Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

The Lord is Gracious 091511

Nineveh. The Mashki Gate. Reconstructed. One o...

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Psalm 145:1-8

Nahum 1:1, 14—2:2

Exodus 15:22-27

 The Lord is Gracious 091411 

8The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love,” reads the last line of the selected psalm. This is a good line to remember before diving into Nahum 1:1, 14-2:2. The strong language left me wondering what could have happened to brand this city worthless and subject it to the wrath of God. The people of this city had apparently become a seat of evil and corruption, with arrogant individuals taking the place of power, causing them to lose sight of that which God has given them. The excessive wealth and power of the city was probably a result of the rich natural resources of their empire, extracted and consumed without the reverence necessary for our precious planet Earth. This happens in our own time, where we forget that all God’s gifts should be used with the consciousness of where it came from and how to preserve it for all generations. Power and wealth are not worthy of the breaking of commandments or sacrificing of our most precious morals. Without the gratitude and recognition of the provider, we may find ourselves in the way of Nineveh – an ancient excavation site riddled with unburied bodies, leftover from some massive disaster.

Psalm 145

1I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever.

2Every day I will bless you, and praise your name forever and ever.

3Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable.

4One generation shall laud your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.

5On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.

6The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed, and I will declare your greatness.

7They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness, and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.

8The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Nahum 1:1, 14—2:2

1An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh. 14The Lord has commanded concerning you: “Your name shall be perpetuated no longer; from the house of your gods I will cut off the carved image and the cast image. I will make your grave, for you are worthless.” 15Look! On the mountains the feet of one who brings good tidings, who proclaims peace! Celebrate your festivals, O Judah, fulfill your vows, for never again shall the wicked invade you; they are utterly cut off.

2A shatterer has come up against you. Guard the ramparts; watch the road; gird your loins; collect all your strength. 2(For the Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob, as well as the majesty of Israel, though ravagers have ravaged them and ruined their branches.)

Exodus 15:22-27

22Then Moses ordered Israel to set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter. That is why it was called Marah. 24And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25He cried out to the Lord; and the Lord showed him a piece of wood; he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the Lord made for them a statute and an ordinance and there he put them to the test. 26He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in his sight, and give heed to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will not bring upon you any of the diseases that I brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.” 27Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees; and they camped there by the water.

 

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

 

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