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God Against Ninevah

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
May 27, 2020 8:00 am

God Against Ninevah

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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May 27, 2020 8:00 am

Again and again, Gods people forget Him. But God has not forgotten them. This was true when God spoke through the prophets Nahum and Haggai, and it is true today. On today's episode of The Bible Study Hour, we'll learn what the fulfillment of the prophecies teach us, Gods reaction when we neglect His work, and why the judgment of the nations is an encouragement to Gods people. Learn how Nahum and Haggai can teach us that the only way to avoid Gods wrath is to repent and seek His blessing.

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Welcome to the Bible study reviewing Internet Ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals featuring the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce for more information please contact us by calling toll-free one 804 88 18 and now the alliance is pleased to present the Bible study our bearing you to think and act biblically something very unsettling and disturbing about the military conquest of great cities of the last from ancient times or modern times we think back to the ancient world.

The great classic example is the fall of Rome.

The barbarians we read that in our simple days are not with the barbarians with the Romans and the collapse of the great culture I think it we come up to modern times, almost. We find ourselves thinking along the same lines in the fall of the city such as Berlin and the second world war, Hitler's Germany was the enemy of the Allied forces, but when we think of the bombing of the structure, the Berlin or something that kinda goes out in us to be sympathetic with the defenders in the situation such as last, we can identify those situations that we know something about the lens.

In some cases, the destruction is relatively recent indictment comes close to home, what name is about is the destruction of the ancient Assyrian capital of Nineveh whole book is about that, compared to the fall of Rome in the fall of Berlin and the other city. You may think of this was undoubtedly the greatest destruction of the greatest city. There is ever been.

And yet we hear that we read about it doesn't mean much to us because we just don't know much about Nineveh and doesn't have any bearing upon us personally is one reason why name is not or appreciated and it is where do we begin, how do you get a handle on account of a problem, but one thing you have to do is learn something about Nineveh in Assyria. The kingdom of which Nineveh was the capital, the origins of Nineveh are lost to secular historians, but we go back to the 10th chapter of Genesis to the 11th verse where the achievements of Nimrod that mighty hunter before the Lord are described, you'll find there that Nineveh was one of the cities he founded is best known for founding Babylon, but it mentions a number of his Capital Cities, Eric Scott, and Nineveh Bible is a great secular city.

What stands for a city that is organized all around man Nineveh is the great biblical example of all that is rule in my might say if you put those two together that Babylon is secular man united against God and Nineveh is secular man united against other men, all history of the world is quite possible that there has never been a cooler or more vicious city ruled by ruler more vicious rulers than was Nineveh.

For many many years of the city existed, little is known of Hammurabi writing about 2000 years or more before Christ mentions Nineveh so we know that point even from secular sources. It was in existence that we didn't know much about it where we really begin to learn about Nineveh is at the point Assyria began to impinge upon the Jewish states that goes back to about 850 years before Christ. Jomini's or the third one of the emperors and ruler in the numbers. The first really affected Israel the northern kingdom of the two Jewish states in any significant way. He invaded the north and 842 BC J. Ho, the son of Aubrey was on the throne of Israel at the time and apparently this King Jomini's are required. J who to pay tribute to him. The British Museum in London. There is some obelisk called the black obelisk has inscriptions and pictures on it.

There's a picture of Jay who they Jewish came bowing down before this great Assyrian king, and underneath is listed all of the tribute to Jay who had to pay to the one I would not become his overlord to Gallipolis or the third invaded the lands about 100 years after that Jomini's or the fifth invaded in the 700s BC, and though he died in that particular campaign. His son Sargon. The second is the one that was actually leading the Assyrian troops on the northern kingdom fell 7 anyone BC and then after that though the northern kingdom was gone.

There was a man also of Nineveh ruler nameless and accurate. He launched an invasion against Judah in the south and he tells about it all boasting in his annals how he shut up Hezekiah who was the Judean king at the time like a caged bird in his Royal city and plundered all of the countryside.

He tells the number of cities they over throw in the amount of spoil. He brought back didn't tell the story, of course, because when we read the Old Testament, especially second Kings and Isaiah tells about it as well. We learn that when he was encamped around Jerusalem moderating his blasphemous threats against the God of Israel. God said his angel out hundred and 85,000 of the Assyrian troops after having lost by many troops.

Large large portion of his army, the king went back Nineveh, where he belonged.

But not without devastating Judah point of all this is that the contact that Israel and Judah had during these years with the kingdoms of the East were essentially contacts with Nineveh in all this. Nineveh's was growing richer and richer and bigger and bigger and stronger and stronger. It was the mightiest city of its day under select rib. They extend the walls around the city before this time they already had a wall around the University was 8 miles in circumference, was 100 feet high was so wide to three chariots could race a breast around the top banana 1200 towers. There were 14 gates in the city. He built a great great palace within the city that was called the palace without arrival, the probably was without arrival in the ancient world select rib also added a second wall around the city was like the outer Beltway of the city of his day.

Never was entirely finished is a great range big wall had an armor eight, a covered 46 acres chariots and weapons in everything you can imagine is a great great city when it was a wicked city and a cruel city what God says to Nineveh through the prophet Nahum is that the city by the judgment of God is going to be brought down.

This is a great book of the certainty of God's judgment. When we begin, it we find right at the start about verse to the theme of the book because what God has Nahum right and adverse are these words the Lord Jehovah is a jealous and avenging God. The Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies, all on a hard theme that is a breach in our day.

People like to hear about the wrath of God we don't like to hear about the jealousy of God the avenging character of God.

They want a God who sort of wishy-washy in his love. God was sort of all-encompassing in his sentimental indulgence of people just like you and me. Nahum says that God is not like that. It's true, the God is a God of love, a holy, righteous sovereign, electing merciful love but God is also a God of wrath when he talks about in this book in regard to Nineveh is that aspect of God's character which you and I would love to forget where the knife and it were possible. What we like to do is cut God in half when I did take 1/2 is all the nice things all the law of all the mercy all the compassion all the wisdom but I get things like holiness, righteousness and justice can do that our God is one God and that means it in that one God are the perfection of all the divine attributes includes this matter wrath, so we hope this is that he talks about avenging three times just in this one verse. The Lord God is a jealous and avenging God.

He takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The Lord takes vengeance as follows. So you put me doesn't say second Peter three, nine and 10, the Lord is patient, long-suffering, not willing that any should perish.

Yes, he certainly is long-suffering.

He certainly is patient, you know that Texan second Peter you know that even as Peter says the Lord is long-suffering he is speaking within the context of judgment, reason, he brings it in is to explain why judgment hasn't come yet the reason hasn't come yet as God is long-suffering but it doesn't mean that God is not going to judge very passage and speaks of God's patience says of the judgment of God's will shortly going to come is able is not wrong, God should not like that Judy LM explains but is not wrong and that is precisely how God should act because as verse three goes on to explain the Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, slow to anger, using the same thing the Peter is saying. But walk. Nevertheless says that I am he will not leave the guilty unpunished.

That's the issue you see it's not that God is a capricious, vengeful deity got a God that gets his kicks out of sending people to how well I do to live in an otherwise dull afternoon. I know I wipe out Nineveh, God is in all like that God is the judge of the universe, the righteous judge who does what is right God judge sin here. You have this great example of violence and wickedness in the case of Nineveh.

Guilds multiply guilt, self-evident anyone will see God says now through name is profit, but because of the guilt of this great city judgment is going to come says is going to be resistible to be certain that's what the rest of these verses in the first section, down through verse six deal with as a number of images. There is ways in the whirlwind and the storm clouds of the dust of his speech. Whatever God does happens in the realm of nature, he rebukes the sea, and it dries up.

He makes the rivers run dry. God can roll drops in times of abundant water patient Carmel Lebanon all fade. They were places that were known for their luxurious vegetation when God wills, even these places dry up. He goes on to talk about mountains quaking hills melting away the earth trembling at his presence. God sends earthquakes by says is this God who is in control of the natural world and can do those things most certainly can bring down a simple human city, even if it's as great as Nineveh pretends it is really are three reasons given here. Why God is going to judge the city and the third one comes in verse seven, and is given special elaboration of the remainder of that first chapter of the first reason is that the Lord is a jealous God is jealous for his honor is the daughter will have no other gods before him, and Nineveh was an idolatrous city. The second is that he's avenging God. That's to say he's a God who does right establishes justice. Now the third reason is given is done in exactly the same way, describing the characteristic of God. Not only is the Lord jealous and not only is the Lord and avenging God the Lord says in verse seven is also good that is good to his people.

God was good to his own people, and is not indifference to the cries of the oppressed. Certainly will hear his people in their dismay and misery and will rise up in his time to judge those were their oppressors. That's the meaning of the verses. These verses talk about so graphically in which it certainly puts the fear of God in the hearts of those who lived in Nineveh is that the destruction and judgment coming was to be an utter total complete destruction.

As I look through these verses I find I am saying seven times over using different imagery that the destruction is going to be complete. Verse eight with an overwhelming flood, he will make an end of Nineveh. Verse nine. Whatever they plot against the Lord.

He will bring to an end trouble not, second time verse 10 they will be consumed like dry stubble stubble sticks to burn and once it's burned it's gone. This is the way God's going to treat the city verse four. Even though there unscathed in numerous. Certainly, they were if when and Before the walls of Jerusalem hundred and 85,000 soldiers could be killed and that would still be Army large enough to march home. Even though there unscathed in numerous they will be cut down and pass away, which is to say that we gone the world will remember them no more. Verse 14. You will have no descendents to bear your name later on in the verse I will prepare your grave and die going to perish. Finally at the end no more will the wicked invade you they will be completely destroyed. See what God is saying the city if you will, is it because it was an example of excessive cruelty. God was going to make its an example of the complete and total nature of his judgment. God was not merely going to overthrow the city. The way Rome has been overthrown, but rises from its ashes or Berlin has been overthrown, but rises from its ashes. God was going to wipe Nineveh off the face of the earth precisely what happened. There is no city in the ancient world. The disappeared so totally in the face of history is as ancient mighty strong expansive capital of the Syrian Empire short time after the fall of Nineveh matter hundreds of years. One of the Greeks march through that area and he didn't even know that he was going by the capital it faded away so completely.

Nineveh was gone to the memory of historians until the area of Nineveh began to be excavated by archaeologists in the 1840s that this ancient capital, with all its ruins came to light, we turn to the second chapter and then begins to develop what he saying here in a very personal and direct way when he does here is turned Nineveh itself. In this first chapter name is really talking to his people place talking with people about Nineveh. He says God's going to bring Nineveh down Lord is good to you so forth going to deliver you when he gets to the second chapter returns from his people.

The people of Nineveh begins to talk to them in what is undoubtedly one of the great masterpieces of ancient literature is a great description of warfare. It just soars along target captured entirely in English translation that you don't miss it entirely. People have a sense for the Hebrew say that this is just masterful the way this is done, you have the whole picture of the military assault upon Nineveh and the fall of Nineveh developed here is the approach of the troops to the city proceeded by the preparation of those were about to defend themselves in attacker advances against you Nineveh guard the fortress watched Road brace yourselves partial your strength is the very thing they would've been doing.

He describes how the enemy the invading forces which were the Babylonians, the Scythians Arab forces of others describes other cited for the first time the shields of his soldiers see them glistening out of the sauna, ran the warriors are clad in scarlet metal.

The chariot splashes on the data made ready the spears of pine are brandished see them like rows and rows of picket fences all spears advancing across the plane toward the ancient city defined the honorarium. The city probably the suburbs beyond the second wall you find that overrun the chariot switch lead the advancing forces. The chariot stormed through the streets rushing back and forth through the squares they look like flaming torches, they dart about like lightning you find in the next verses of the rushing to the walls to defend the inner fortifications. He summons is picked troops. If they stumble on their way there frightened in the city. They to the city wall. The protective shield was put in place find something next which we are told actually happened was we would expect by secular historians.

The Greeks wrote about this. The river gates are thrown open and the palace collapses Greek historian writes about this.

What happened apparently is that the Babylonians and the others advanced against Nineveh in the spring of the year. At the time of the heaviest rains. They were particularly heavy in this particular year the rivers flooded. They were impounded behind certain dams were used to control the flow of water into the city. Then after they had been impounded.

The invading forces open the dams the water rushed toward Nineveh undermine the walls and for a distance of 21 furlongs little over 2 miles. The wall collapsed and part of that included the foundation of the palace is what I am writes about is what he prophesies the river. Gates are thrown open and the palace collapses, it is decreed very interesting something significant here that the city will be exiled and carried away there was an Oracle was part of a prevalent Nineveh that Nineveh would stand until the river itself rose against it at the Oracle was decreed that the river would do that and indeed it did were told when that happened, ruler in the city Emperor the time, rather on warlike figure understood the omen to mean that there was no longer any hope for himself so we gathered all his belongings together the inner palace.

All the gold all the silver the chariots the clothing and then he had an enclosure there and he put all his concubines of the UNIX concert in the palace within it.

He himself got there and then he lit a fire to the whole thing rolling up in smoke was an enormous conflagration. We might read this. We might say look name doesn't know what he's talking about is talking about the city being overthrown with water and he begins to talk about it being overthrown with firing is that several times in chapter 3.

That sounds self-contradictory. After all, how did the city fall. Point of fact, it fell both ways water undermine the walls flooded the city. The fire was set and the archaeologists to excavated the site say that the site is literally covered with inches and sometimes feet of ashes indicate that the fire was so great that virtually everything was destroyed or saved Nineveh's like a pool with water is draining away. What's he talking about.

There is talking about plunder. Stop. Stop. They cry. No one turns back, plunder the silver plunder. The goal of the supplies endless wealth of all its treasures is probably literally true, it was impossible to catalog the wealth of Nineveh and the animals of the Assyrian kings are long lists of the tribute was brought back from the captive nations all the gold all the silver, the ingots, the chariots, the ivory beds. The golden throne. The sheep, the goats everything, sources his list go on and on and on and on just uncountable here. It was like a pool that had collected within itself all the wealth of the ancient world and now suddenly it's overthrown like a pool in the wall broken in one side, all of the drains out again. The archaeologists say as they dug up the ancient side of Nineveh that they do not find any goal they do not find any silver they do not find anything of any real worth because precisely as name said it was all plundered she is pillaged she is stripped Park smelt Nice giveaway bodies tremble in every face grows pale.

Why did it happen. Historians would say well you know cities rise and fall will have their day historians would say well the Babylonians where in ascendancy and say well you know they began to lose their ability in warfare somewhat.

The way the Romans did they had the higher troops mercenaries to protect the Empire.

That's not why name says the city fell defined in verse 13. I am against you, declares the Lord Almighty. I will burn up your chariots and smoke. The sword will devour your young lions.

I will leave you know, pray on the earth. The voices of your messengers no longer be heard as a dreadful thing to dreadful thing to have God say I am against you, I am against you, oh Nineveh, I am against you overgrow. I am against you, oh Philadelphia, I am against you, whoever you may be, if God says that God says that he is against you in his righteous judgment, with full knowledge of your guilt and sin and it is a terrible, terrible thing to fall in the hands of such an angry God is in these judgments that are recorded for us so vividly in the pages of the word of God are not given to us so that we can titillate our minds with fulfilled prophecy thing, isn't it interesting how point by point all the things that name said were actually fulfilled in the fall of this ancient city and then go away inside my were much wiser because we didn't know that before God records the destruction of ancient cities where that Sodom and Gomorrah are Nineveh, or whether it's the ancient world and the destruction by the flautist that we might learn that God is a God of judgment and judgment is coming and the judge of all the earth does do right and what is right where your concern go on your way you Spartans's law. If you have sought out sin in your own devices. What is right is right is that God, the righteous God must judge you, and will judge you. The Bible doesn't say hedge on the subject. The Bible talks about hell eternal judgment.

And this compared to how Alyssa is a passing thing. God tells that to you in order that you might turn from your sin and seek his face is only one place where there is deliverance from that judgment which is yet to come. That is the cross of Christ and the deliverances to be found at the cross of Christ, not because it this one particular point in history.

God simply says well I forget about judgment. There are no is because God poured out his judgment. There is Jesus experienced all that in behalf of those who are united to him by saving faith say it's almost as if Christ is our umbrella and is the judgment of God falls we have the opportunity of standing beneath that shelter protected from the wrath that is to come. This is a serious thing by God. It was grace, not to fool ourselves in spiritual matters, but to seek the Lord while he may be found by the spray. Our father, we read of the destruction of an ancient city great cities such as Nineveh, by your grace, we would apply those historical lessons to ourselves, our father don't allow us to delude ourselves by thinking that you are somehow less God than you actually are a God of love without wrath. God of mercy without justice. Help us to see that you are who you are in the way of salvation is that way of salvation, which you have provided and that way alone, give us grace to come in that way for the sake of Christ our Lord. You have been listening to the Bible study our production of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals the alliance of confessing Evangelicals exist to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of Reformation theologians from decades, even centuries gone by.

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