Today we finished Nahum. Tomorrow let’s begin 2 Thessalonians. It’s only 3 chapters. Start tomorrow, you’ll finish Monday!
Nahum 3:19 “There is no healing for your wound your injury is fatal. All who hear of your destruction will clap their hands for joy. Where can anyone be found who has not suffered from your continual cruelty?” (NLT)
We don’t like to admit it, but there is a point of no return. You can wait long enough or choose to reject God long enough that he will give you exactly what you want. He will give you freedom from his grace. This was the fate of Nineveh. You remember Nineveh. After three days in the belly of the luxury cruise ship, Big Fish, Jonah arrived in Nineveh to preach a message of repentance. The people of Nineveh received the message. They repented, God relented. But that was another generation. The repentance of one generation became the rebellion of the next.
What do we hear of Nineveh today?
Their destruction is complete. Hebrews 10:31 says, “It’s a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God.” That’s true, but perhaps there is one thing even more terrifying – being released from the grace of God to pursue nothing but our own desires.
Most people would think that kind of freedom, to pursue their own desires, is what they really want. But that’s because most people don’t really believe they really struggle with sin. We don’t think we’re that bad. We know we make mistakes. We understand not everyone is perfect, but we do all right. “I’m better than most,” we tell ourselves. “I’m slightly above average.” But it’s not true and somewhere, deep within, we know it.
Without the grace of God to guide us, the mercy of God to restrain us, and the love of God to sustain us we will go the way of Nineveh. Our wound will not heal. It will be fatal. And the world will rejoice at our passing.
The solution is trust. We’re not very good at this, but it’s the answer. We need to trust that God knows more than we do. We need to trust that God has our best interest at heart. We need to trust that following his desire for us will lead us into everything we could ever want and anything we really need. Whatever God says ‘yes’ to we should pursue with our whole heart. Whenever God says ‘no’ we should stop and turn the other way.
If you’re a parent you understand how this works. You don’t stop your children from running out into the street because you want to limit their fun, but because you want to save their life. You don’t make them take a bath or brush their teeth because you’re mean and nasty, but because you don’t want them to go through life smelling nasty. With our kids the day comes when they approach the edge of the street and look both ways without our warning. They get up and take a shower and brush their truth on their own. But until that day we remain vigilant as parents.
That’s what God is up to. It’s why he gave his word. It’s the work of his spirit in our lives. May we receive his instruction, follow his word, trust his intention and surrender.
Thank you for showing the way. Thank you for continuing to speak through your word. Help me to listen, understand, receive and obey the ways you want me to follow. Please don’t let me or my family get to the point where we can easily ignore you. We need your grace, mercy and influence in our lives. There are times we are good at deceiving ourselves. Right now we have friends who have deceived themselves into believing you can’t be trusted. They believe they know better than you. Continue to speak into their lives. Help them see through this moment to the life you have for them in the next. Let them come to their senses and surrender themselves to you. Help us to be faithful friends to them. Help us speak the truth in love, practicing good judgement, but without being judgmental. Do in us and them what only you can do.
I love you, in Jesus name –