Accountability, Bible, Chaos, Discipline, Eternity, Order, Scripture

CHAOS AND DISORDER

NAHUM 2:4

“The chariots drive wildly in the streets, they rush around in the public squares; their appearance is like torches, they drive back and forth like lightning flashes.”

I prefer things orderly. I would not say I am obsessed by it, but I like things to be put in their place. My parents taught me that. I remember my dad had all his tools displayed on a huge peg board in his shop. Everything hung in place. If you needed something, it was easy to see. Just make sure you put it back in its place, lol.

Nahum is describing a scene of war in which nothing is in order. The chariots “drive wildly” in the streets. They drive back and forth “like lightning flashes” and “like torches.” He is picturing the assault on Nineveh and the chaos that ensued. It almost seems they are fighting without any leaders. That is never good.

APPLICATION

To whom do you look to find order and discipline? Some of us look to ourselves. We think we can do it. Some look to the military to teach them discipline. Still others depend on someone in authority to tell them exactly what to do.

All of those are acceptable sources of order, but none of them are eternal. They will all cease. There is only one source of order and discipline that will last for eternity. That is the Lord Jesus. He gave us the Holy Spirit to live inside of us. He helps guide our steps each day.

Left to my own devices, I would be a mess. I would probably drift into nothingness. I would lay around and mope. But the Holy Spirit in me gives me a purpose for living. That demands I follow His leadership which gives me order and discipline. If there is one thing the Holy Spirit is not, He is not disorderly. Will you let Him direct your steps today?

O Lord, I praise You for keeping me straight. I know I can rely on Your Holy Spirit to guide my steps.

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Modeling, Christianity, God's Will, Bible, Scripture, Opponents, Devil, Enemies, Battles, Agreement, Allies, Allegiance

A SHIELD

NAHUM 2:3

“The shields of his warriors are dyed red, the warriors are dressed in scarlet, the chariots are fitted with flashing steel when he is prepared to march, and the juniper spears are brandished.”

I love to watch football (American football), especially college football. I love to watch the team working as one to achieve a goal – to score on their opponent or to prevent their opponent from scoring on them. A lot of this occurs on the line of scrimmage. Young men forming a line of defense have to work together as one.

The English translation above says “shields,” but the actual Hebrew word is singular – “shield.” That makes a difference. Nahum is saying that “the shield of His warriors” is one. They move as one. They attack as one. They are no longer fighting alone against their enemies. They have become a unified force under the banner of Jehovah.

APPLICATION

This should send a message to us, not about fighting, but about standing together. Christians are so divided today. We segregate ourselves between denominations. We divide our churches by race. We cannot fight our common enemy if we stay divided. We must become one.

So, what prevents that? Is it pride or arrogance? Is it our church traditions? Some of these divisions are over minor doctrinal disagreements that do not really have an effect on our salvation. Paul says in Romans 12:4-5 “4 For just as we have many parts in one body and all the body’s parts do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually parts of one another.”

What part are you? How can you help unify the body of Christ? The ministry I am serving in now, Every Man A Warrior (www.everymanawarrior.com), cuts across denominational lines. We have leaders in 58 countries and in all 50 states in the U.S. And guess what? We are all not Southern Baptists. Nor are we all Methodists. We are all believers in Christ who want to see our culture changed by changing the hearts of men. Will you join us in unifying the body of Christ worldwide?

Help me hold Your shield, Lord, as I face our enemies.

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Bible, Completeness, Glory, God's Will, Restoration, Scripture

RESTORE THE SPLENDOR

NAHUM 2:2

“For the LORD will restore the splendor of Jacob like the splendor of Israel, even though destroyers have laid waste to them and ruined their vines.”

Years ago, I loved to restore antique furniture. I loved the process of stripping off the old varnish and stain. I loved stripping off layers of paint that had covered up the beautiful wood grains underneath. Then I would apply a new stain and varnish, making sure my brush strokes were straight and smooth. At the end I would have a fully restored piece of furniture.

The Lord is going to restore Jacob to its splendor. This meant that they would be fully devoted to Yahweh. They would empty themselves of any other allegiances and return to Him. He would be their splendor. It was not about anything they had done. It was all Him.

APPLICATION

Don’t you just love Psalm 51:12 where David asks the Lord to restore to him the joy of His salvation? God did that. He restored David. After a terrible fall involving adultery, lies, deceit and even murder, God restored him. He can do the same for you. No matter what you have done, God can strip off all that old varnish of sin and restore your splendor.

We get so good at covering our sin, don’t we? Just like that old piece of furniture, which is covered with layers of paint or varnish, we cover our sins with all sorts of things. We think we can hide them, but God sees right through them. He sees what we can be in Him. It is His splendor that He wants to give us.

I am thankful that God stripped me of my layers of junk. I am thankful that all that shines in me now is because of Him. In fact, it is all Him. There is nothing good in me except Jesus. He is all I need. He is all you need, as well. Let His splendor shine.

Strip me Lord of all the layers I have built up in my life. Let me shine forth Your splendor for all the world to see.

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Accountability, Accused, Bible, Confession, Forgiveness, Repentance, Salvation, Scripture, Sin, Surrender

HOPELESS

NAHUM 2:1

“The one who scatters has come up against you. Keep watch over the fortress, watch the road; bind up your waist, summon all your strength.

When you come up against a force that is greater than you, all your defenses are worthless. I played high school football many years ago. I remember vividly playing against a high school from Alabama that was far superior to our small, rural high school. We were overmatched from the start and despite our great efforts, we were trounced.

Nahum turns his attention fully now to Nineveh and its pending destruction. He almost jokingly tells how they can watch the road and bind up their waist. They can summon all their strength, but nothing will prevent God’s judgment falling upon them. They will not be able to resist His power.

APPLICATION

We read this prophecy against Nineveh and point our fingers at them. We think how could they even hope to defend themselves against God. But we do the same. We fight against God daily defending our own actions that we know are not what God desires. But because we think we have the right; we just do it.

There is nothing that gives us the right to do as we want. We are free in Christ to do as we should. That is a big difference. We are just like Nineveh in so many ways. We put up our defenses. These are useless against a holy God. The best thing we can do is surrender and agree with God about our sins.

Confession is just that – saying the same thing about our sin as God is saying. We agree with Him. The problem today in our society is nothing is sin. Sin is an outdated word. To say someone is sinful is being intolerant. God’s standards have not changed. Neither has the way He deals with sin. Confess your sins today and feel His mercy and grace.

Forgive me, Lord. I have sinned against You and Your principles.

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Accountability, Bible, Friends, God's Will, Gospel, Scripture, Testimony, Witnessing

GOOD FEET

NAHUM 1:15

“Behold, on the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace! Celebrate your feasts, Judah, pay your vows. For never again will the wicked one pass through you; he is eliminated completely.”

As I have gotten older my feet are starting to get ugly. Sorry, that’s just the facts. I’ve got this big bunion on my left big toe and my two little toes are starting to turn in. I see this a lot in older people. Their feet are not that pretty. But those feet that are carrying the gospel are beautiful to God, no matter how they look.

Nahum says something here that is used by Paul when he says in Romans 10:15, “But how are they to preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written: “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!” Those feet that bring good tidings are celebrated. Who doesn’t want to bring good news?

APPLICATION

How do your feet look? I don’t mean physically. I mean how do they look to God? Are you bringing the good news of Jesus to others? When we come to Christ, we are given the good news to share with others. But we seldom do that. We get stuck in our little Christian circles and don’t reach out to those who are in need of this news.

Let’s get our walking shoes on. Let’s begin sharing with whomever will listen. Let’s spread the news of Jesus to our lost friends. If they are truly our friends, don’t they need to know this? Aren’t you concerned about your lost neighbors? Don’t take on the whole neighborhood at once. Start with one.

I know my feet have been busy lately taking the good news to other parts of the world, but I have neglected those closest to me. Father, forgive me for not using my feet closest to home. I want to walk the good news to every neighbor. Will you join me?

Help me use my feet, Lord, to deliver the good news of Jesus to all who will hear.

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Praise, God's Will, Holy Spirit, Bible, Scripture, Evil, Devil, Judgment, Accountability, Enemies, Boundaries

VILE

NAHUM 1:14 

“The LORD has issued a command concerning you: ‘Your name will no longer be perpetuated. I will eliminate the carved image and the cast metal image from the house of your gods. I will prepare your grave, for you are contemptible.’” 

Psalm 101.3 says “I will not look on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do. I will have no part in it.” That should be our attitude towards anything that is vile. But what does that mean? It’s the last word used in today’s verse – contemptible. It means to be cursed or despised. If it is not godly, have no part in it. 

Nahum tells the Assyrians that their time was up. The Lord is going to wipe them away like crumbs from a table. “Your name will no longer be perpetuated…I will prepare your grave.” Those are pretty harsh words. God meant business. He had used them as His battering ram against Israel to judge them, but they had taken it too far. 

APPLICATION 

Today we are bombarded with the vile. All around us are worldly, ungodly things that try to lure us into a lifestyle that is abhorrent to God. Movies, television and commercials all attempt to point us toward a lifestyle that is anything but embracing a Christian viewpoint. 

So, what do we do? We cannot live outside this world – at least not yet. While we are here, we must insulate ourselves with the Word of God. Only His Word can give us the protection we need against the evil one. His flaming arrows are always trying to find their mark against us. 

I am thankful that God has given me the desire to memorize and meditate on His Word. I know my quiver is always full of His Word to defend myself. The Spirit within me is quick to point out those things that offend it. Rely on Him to guard your heart and mind in your daily battles. 

I dedicate my life to honoring You, O Father. You are worthy of my praise and allegiance. 

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Battles, Bible, Freedom, Praise, Scripture, Sin, Surrender, Testimony

SHACKLES

NAHUM 1:13

“‘So now, I will break his yoke from upon you, and I will tear your shackles to pieces.’”

The first thing that I thought of when I read this verse was the song by Mary Mary called “Shackles.” The chorus says,

“Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just want to praise you
I just want to praise you
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I’m gonna praise you
I’m gonna praise you.”

Nahum is telling the Israelites that God is breaking their shackles of captivity put on them by the Assyrians (Nineveh). He is setting them free. I bet they felt just like Mary Mary. They just wanted to praise Him. Their shackles were real, though. They felt the weight of the chains. They knew how it felt when they fell off.

APPLICATION

What has you shackled right now? It could be a sin that you have not been able to shake off. You pray and pray but return to the cesspool of sin. That stronghold has you shackled with seemingly no escape. You may not have real chains, but it sure feels like it at times.

I have good news for you. God is still in the shackle breaking business. Lift your hands to Him in prayer, shackles and all, and ask Him to break them. Lay out your feet, shackles and all, and watch them fall off as you yield to Him and give Him everything. Until you do that, those shackles will continue to bind you.

Walking without shackles is a lot better than walking with them. You lose that “shackle shuffle” that is so obvious. When people see you walking free, they will ask what happened. That is when you can tell them you story. You can join with Mary Mary in singing,

“Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just want to praise you
I just want to praise you
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I’m gonna praise you
I’m gonna praise you.”

I love You, Lord, and I lift my hands to worship You. O my soul rejoice!

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Abiding, Accountability, Affliction, Battles, Bible, Blessing, Discipline, Faith, God's Will, Judgment, Restoration, Scripture

NO LONGER

NAHUM 1:12

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Though they are at full strength and so they are many, so also they will be cut off and pass away. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no longer.’”

I had to have a test one time to determine if my nerve endings were affected by my Amyloidosis (the disease I have). I will not go into all the details of this test, but suffice it to say, it hurt. And it took a long time. I did not think it would ever end. Finally, the technician doing the test said, “Okay, Mr. Willis, we’re done now. The test is over.” What sweet words!

Nahum is telling Israel that the one He had used to afflict them would afflict them no longer. Their time of suffering had ended. Don’t you know those were sweet words to them, as well? On top of that, the ones who had afflicted them were going to get what was coming to them.

APPLICATION

Are you in a time of affliction right now? This too shall pass. Let me encourage you to not look on your affliction as affliction. Look on it as purification. See it as a testing to make you more like Jesus as you learn to trust your Father in the midst of the storm. I do not know what you are going through. I do not know the source of your trial. But I know the One who does.

There is not a trial that has ever afflicted one person that God is not aware. Some of those trials He has brought on to bring that person to Him. Other trials He has simply allowed. All of them are meant to make us better, not bitter. It all depends on how we surrender in the midst of the affliction.

I have shared numerous times in my blogs about the afflictions I have been through physically. I will hasten to say that I do not want to repeat any of them. However, I also know that God used them all to strengthen me and make me into the image He wants to produce in me. Let Him refine you today.

O God, Redeemer of my soul, make me what You want to make me. I am clay in Your hands.

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Accountability, Bible, Commands, Consequences, Counsel, Encouragement, God's Will, Holy Spirit, Scripture, Truth

A WICKED COUNSELOR

NAHUM 1:11

“From you has gone out one who plotted evil against the LORD, a wicked counselor.”

In our lifetimes, we are going to receive some wrong counsel. Friends who think they know best will offer advice that they are sure is the best for you. You may even receive some advice that you know is not from God because it goes against what His Word says. You have to be careful from whom you receive pearls of wisdom.

Nahum states it plainly. There is bad counsel coming from Nineveh. Listen to what Isaiah said about this in Isaiah 10:5. “Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger and the staff in whose hands is My indignation,…” The nation God used to judge Israel thought it had done this on their own. Pride, once again, raises its ugly head.

APPLICATION

How do you know you are receiving good counsel, godly counsel? Simple, measure it against God’s Word. Does it agree with what God says? If it doesn’t, leave it alone. My rule has been if I know it’s bad, don’t do it. If I’m not sure, don’t do it. That has kept me out of a lot of tight jams.

A word of warning – people will think you are crazy for basing your decisions on an ancient book. Come on, Carl, times have changed. It’s 2022, not 1962. I don’t care if it’s 2050. God’s Word is timeless, and its truths eternal. I will never go wrong by choosing to live by it.

God’s counsel, through His Word and His Spirit, will never steer you wrong. It may not make perfect sense all the time but just trust it. It will see you through. I truly believe every problem we face in life can be solved simply by trusting His Word. Try it today.

Your Word is faithful. I will turn to it as my counsel.

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Abiding, Accountability, Accused, Bible, Brokenness, Sin, Submission, Surrender

CRUSHED BY THEMSELVES

NAHUM 1:10

“Like tangled thorns, and like those who are drunken with their drink, they are consumed like stubble completely dried up.”

Some people are self-destructive. They continue to do things that put themselves in bad situations. No one needs to crush them. They do it to themselves – over and over again. No amount of advice helps. They are determined to “fix themselves,” even though they have no idea how to do that.

Nahum is talking to individuals just like that in Nineveh. In fact, history tells us that Nineveh had become so proud and arrogant, they thought no one could defeat them. In the midst of their drunkenness and debauchery, their enemies pounced. They never saw it coming. Pride was their downfall.

APPLICATION

What is your downfall? What is blinding you to your sins against a holy God? We put blinders on sometimes and do not see what is around us. We think we are doing just fine, and we are in the minefield. One wrong step and boom! Then we turn to God and ask what happened.

All along, God is trying to get our attention. He is trying to lead us in the right direction, but we will have no part of it. We know what is best. Take a minute and read John 15. You will be reminded that nothing is possible unless you are abiding in that life-giving vine.

I choose to allow Him to take my hand and lead me. I have stepped on enough mines in my lifetime. I want to walk safely and peacefully from now on. How about you? Are you tired of being crushed down and defeated by your own poor choices? Turn to Him. He will take you by the hand too.

Take my hand, dear Lord, and lead me. I want to go only where You lead.

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