Summary: This sermon is explaining about the present situations of our places of residences. We have problems, we have terrors but Still we can bring changes if we commit to God's plan in prayer.
City of Nineveh and our Present City
1. Pitiable State of the City of Nineveh (1-7)
Prophet Nahum was capable of writing most graphic poetry in the whole of the OT.
Nineveh: It was founded by Nimrud in Assyria (Genesis10:11). It was a village during 5th Millennium BC. It lay on the east of Tigris. Nineveh was fallen to Babylonians and Medes in 612BC.
Now it has become a City of bloodshed, woes, deceitful, robbery, violence, spears, casualties, corpses. Murder, oppression, wresting of judgment, war out of covetousness, grinding or neglect of the poor, make it “a city of bloods.” (Albert Barnes). All because of wanton lust, alluring, debaucheries of prostitute, sorcery and enslaved. Liars means all falsehood, in word and act, hypocrisy, speaks of treachery, treacherous dealing, in contrast with open violence. The whole being of the wickedness toward God and man, deceiving, leaving no place for God and his Truth.
Nineveh, refers to the present world order, order of the devil, as opposed to the “city of God.” The order of God. The first one is early love and desire, greed and self. The other is the heavenly love, desire for God and his qualities. First one glorifies the self but the second glorifies God.
Is there any city in the world which does not have any of these things in their life? Things are same yesterday and today.
Behold I am against thee - Jerome: “I will not send an Angel, I Myself will come to destroy thee.” Cyril: She has not war with man. The Lord of hosts is angered with her. But who would meet God Almighty, who hath power over all, if He would war against him?” I will lift your skirts- refers the life of Loosing dignity and honored. Pushed to disgraceful and Shameful life. Put asunder by God. Becoming useless in the sight of God.
Proud state of the Citizens
Are you better than Thebes (8-11)?
Thebes was known as ‘No Amon’ to the Israelites. It was the capital of upper Egypt. No-Amon was city of 100 gates with circumference of 27 miles, metropolis of Pharaohs, ever conqueror, one of the powerful world powers. Are you better than ‘No’? No=No Amon (Jeremiah 46:25, Ezekiel 30:14-16). It was called Thebes (city par excellence). It was surrounded by canals. Lay on the banks of Nile and desert bounding on either side. Thebes was centre of the worldwide worship of the god Amon. The fall of Thebes and No was prophesied by Jeremiah (46:25). Theben Amon was entitled ‘Amon Re, king of the gods’, being identified with the sun-god Re.
Ashur-Bani-pal invaded Egypt in BC 665 and plundered their ‘gold, silver, diamonds, colourful dresses, took captives of young male and female youth, dashed children at street corners, brought tame animals’(Ellicott). Thebes was utterly destroyed in spite of her boundaries of the waterbodies and canals (Isaiah 19:5). She can’t rely upon the subordinate states such as, Mesopotamia, Babylonia, Syria, Ethiopia or Cush, Put (part of Arabia) and Lubim. No-Amon means house of Amun. No of the Solar god Amon (Pulpit). No Amon was the land of Ham the son of Noah, it also means the Palace of Ham i.e. Hamon (Gill). Greeks called it as city of Diospolis because Jupiter was worshipped. At that time 7,00,000 soldiers lived here; 20,000 chariots used to go for war. It was also known as possession of Ammon. Large population cannot save you Thebes.
Mathew Henry: “Nineveh, and many other cities, states, and empires, have been ruined, and should be a warning to us. Are we better, except as there are some true Christians among us, who are a greater security, and a stronger defense, than all the advantages of situation or strength? When the Lord shows himself against a people, everything they trust in must fail, or prove a disadvantage”. The Chaldean and Medes would devour the land like canker-worms (licking locusts). The Assyrians also would be eaten up by their own numerous hired troops, which seem to be meant by the word rendered merchants. No alliance can stand against God’s power, against God’s children, against prayerful Christian, against God-fearing followers of Christ.
You too will become like others. All your fortress is nothing. Cush or Ethiopia is present day Sudan. ‘Put’ is Somalia and Libya. Nothing can heal you. Endless cruelty. God is against the proud.
Profitable Citizens of a City
Bible gives many examples of the cities which were blessed or cursed because of leaders and individuals:
Save your city with God’s wisdom: A poor wise man delivered the city by his wisdom (Ecclesiastics 9:13-15).
Save the city with intercession: For the sake of ten righteous, I will forgive the whole place for their sake. I will not destroy the City (Genesis 18:26-32). A day will come God will not spare many (Ezekiel 14:12-20).