Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Nahum 2:8-13

v. 8-13 "Nineveh is like a pool,
and its 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!
She is pillaged, plundered, stripped!
Hearts melt, knees give way,
bodies tremble, every face grows pale.

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?
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.

'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."

The water is draining away, Nineveh was a lush garden filled area so when the water goes the area can only dry up.  It is interesting how many exclamation marks there are.  I think this is suppose to grab our attention as if it was highlighted or underlined.  Exclamation marks, woe, repeated words or names, red words, etc.  We should pay attention to all scripture, but there is emphasis on certain words or sentences that we are to really see.  All the wealth that was taken from their captives, would be taken from them.

Stone panels from the North Palace of Ashurbanipal
On the relief's taken from the Assyrian palace are pictures of lion hunts.  This seemed to be a popular past time of kings in the region.  Kings would capture lions for their "hunts" or breed them in captivity.  They would release the lion from a cage (probably weak from captivity) and kill it as if that proved how great a king they were.  This practice still goes on today and it is a disgrace.  Caged hunts do not prove manhood, only the inhumanity of one's soul.  The bible verses that speak of the lions seem to taunt the king.  On one of the reliefs found in the palace it says this, "I, Ashurbanipal, king of the universe, king of Assyria, in my lordly sport, they let a fierce lion of the plain out of the cage and on foot... I stabbed him later with my iron girdle dagger and he died."  This king had a major pride issue, king of the universe, seriously?  It proves no matter what we think of ourselves God is happy to knock us off the pedestal if it gets too high.

God said he was against them.  The last few sentences are powerful.

Their chariots would be burned up - a nod to the defeat of their army
The sword will devour their lions - the people will be destroyed
I will leave you no prey on earth - they would no longer be able to destroy their neighbors
Your messengers will be silenced - the voices will be wiped out completely

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