“The scatterer has come up against you.” God would remove the Assyrians from their seat of power by using the Babylonians and others to achieve His purposes. Just as in the days of the Tower of Babel, the Almighty was directing the events of world history.
What was the Lord doing in the fall of Nineveh? He was “restoring the majesty of Jacob.” His great love for His own children had led Him to use the nations to their east as agents of His discipline. Now those larger powers would be punished for their own offenses against God.
Meanwhile, the inhabitants of the great capital of Assyria would face devastating turmoil. A “siege tower” would be built at Nineveh’s wall, and “river gates” would be opened, releasing floods of water. “Chariots” driven by foreign soldiers would race through their streets, and the palace itself would be under attack. The leading women in the royal family would be carried off naked, their “slave girls lamenting” and “beating their breasts.”
The silver and gold of the Assyrians would be plundered by the invaders, and the entire metropolis would be well described as only “desolation and ruin.” Those who had been the reigning “lion” and “lioness” would be in no better position than the lower orders of society. They had once “filled” their “caves with prey,” but now Jehovah Himself had come against them. Their time of supremacy would soon be over forever.
Why would Yahweh cause these words to be recorded for posterity? Like Israel and Judah of old, we need to know that the King of kings does all that He desires among the nations of the world. We are thankful to hear that He not only scatters the proud, but that He also gathers the humble through the blood of the Lamb and makes them to be members of His beloved family.
This detailed musing of the demolition of a privileged society has at least two holy purposes. First, it serves as a warning to those who are in charge that they will one day be called to account for their abuse of those who needed them to lead in love. Second, it is a comfort to the weak to remember that we are not being foolish when we wait upon the Lord. Authorities that appear unstoppable at the present moment will themselves be brought low at the proper time. The end of all things will come when the Lord has safely assembled all of His sons and daughters. We will then know what it feels like to be included in a victory that is far greater than anything we could ask for or even imagine.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Father God, if men and nations had their way with Your church we would have been overcome long ago. Violent abusers want to kill and destroy the weak. They would carry away people and possessions as though they were in the right. You know the desires of every heart and the actions of every life. Powerful leaders and empires may enjoy decades of privilege, but there is a day of reckoning coming for every person on this earth. Even the strongest people groups that once seemed perfectly secure can be swept aside in a moment. Keep us in Your kingdom, for in You alone we have safety.