Read Nahum 3
Focus on verse 1
I recently read that the city of Chicago had recorded 300 murders for the year by Father’s Day weekend. That seems high even for Chicago. This predictably has the anti-gun people shouting for even stricter gun legislation, while the more conservative folks point out that Chicago already has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. While the politicians use these catastrophic statistics to prop up their respective agendas, the real problem remains unaddressed.
The opening sentence of today’s reading begins,
Woe to the bloody city, all full of lies and plunder – no end to the prey! (v. 1)
And then a little further on in verse three,
Horsemen charging, flashing sword and glittering spear, hosts of slain, heaps of corpses, dead bodies without end – they stumble over the bodies! (v. 3)
While this is a description by Nahum of the fall and destruction of the city of Nineveh, it brings to my mind that state of many of our inner cities, and it has less to do with crime laws – though in some cases this might be helpful, and more to do with the moral state of the nation.
The story of the city of Nineveh is that when Jonah delivered God’s warning of imminent destruction, there was a genuine response by the people repenting and fasting and seeking God, which resulted in God sparing the city. Nahum is sent to the same city a generation or two later and it seems the people have forgotten God and are back to their old ways. This time they do not repent, and this time the destruction comes at the hands of the Babylonians, and it is merciless and complete – not unlike the way the Assyrians had treated Israel. Apparently what goes around, comes back around eventually.
So what does this mean for us? Well, America is currently deeply divided and the divisions are over many different issues, but one of the most significant issues of division is between those who are trying to remove all references to God and Christianity from every area of public life, and those who believe that God needs very much to be part of our public life.
If we choose to continue to further abandon God and biblical principles of life, I believe we will also continue to see increasing bloodshed in our streets. No amount of legislation will be successful in reducing the violence and bloodshed, because the problem is not in our laws, but in our hearts. The government can create legislation that is influenced by morality, but the government has never been, nor will it ever be able to legislate morality, because it is not possible to do so. Only God can change our hearts, and if we drive God out of our nation, He will honor our desire and leave us to our own demise. What some of us fail to realize is that He has been the one who has been our defender and provider, and without God, we are without hope.