I continue to be disturbed by the prophets. Tonight was Nahum:
"Look at your troops - they are all weaklings"
"Nothing can heal you; your wound is fatal"
"'Stop! Stop!' they cry, but no one turns back"
"The LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished."
I find this disturbing.
One reason might be because I love the story of Jonah, of God's great concern for the great city of Nineveh. Compassion. I've studied Jonah and Nineveh for years.
A huge part of the tension in Jonah is Jonah's hatred of Nineveh. Ethnic hatred. Nineveh posed a threat to Jonah's people and that's why Jonah wanted them taken out. But God was merciful.
God's mercy to Nineveh sealed the fate of Israel. A few decades later, the Ninevites dragged God's people off into exile. So much death. So much destruction.
What is God going to do about this evil?
In mercy, he gave them time to repent.
In mercy, he warned them.
In mercy, he showed compassion.
But God does do something about evil.
He opposes it.
He punishes it.
He ends it.
Nahum tells us that God brings justice. Identify with the Israelites. Isn't this what you're longing to hear? God's swift justice is good news to the downtrodden, to the oppressed, to the victims.
We need to keep hearing this. We need to keep sharing this.
Why do we flinch from it?