Rev David Hann: 03 9836 4601
Wall from Sennacherib's Palace blackened by fire 612 BC

Worst news: “I am against you,” says the Lord

Scripture readings:

Nahum 2

The scatterer has come up against you. 
Man the ramparts; watch the road; dress for battle; collect all your strength. 

For the Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob as the majesty of Israel, for plunderers have plundered them and ruined their branches. 

The shield of his mighty men is red; his soldiers are clothed in scarlet. 
The chariots come with flashing metal on the day he musters them; the cypress spears are brandished. 
The chariots race madly through the streets; they rush to and fro through the squares; they gleam like torches; they dart like lightning. 
He remembers his officers; they stumble as they go, they hasten to the wall; the siege tower is set up. 
The river gates are opened; the palace melts away; its mistress is stripped; she is carried off, her slave girls lamenting, moaning like doves and beating their breasts. 
Nineveh is like a pool whose waters run away. “Halt! Halt!” they cry, but none turns back. 
Plunder the silver, plunder the gold! 
There is no end of the treasure or of the wealth of all precious things. 

Desolate! Desolation and ruin! 
Hearts melt and knees tremble; anguish is in all loins; all faces grow pale! 
Where is the lions’ den, the feeding place of the young lions, where the lion and lioness went, where his cubs were, with none to disturb? 
The lion tore enough for his cubs and strangled prey for his lionesses; he filled his caves with prey and his dens with torn flesh. 

Behold, I am against you, declares the Lord of hosts, and I will burn your chariots in smoke, and the sword shall devour your young lions. I will cut off your prey from the earth, and the voice of your messengers shall no longer be heard.

Isaiah 10:1–12

Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey! 
What will you do on the day of punishment, in the ruin that will come from afar? 
To whom will you flee for help, and where will you leave your wealth? 
Nothing remains but to crouch among the prisoners or fall among the slain. 
For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still. 

Woe to Assyria, the rod of my anger; the staff in their hands is my fury! 
Against a godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him, to take spoil and seize plunder, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. 
But he does not so intend, and his heart does not so think; but it is in his heart to destroy, and to cut off nations not a few; for he says: “
Are not my commanders all kings? 
Is not Calno like Carchemish? 
Is not Hamath like Arpad? 
Is not Samaria like Damascus? 
As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols, whose carved images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria, shall I not do to Jerusalem and her idols as I have done to Samaria and her images?” 

When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he will punish the speech of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes.

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016).