Nineveh was a force to be reckoned with in ancient days, but God called her “the bloody city” that was “full of lies and plunder.” The capital of the great Assyrian Empire was used to telling other people what they must do if they wanted to live, but soon the streets of Nineveh would have “dead bodies without end.” God called this formidable seat of worldly power a “prostitute.” She looked “graceful” to the casual observer, but her “charms” were “deadly” to all who fell under her seductions.
Though Nineveh would be overcome by the Babylonians, it was God Himself who said, “I am against you.” The Lord would turn the ruling families of the Assyrians into a “spectacle.” Those who had been accustomed to the greatest accolades among men would now face the worst public humiliation.
Was such a fall possible? History assured any honest observer that other honored places of human authority had faced similarly swift destruction. All of them had eventually been scattered by a greater military force. Nineveh would be sent into exile. Like a hoard of “locusts,” the Assyrian soldiers might seem to cover the face of the earth, yet they would all “fly away” and be forgotten by future generations. Even their “nobles” would be “scattered on the mountains with none to gather them.”
Why would the Assyrian Empire be destroyed? Why would their neighbors celebrate the report of Nineveh’s humiliation? The Assyrians leaders had ruled with “unceasing evil” and every nation around them had fallen victim to their brutality.
The story of international history is full of similar despotic groups that loved to lie, steal, and murder other weaker countries. It is good news that the kingdom of God will eventually have victory over all such tyrants. In the course of many centuries whenever a Nineveh is crushed by foreign warriors, we are given a taste of a far greater judgment that will one day come upon all the lawless powers of this fading cosmos. With the second coming of our Messiah, God’s eternal kingdom will be fully glorified. The justice of the Almighty will be entirely in the hands of One who was pierced for our transgressions. The supreme Potentate over the resurrection world will be the Lord Jesus Christ who loves His church with a steadfast commitment that shall never fail.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Glorious God, the age of violence will soon be over. We do not know the day or the hour, but we do confess that our lives here below will not last forever. When our mortal bodies fail, we will still rejoice in You. No longer will we fear enemies from without or within. We do not know the one who knocks at the door with an evil heart, but we can trust You, even in this present age. Give us a mind for the life to come. Help us to meditate on the reality of heavenly habitations. Did not Jesus have a resurrection body? Did He not ascend in clouds of glory? Can any evil empire hurt Him? Have not Your beloved children found their safety in Him? The day of wickedness will soon be gone, and we will worship You forever.