The readings set down for today are Nahum 2 and Luke 18:9-17. Sit down, relax, remove all the distractions and let these passages soak into your soul.
In this Nahum passage we see one of the descriptions of the fall of Nineveh. The river gates are opened and the city is flooded and then burned. Nineveh was situated on three rivers, with a canal system that fed the different districts. Once the suburbs were captured, the canal gates could be thrown open and the cities defences flooded. The walls of the palace collapsed, enemy soldiers swarmed into the city and plundered it.
We can only imagine how confident those in Nineveh felt living inside their fortress city. They would have thought they were perfectly safe with no-one able to get any where near them. But that self confidence was misplaced.
Our second passage (Luke 18:9-17) is one of Jesus’ parables and it is specifically directed to “some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others (presumably because these “others” were not as righteous as they were)”-v.9. The Pharisee who represented this group thought that all he did was a ticket directly into God’s Kingdom (“Do not pass go”). In contrast, the tax collector, a representative “sinner”, simply cried out to God for mercy.
Confidence in ourself, or what we do, or what we own, is a fantasy. Those who think and/or pray as the Pharisee have their eyes fixed on themselves and not on God. This can be a huge problem for us – almost without us knowing it.
Only by us taking our place beside the despised first-century tax collector, admitting to God (and others) that we are sinful, and relying ONLY on God’s mercy, can we be justified before God.
Have a great day,