09/26 Keep Fearing God

Date: Wednesday September 26, 2012
Today’s ChaptersThe Books of Nahum & Habakkuk 
Message Title: Keep Fearing God
Hello My Friend,
The Book of Nahum is the thirty-forth book of the Old Testament/Bible and contains three chapters. The author of the book is Nahum and it was written to the city of Nineveh. The timeline for these events took place about 660BC. The purpose of the book was to warn them of the coming judgment on Nineveh, the capitol of the Assyrian empire which took God’s people into captivity. What we are to learn from the book is that we need to be aware that God avenges all evil. “God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.” – Nahum 1:2.
Nahum prophesied during the reign of Hezekiah, about 150 years after the great revival of Jonah’s day when the city of Nineveh repented and were saved. However, the people failed to keep God in their lives, nor did they give their children the opportunity to know who God was and now they are facing judgment for returning to their idolatrous and sinful ways. Nahum describes God’s judgments, His power, and warns all that He gets vengeance on all who cause His people to sin
God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. There is one come out of thee, that imagineth evil against the LORD, a wicked counsellor. Thus saith the LORD; Though they be quiet, and likewise many, yet thus shall they be cut down, when he shall pass through. Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more. For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.” – Nahum 1:2-4,11-13.
Why is God jealous? The word jealous from God’s point of view means that He is intolerant of ones disloyalty or infidelity. He is not speaking here to those who just do not know who He is, He is speaking to those who know Him and continue living life as though they do not. “For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:” – Acts 17:28,30.
The Book of Habakkuk is the thirty-fifth book of the Old Testament/Bible and contains three chapters. The author of the book was Habakkuk and it was written to the people of Judah. The timeline for these events took place approximately between 608BC and 590BC. The purpose of the book was to Awaken Judah to their spiritual needs and warn of impending judgment from God. What we are to learn from the book is that the just shall live by faith alone. “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.” – Habakkuk 2:4.
Habakkuk prophesied in the latter years of Josiah, he was more concerned with the holiness of God than Israel’s escape from chastisement. Habakkuk expresses the attitude that many righteous people have. He is outraged at the violence and injustice in his society. There was sin, wickedness, destruction and violence, no justice in the courts, and the wicked outnumbered the righteous. He asked God how much longer will we have to suffer and keep praying for things to change when they keep getting worse. God responds to Habakkuk’s questions.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:..For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” – Habakkuk 2:2-5,14.
God is reminding us that no wickedness will go unpunished, we may not see things happening, but He is watching and listening to everything that is going on. He also assures us that no matter what we are going through or how long it seems to take to receive an answer that He is at work and will bring it all to pass. He is going to do something so marvelous that we as Christian’s will find it hard to understand and believe. Through the tribulations of this day and age we can rejoice knowing that those who fear God receive not only heavenly blessings, but earthly blessings as well. “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.” – Proverbs 22:3,4.
After Habakkuk ranted he realized one thing, his strength to keep going came from God alone and He alone would lead him to victory. “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.” – Habakkuk 3:17-19.
It is important that we as Christians keep fearing God, not be afraid of Him, but fear (honor & respect) Him. I have only one regret in my life over the years and that is that I did not have God’s Word in me as a child. I imagine life could have been a lot easier and I would have stayed away from some of the affliction I caused myself had I learned from it when I was younger, but praise God He got me to see the truth when He did because He truly saved me from making one of the biggest mistakes that I would have ever made. God is amazing, in the midst of our worst errors in life He is right there to help us and get us out of trouble. However, we cannot expect God to get us out of any trouble unless we keep fearing Him.
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. There is no fear of God before their eyes. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” -Romans 3:10-12,18,23-25.
Today’s Prayer: (from Psalm 86) God, All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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