Through The Bible Monday 12-17-18 Devotions
1 This message concerning Nineveh came as a vision to Nahum, who lived in Elkosh.
The Lord’s Anger against Nineveh
2 The Lord is a jealous God,
filled with vengeance and rage.
He takes revenge on all who oppose him
and continues to rage against his enemies!
3 The Lord is slow to get angry, but his power is great,
and he never lets the guilty go unpunished.
He displays his power in the whirlwind and the storm.
The billowing clouds are the dust beneath his feet.
4 At his command the oceans dry up,
and the rivers disappear.
The lush pastures of Bashan and Carmel fade,
and the green forests of Lebanon wither.
5 In his presence the mountains quake,
and the hills melt away;
the earth trembles,
and its people are destroyed.
6 Who can stand before his fierce anger?
Who can survive his burning fury?
His rage blazes forth like fire,
and the mountains crumble to dust in his presence.
7 The Lord is good,
a strong refuge when trouble comes.
He is close to those who trust in him.
8 But he will sweep away his enemies[a] in an overwhelming flood.
He will pursue his foes
into the darkness of night.
9 Why are you scheming against the Lord?
He will destroy you with one blow;
he won’t need to strike twice!
10 His enemies, tangled like thornbushes
and staggering like drunks,
will be burned up like dry stubble in a field.
11 Who is this wicked counselor of yours
who plots evil against the Lord?
12 This is what the Lord says:
“Though the Assyrians have many allies,
they will be destroyed and disappear.
O my people, I have punished you before,
but I will not punish you again.
13 Now I will break the yoke of bondage from your neck
and tear off the chains of Assyrian oppression.”
14 And this is what the Lord says concerning the Assyrians in Nineveh:
“You will have no more children to carry on your name.
I will destroy all the idols in the temples of your gods.
I am preparing a grave for you
because you are despicable!”
15 [b]Look! A messenger is coming over the mountains with good news!
He is bringing a message of peace.
Celebrate your festivals, O people of Judah,
and fulfill all your vows,
for your wicked enemies will never invade your land again.
They will be completely destroyed!
The Fall of Nineveh
2 [c]Your enemy is coming to crush you, Nineveh.
Man the ramparts! Watch the roads!
Prepare your defenses! Call out your forces!
2 Even though the destroyer has destroyed Judah,
the Lord will restore its honor.
Israel’s vine has been stripped of branches,
but he will restore its splendor.
3 Shields flash red in the sunlight!
See the scarlet uniforms of the valiant troops!
Watch as their glittering chariots move into position,
with a forest of spears waving above them.[d] 4 The chariots race recklessly along the streets
and rush wildly through the squares.
They flash like firelight
and move as swiftly as lightning.
5 The king shouts to his officers;
they stumble in their haste,
rushing to the walls to set up their defenses.
6 The river gates have been torn open!
The palace is about to collapse!
7 Nineveh’s exile has been decreed,
and all the servant girls mourn its capture.
They moan like doves
and beat their breasts in sorrow.
8 Nineveh is like a leaking water reservoir!
The people are slipping away.
“Stop, stop!” someone shouts,
but no one even looks back.
9 Loot the silver!
Plunder the gold!
There’s no end to Nineveh’s treasures—
its vast, uncounted wealth.
10 Soon the city is plundered, empty, and ruined.
Hearts melt and knees shake.
The people stand aghast,
their faces pale and trembling.
11 Where now is that great Nineveh,
that den filled with young lions?
It was a place where people—like lions and their cubs—
walked freely and without fear.
12 The lion tore up meat for his cubs
and strangled prey for his mate.
He filled his den with prey,
his caverns with his plunder.
13 “I am your enemy!”
says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
“Your chariots will soon go up in smoke.
Your young men[e] will be killed in battle.
Never again will you plunder conquered nations.
The voices of your proud messengers will be heard no more.”
The Lord’s Judgment against Nineveh
3 What sorrow awaits Nineveh,
the city of murder and lies!
She is crammed with wealth
and is never without victims.
2 Hear the crack of whips,
the rumble of wheels!
Horses’ hooves pound,
and chariots clatter wildly.
3 See the flashing swords and glittering spears
as the charioteers charge past!
There are countless casualties,
heaps of bodies—
so many bodies that
people stumble over them.
4 All this because Nineveh,
the beautiful and faithless city,
mistress of deadly charms,
enticed the nations with her beauty.
She taught them all her magic,
enchanting people everywhere.
5 “I am your enemy!”
says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
“And now I will lift your skirts
and show all the earth your nakedness and shame.
6 I will cover you with filth
and show the world how vile you really are.
7 All who see you will shrink back and say,
‘Nineveh lies in ruins.
Where are the mourners?’
Does anyone regret your destruction?”
8 Are you any better than the city of Thebes,[f] situated on the Nile River, surrounded by water?
She was protected by the river on all sides,
walled in by water.
9 Ethiopia[g] and the land of Egypt
gave unlimited assistance.
The nations of Put and Libya
were among her allies.
10 Yet Thebes fell,
and her people were led away as captives.
Her babies were dashed to death
against the stones of the streets.
Soldiers threw dice[h] to get Egyptian officers as servants.
All their leaders were bound in chains.
11 And you, Nineveh, will also stagger like a drunkard.
You will hide for fear of the attacking enemy.
12 All your fortresses will fall.
They will be devoured like the ripe figs
that fall into the mouths
of those who shake the trees.
13 Your troops will be as weak
and helpless as women.
The gates of your land will be opened wide to the enemy
and set on fire and burned.
14 Get ready for the siege!
Store up water!
Strengthen the defenses!
Go into the pits to trample clay,
and pack it into molds,
making bricks to repair the walls.
15 But the fire will devour you;
the sword will cut you down.
The enemy will consume you like locusts,
devouring everything they see.
There will be no escape,
even if you multiply like swarming locusts.
16 Your merchants have multiplied
until they outnumber the stars.
But like a swarm of locusts,
they strip the land and fly away.
17 Your guards[i] and officials are also like swarming locusts
that crowd together in the hedges on a cold day.
But like locusts that fly away when the sun comes up,
all of them will fly away and disappear.
18 Your shepherds are asleep, O Assyrian king;
your princes lie dead in the dust.
Your people are scattered across the mountains
with no one to gather them together.
19 There is no healing for your wound;
your injury is fatal.
All who hear of your destruction
will clap their hands for joy.
Where can anyone be found
who has not suffered from your continual cruelty?
1:8 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads sweep away her place.
1:15 Verse 1:15 is numbered 2:1 in Hebrew text.
2:1 Verses 2:1-13 are numbered 2:2-14 in Hebrew text.
2:3 Greek and Syriac versions read into position, / the horses whipped into a frenzy.
2:13 Hebrew young lions.
3:8 Hebrew No-amon; also in 3:10.
3:9 Hebrew Cush.
3:10 Hebrew They cast lots.
3:17 Or princes.
15 A wicked ruler is as dangerous to the poor
as a roaring lion or an attacking bear.
16 A ruler with no understanding will oppress his people,
but one who hates corruption will have a long life.
17 A murderer’s tormented conscience will drive him into the grave.
Don’t protect him!
18 The blameless will be rescued from harm,
but the crooked will be suddenly destroyed.
19 A hard worker has plenty of food,
but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty.
20 The trustworthy person will get a rich reward,
but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble.
21 Showing partiality is never good,
yet some will do wrong for a mere piece of bread.
22 Greedy people try to get rich quick
but don’t realize they’re headed for poverty.
23 In the end, people appreciate honest criticism
far more than flattery.
24 Anyone who steals from his father and mother
and says, “What’s wrong with that?”
is no better than a murderer.
25 Greed causes fighting;
trusting the Lord leads to prosperity.
26 Those who trust their own insight are foolish,
but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe.
27 Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing,
but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed.
28 When the wicked take charge, people go into hiding.
When the wicked meet disaster, the godly flourish.
The Beast out of the Sea
13 Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns. And written on each head were names that blasphemed God. 2 This beast looked like a leopard, but it had the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion! And the dragon gave the beast his own power and throne and great authority.
3 I saw that one of the heads of the beast seemed wounded beyond recovery—but the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast. 4 They worshiped the dragon for giving the beast such power, and they also worshiped the beast. “Who is as great as the beast?” they exclaimed. “Who is able to fight against him?”
5 Then the beast was allowed to speak great blasphemies against God. And he was given authority to do whatever he wanted for forty-two months. 6 And he spoke terrible words of blasphemy against God, slandering his name and his dwelling—that is, those who dwell in heaven.[a] 7 And the beast was allowed to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation. 8 And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the beast. They are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered before the world was made.[b]
9 Anyone with ears to hear
should listen and understand.
10 Anyone who is destined for prison
will be taken to prison.
Anyone destined to die by the sword
will die by the sword.
This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently and remain faithful.
The Beast out of the Earth
11 Then I saw another beast come up out of the earth. He had two horns like those of a lamb, but he spoke with the voice of a dragon. 12 He exercised all the authority of the first beast. And he required all the earth and its people to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13 He did astounding miracles, even making fire flash down to earth from the sky while everyone was watching. 14 And with all the miracles he was allowed to perform on behalf of the first beast, he deceived all the people who belong to this world. He ordered the people to make a great statue of the first beast, who was fatally wounded and then came back to life. 15 He was then permitted to give life to this statue so that it could speak. Then the statue of the beast commanded that anyone refusing to worship it must die.
16 He required everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. 17 And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name. 18 Wisdom is needed here. Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man.[c] His number is 666.[d]
13:6 Some manuscripts read and his dwelling and all who dwell in heaven.
13:8 Or not written in the Book of Life before the world was made—the Book that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered.
13:18a Or of humanity.
13:18b Some manuscripts read 616.
A psalm of David.
1 O Lord, I am calling to you. Please hurry!
Listen when I cry to you for help!
2 Accept my prayer as incense offered to you,
and my upraised hands as an evening offering.
3 Take control of what I say, O Lord,
and guard my lips.
4 Don’t let me drift toward evil
or take part in acts of wickedness.
Don’t let me share in the delicacies
of those who do wrong.
5 Let the godly strike me!
It will be a kindness!
If they correct me, it is soothing medicine.
Don’t let me refuse it.
But I pray constantly
against the wicked and their deeds.
6 When their leaders are thrown down from a cliff,
the wicked will listen to my words and find them true.
7 Like rocks brought up by a plow,
the bones of the wicked will lie scattered without burial.[a] 8 I look to you for help, O Sovereign Lord.
You are my refuge; don’t let them kill me.
9 Keep me from the traps they have set for me,
from the snares of those who do wrong.
10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
but let me escape.
141:7 Hebrew our bones will be scattered at the mouth of Sheol.
Tuesday, December 18, 2018