Violence, destruction, cruelty, heinous crime, unbelievable loyalty to killing, hate, injustice…when will it ever stop? Throughout history, we see examples of sin manifesting itself into hearts and becoming full blown issues in the world. Take a look at current times. The news is painted with scene from Israel as rockets enter the land and citizens scramble for shelter. And why? How can this be? What causes differences to escalate to levels such as these? What is the root cause of this ongoing behavior?
We probably all would agree on the three letter word: Sin. However, what is sin? 1 John 5:17a (KJV) says, “All unrighteousness is sin…” 1 John 3:4 (NLT) states, “Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God.” And, not to be a Debbie Downer, sin entered mankind through Adam and Eve therefore, this issue is a struggle for all humanity.
In chapter one of Nahum, we find our precious God defined as Holy, righteous, and the perfect representation of purity and light. The supreme authority, able to judge the hearts, minds, and actions because He is all knowing. There is none greater than Him although the enemy has tried. (Isaiah 14:12-15). Nahum reminds us that God is loving and patient, but there comes a time when He says Enough Already!
When reflecting upon this, gardening comes to mind. We have several large clusters of ornamental grass throughout our flowerbeds. There are years when last year’s growth isn’t cut down soon enough and new growth begins to appear. Unfortunately, the dead stalks begin choking out the current sprouts and effect the overall production. It can cause the grass to not fill in completely and be all it could possibly be. So, at some point we have to deal with it and say Enough Already! (As you can tell from the picture above, we got a little behind on the task.)
Sin has a way of choking out our spiritual growth as well. In Romans 6:23 (KJV) we read, For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Sin can slowly creep into our lives and eventually take over if we don’t stay on top of it. Much like the grass, once it gets out of control it is a hard task of dealing with it. Little by little, pruning and separating useless debris from productive areas is not for the faint of heart. It is never fun and exposes more than we ever knew was there. (Just like the two wheelbarrows full of dead stalks removed.)
God is slow to anger and very patient with us. He loves us beyond measure, but we must know that at some point He will utter the words, Enough Already! Nahum 1:3 (ESV) The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
Our sweet Lord has given us free will and wants us to draw close to Him. God provided His Son as a sacrifice and extends the gift of forgiveness if we are open to receive. John 3:16 (KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
He went even farther by giving us His Word as a roadmap to living and the Holy Spirit to guide us daily. The Father wants us to deal with our sins and stay under His authority. It is not an easy task and it does require discipline and dedication to live life according to God’s ways. But–oh the reward, the transformation, the renewal, the fruit, and the list goes beyond our human comprehension. Jeremiah 24:7 (NIV) I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.
Is there a part of your life you can identify as Enough Already! I know there is for me.
Psalm 86:5 (ESV) For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
Psalm 86:1-17 (ESV) Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God. Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all the day. Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace. In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me. There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol. O God, insolent men have risen up against me; a band of ruthless men seeks my life, and they do not set you before them. But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant, and save the son of your maidservant. Show me a sign of your favor, that those who hate me may see and be put to shame because you, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.