It is often said and sometimes forgotten by those wielding political power in nations near and far – that our Almighty God does not only control the sun, the galaxies, the other forces of nature, and the vast stretches beyond, but also the rise and fall of nations. This divine rule was very clearly conveyed when Nineveh, the capital of Assyria and a world power then, was toppled by Babylon and its allies, which included the Medes, Persians, Egyptians, Armenians, and other people who had a common hatred for the cruelty, greed, and barbaric practices of the Assyrians. The seemingly impossible feat is recorded in the Book of Nahum, in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible.
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Nahum, a prophet, was given a vision by God about the future doom of Nineveh. About a century earlier, there had been a similar prediction about Nineveh’s doom by Jonah, another prophet. When Assyria repented, the prophecy was withheld. However, Assyria fell back into wickedness during Nahum’s time. When Nahum prophesied, Assyria was at the peak of its power. Somebody describing Nineveh then said: “Nineveh was the proudest, fiercest, and the vilest of cities. The surrounding people cringed at her feet. She swelled with pride in the imagination of her seeming invulnerability.” And yet, 50 years after Nahum’s prophecy, the end of Nineveh came in 608 B.C. Nineveh’s destruction was overwhelmingly massive – a complete wipe out, in other words, that her ruins were not identified until about 1845.
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During Nahum’s time, the Assyrians were plundering the other nations for their economic survival. But more than this. Assyria was teeming with violence, murder, witchcraft, whoredom, idolatry, and corruption. No wonder the word of God to Assyria was: “I will make thy grave, for thou art vile.”
The moral lesson that can be learned from the divine destruction of the wicked city of Nineveh is that no power on earth can protect us from God’s judgment. We have to put our trust in God above all else. Our political leaders should not forget that “might doe not make right” – they should not, even for a moment, forget that we have a God of love who is also a God of wrath. As somebody said: “The highways of history are strewn with the wreckage of nations that forgot God.”
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What nation and head of state can stand before an angry God whose omnipotence can make the oceans and rivers become dry sand; or who can make mountains quake; or make hills melt; or cause the earth to crumble; or destroy cities and its people in the split of a second?
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People who tinker with the thought that they can outwit God must be out of their minds. But this is exactly what many of us are doing whenever we entertain silly ideas that are against the word of God. We are playing right into the trap laid for us by Satan, the great deceiver. Let us resist this temptation. How? By communing regularly with our living God; by praying for spiritual strength; and of course by reading the Holy Bible, the Word of God. If you cannot afford to buy a copy of the Holy Bible, please write me and I will mail to you a copy.
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This column continues to give out copies of the Holy Bible for free to those who cannot afford to buy their own copies. If interested, please send your letter-request to Ms. Nelly Favis Villafuerte, 5233 Fahrenheit St., Palanan, Makati City. Kindly mention if it is the Tagalog, English, Cebuano, or Ilocano Bible that is preferred.
Be joyful and forgiving! (Comments may be sent to Ms. Villafuerte’s email: [email protected].)