and likewise many, Even so, they will be cut off and pass away. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no longer. “So now, I will break his yoke bar from upon you, And I will tear off your shackles.” The LORD has issued a command concerning you: “Your name will no longer be perpetuated. I will cut off idol and image From the house of your gods. I will prepare your grave, For you are contemptible.”
Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace! Celebrate your feasts, O Judah; Pay your vows. For never again will the wicked one pass through you; He is cut off completely. Nahum 1:1-15, (New American Standard Bible or NASB).
Oh but Katherine, this was the Old Testament God, my God is of the New Testament and He is all about love and would never be so jealous and vengeful! After all Jesus teaches forgiveness and loving our enemies and doing good to those who harm us so you must consider that the Old Testament is not what we are to go by anymore. Really? I wonder if you are correct. God will seek wrath on our world as He has done in earlier generations, it’s just a matter of time. It is true that Jesus teaches us to forgive others (Matthew 5:44) but Jesus also said that He didn’t come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17-18). If we all followed the teachings of Jesus then there would be no way that God’s jealousy would surface. The reason for such wrath from God is that He was not being put first in the lives of the people of Nineveh. Does God have a reason to feel jealous where you live today? Is God being talked about, being worshiped, being loved and honored and obeyed where you live? If He isn’t number one in your city, in your state, in your country, and in your life then you may be finding out real soon exactly who has the power in this world!
As a society, as the church within our culture, we need to heed the warnings from the Old Testament. God is a jealous God and won’t be ignored or mocked. Far too many in our world today don’t want to listen to these warnings from the past. Some go so far as to say that the Old Testament is irrelevant because we are living under the new covenant of grace written about in the New Testament. While it is true that we do live under grace and not the Law we still can find relevancy in reading the Old Testament.
Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “THE REPROACHES OF THOSE WHO REPROACHED YOU FELL ON ME.” For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:1-6, (NASB).
For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.” Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, (NASB).
When the Apostle Paul was writing to the Roman church in the first passage above, he mentions that the scriptures were written for instruction. He was not talking about the New Testament because it was not completed yet. He was talking about the Old Testament because that was the only scriptures available to him at the time. In the second passage he is also the author of the letter to the Corinthian church and he again says that what was written in the past was for us to learn from. Therefore we can also apply this instruction from Nahum the Elkoshite (or the Old Testament book Nahum) that God is a jealous God and won’t be ignored. We have many other examples from the Old Testament of God destroying a society, culture, or group of people because they would not acknowledge, honor, worship, or obey Him. Should we not take heed of these examples written in the scriptures for our instruction and learning?
To anyone who studies history there are many examples of countries, cities, and states of governments that no longer are in power. Take a look at those cultures and see if the one true God was being honored and loved and praised and worshiped and obeyed? Sad to say most of them had tried to leave God out of their culture. Is this why that culture no longer thrives as it once did? I think so. God has the power to build up a nation or society and also has the power to tear down a nation or society. I would rather be living in a God honoring society than one that forgets about God. Stand firm dear Christian, wherever you are, and continue to worship the one true God because you may be all that stands between God’s vengeance and your community. After all, we have many examples from the Old Testament of those who stood firm and were not destroyed.