Only two books in our Bible end in a question: Jonah and Nahum. Both of these books belong to the section of Scripture called Minor Prophets. Both of these prophets spoke to the people of Nineveh. And both of their concluding questions challenge us today as we pray for America.
Around 750 BC, Jonah spoke against Nineveh, the capitol city of Assyria. This city represented all that was evil and cruel about the Assyrians. As you might remember, the people of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah. Their repentance was not totally unexpected by Jonah given his understanding that the Lord was gracious, merciful, slow to anger, of great kindness, and ready to forgive (4:2), and yet the prophet had determined them ready for God’s judgment and wrath. The book concludes with God asking the question: Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand…? (4:11 NASB) God was motivated by the large number of innocent children in Nineveh (who could not tell their right hand from their left) to offer His mercy. America is as ripe for God’s judgment today as Ninevah was in 750 BC! How we pray that the Lord will have mercy on our little ones by bringing repentance and His forgiveness!
A mere 20 years following that revival of Nineveh, the city was once again ripe for God’s judgment. In 730 BC Nahum spoke against the city. This time there was no relief from their incurable wickedness. God’s judgment came and Nineveh fell. Nahum concludes his prophecy with the question: For on whom has not your evil passed continually? (3:19, NASB) The prophet is asking the troubling question that needs to be considered today. Who and what people have not been impacted by the evil and wickedness of America? America, a nation that has witnessed great revivals in the past and has been lavished by God with great preachers, now stands proud and unrepentant. America, a nation once known for her missionary heralding, has become a nation that exports her sins more than her produce! Is it possible that God showed His mercy and forgiveness for our children’s sake twenty years ago and now our grandchildren must partake of His judgment? Should our prayers be focused on preparing both our children and our grandchildren to be preserved a remnant for His glory?
These are days that challenge our prayer lives!