Daily Devotional: Sunday 24th Mayby William Moody
8 Are you better than Thebes1
that sat by the Nile,
with water around her,
her rampart a sea,
and water her wall?
9 Cush was her strength;
Egypt too, and that without limit;
Put and the Libyans were her2 helpers.
10 Yet she became an exile;
she went into captivity;
her infants were dashed in pieces
at the head of every street;
for her honored men lots were cast,
and all her great men were bound in chains.
11 You also will be drunken;
you will go into hiding;
you will seek a refuge from the enemy.
12 All your fortresses are like fig trees
with first-ripe figs—
if shaken they fall
into the mouth of the eater.
13 Behold, your troops
are women in your midst.
The gates of your land
are wide open to your enemies;
fire has devoured your bars.
14 Draw water for the siege;
strengthen your forts;
go into the clay;
tread the mortar;
take hold of the brick mold!
15 There will the fire devour you;
the sword will cut you off.
It will devour you like the locust.
Multiply yourselves like the locust;
multiply like the grasshopper!
16 You increased your merchants
more than the stars of the heavens.
The locust spreads its wings and flies away.
17 Your princes are like grasshoppers,
your scribes3 like clouds of locusts
settling on the fences
in a day of cold—
when the sun rises, they fly away;
no one knows where they are.
18 Your shepherds are asleep,
O king of Assyria;
your nobles slumber.
Your people are scattered on the mountains
with none to gather them.
19 There is no easing your hurt;
your wound is grievous.
All who hear the news about you
clap their hands over you.
For upon whom has not come
your unceasing evil?
Thebes was a city in Egypt (v8) which like Nineveh had been strongly protected by a great river. Thebes also had strong allies (v9) but it all was to no avail (v10).
The Lord is seeking for Nineveh to learn the lesson from other situations in life. They need to realise that ultimately all kingdoms which seem secure will one day pass away. Nineveh’s fortresses will fall and her army will fail (v11-13). As Egypt falls so too will Nineveh.
Anything we rely on outside of the Lord will be fragile. What are you truly relying on? Is it really God or could it be your money, your work, your ability, your own wisdom? One way we can test how reliant we are on God will be by looking at our prayerfulness or lack of it.
The account of a pending attack is very descriptive (v14-15). It is to bring home the seriousness and reality of what will happen. Merchants (v16), soldiers (v17) and nobles (v18) they rely on will fly away like a swarm of locusts. Her reliance was on those who were just in it for themselves.
The church should be so different. We should be caring and reliable to others.
Their wound will be fatal (v19) and many will rejoice over their destruction. Evil will have its day, but its day will be short. (Revelation 17 v3-6; 18 v1-10)
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