History records that Assyrians were among the most ruthless nations ever to exist. Some scholars believe they invented crucifixion. When they conquered a nation, they would behead people and pile their heads into a pyramid at their city gate. They uprooted whole populations and deported them to other parts of their empire. Assyrians were extremely brutal, wicked, and proud. It’s no wonder that Jonah did not want God to show them mercy. Despite their temporary reprieve from judgment because of Jonah’s preaching, later, the prophet Nahum declared that God would bring judgment upon them. Nahum wrote (Chapter 1), “This is what the LORD says: Though the Assyrians have many allies, they will be destroyed and disappear.” God decreed their judgment because they had afflicted so many people by their ruthlessness. Our sovereign God judges ruthless nations. At the same time, He cares for those individuals who trust in Him. Of course, we cannot fathom God’s wisdom of when and how He chooses to judge. That’s why all through the Scriptures, God urges us to submit our lives to Him, to follow the ethical guidelines He gives us in the Bible; to foster righteousness and justice, and to accept the Good News that His Son Jesus Christ has come to save us and empower us to what pleases Him.
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