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The Old Testament prophets were spokesmen for for their generation more than the future.

They were the proclaimers of timeless truths about God, humankind, and the critical issues of life.

“The Modern Message of the Minor prophets” is the theme for Sunday mornings for the coming months.

Today we are talking about God Will Wait, But Not Forever.

Text

Nahum 1:3 (AMP)

3 The Lord is slow to anger and great in power

And He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.

The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm,

And the clouds are the dust beneath His feet.

Scripture Reading

Nahum 1:1-8 (AMP)

God Is Awesome

1 The oracle (a burdensome message—a pronouncement from God) concerning Nineveh [the capital city of Assyria]. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh [which he saw in spirit and prophesied].

2 The Lord is a jealous and avenging God [protecting and demanding what is rightfully and uniquely His];

The Lord avenges and He is full of wrath.

The Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries,

And He reserves wrath for His enemies.

3 The Lord is slow to anger and great in power

And He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.

The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm,

And the clouds are the dust beneath His feet.

4 He rebukes the sea and dries it up;

He dries up all the rivers [illustrating His judgment].

Bashan [on the east] and [Mount] Carmel [on the west] wither,

And [in the north] the blossoms of Lebanon fade.

5 The mountains quake before Him

And the hills melt away;

Indeed the earth is shaken by His presence—

Yes, the world and all that dwell in it.

6 Who can stand before His indignation [His great wrath]?

And who can stand up and endure the fierceness of His anger?

His wrath is poured out like fire

And the rocks are destroyed by Him.

7 The Lord is good,

A strength and stronghold in the day of trouble;

He knows [He recognizes, cares for, and understands fully] those who take refuge and trust in Him.

8 But with an overwhelming flood [of judgment through invading armies]

He will make a complete destruction of its site

And will pursue His enemies into darkness.

Prayer

Father, we that the teachings of your word will never be wasted on us

We humbly acknowledge that we are sinners.

We have fallen short of your perfect will for our lives, and wee have rebelled against things that you have provided for our good.

Because we are redeemed, we know the oy of forgiveness.

We bring our offerings that the gospel may be preached everywhere.

Bless the work in our community and bless the causes that we support.

In Jesus name we pray.

Amen.

Introduction

The repentance of Nineveh under Jonah’s preaching was short lived.

Within little more than a century, Assyria had once again turned to sin, revealing in crime and debauchery.

God sent a second Hebrew prophet to them, but by this time they had sunk so deep into sin that Nahum considered their destruction imminent.

Nineveh had to be destroyed.

God’s holiness and power were at stake.

The arrogant capital of Assyria had to be judged because the One who controls the forces of nature must not and certainly cannot allow the guilty to remain unpunished.

When did Nahum preach?

He foretold Nineveh’s destruction, which happened in 612 BC.

He reminded the people that they were no better than the people of Thebes in verse 3:8, who were taken into captivity in 663 BC.

So Nahum must have been preaching in that fifty one year period.

Like Obadiah, Nahum saw the utter destruction for one of Israel’s archenemies.

Some people believe that Nahum’s book isn’t worthy of a place with the prophets in the Bible, but that is unfair.

Individuals are not self righteous because they condemn sin, nor are they blind bigots because they are loyal to their nation and the revelation they posses of God. 

One is justified in crying out when justice is perverted or morality is scorned.

God’s prophets must declare God’s judgement, not because they delight in condemning but because they must uphold God’s holiness and sovereignty.

They also must encourage their fellow worshippers who are seeking to live in accordance with God’s commands.

Nahum was a great man who has an important place in both history and prophecy.

 

  1. God is real.

Although  each prophet was uniquely conscious of Jehovah’s presence in the world, Nahum in a very special way saw His work and spoke graphically of it.

Nahum’s God was not an absent deity.

Jehovah was neither aloof nor apathetic, as one dwelling far off in a distant heaven.

The most deadly danger that any nation can face is the moral skepticism that belittles the significance of God’s personal presence in the world.

2. God is a stronghold.

Life has more than just good times where life is easy and prosperous.

Winter comes and when it does, we need a strong defence to weather the storms life without disaster or disgrace.

In our days of weakness, as well as in our days of sorrow and sin, God provides in His infinite care.

When we are oppressed by a sense of inadequacy, we find our sufficiency in God.

If He does not remove the thing that disturbed us, He gives us grace to bear it.

We need to learn this truth and remind ourselves of it often.

Losing consciousness of God’s love can cause us to spiral into many sins and depression.

God is a stronghold for us in our time of need.  

3. God is patient.

Even when God sees entrenched evil and knows it must be punished, He does not rush in with intense wrath and destroy the sinner immediately.

He warns!

He never smites without first threatening.

He is even slow to threaten.

After warning, He is slow to sentence the criminal.

Once He has given the sentence, He is slow to carry it out.

Why?

Because God is both great and good.

He is both holy and merciful.

Paul asked in Romans 2:4 (AMP)

4 Or do you have no regard for the wealth of His kindness and tolerance and patience [in withholding His wrath]? Are you [actually] unaware or ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness leads you to repentance [that is, to change your inner self, your old way of thinking—seek His purpose for your life]? 

If God were less than the God of mercy He is, He would have sent terrible judgement on all the world long ago.

Instead, He waits and gives sinners every possible chance to realise the error of their ways and repent.

4. God will not wait forever.

God had showed mercy to Nineveh.

The Assyrian Empire was one of the bloodiest that has ever existed in the entire world.

The cruel acts of its people were unbelievable and even unspeakable.

God sent one prophet, Jonah, and the nation repented.

How long that repentance lasted we don’t know, but probably not very long.

Nineveh turned back to sin, yet God continued to wait, hoping the people would return to Him.

Maybe other prophets were sent that we dot know about.

Surely the people of Nineveh were not without a message from God during their corrupt years after their apostasy, which followed their repentance under Jonah’s preaching.

But now in Nahum’s day, God’s patience had run out.

Nahum had declared that doom was imminent.

The people of Nineveh could expect to reap what they had sown.

The three chapters of Nahum represent three seperate words from God.

In chapter 1, we see the destruction of Nineveh decreed.

In chapter 2, we see the destruction of Nineveh described.

In chapter 3, we see the destruction of Nineveh defended.

Let sinners who continue to reject Christ take warning.

We never know when it will be too late for repentance.

An ancient Rabbi said to his people, “Repent the day before you die.” They replied, “But we do not know the day of our death.” The rabbi answered, “The repent today!”

Conclusion.

Has God been unusually good to you inspire of the fact that you have ignored Him and failed to commit you life to Christ as your Saviour?

If so, maybe this message today is a special word from God to you.

God loves everyone, but this does not mean that everyone will be saved.

It’s true, the bible says that God is not willing that anyone should perish but that all should come to repentance.

But elsewhere in His Word, He spoke clearly concerning the necessity of repentance and faith in order to secure salvation.

Do you realise that you are lost, and still hesitate to make a decision for Christ?

Do not misinterpret God’s goodness and His patience with you. 

He withholds punishment as long as possible because He wants you to know that He loves you.

But do not misunderstand His kindness!

His desire is for you to repent!

Perhaps satan’s greatest appeal is to tell sinners that they have plenty of time.

Maybe they do, but maybe not!

One thing is certain.

The sooner you start following Christ, the sooner you start enjoying an abundant life.

The only safe thing to do, considering life’s uncertainty, is to be saved now.

God waits in mercy, but He will not wait forever for your decision! 

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY

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