Have you ever wished you could live your life over and be someone else? I have wished that. I would like to be an archaeologist in my second life. I think that archaeology would be very exciting and fulfilling as a career. Every day there is the possibility of finding something significant and important to humanity. Yep, that would be great.
One of the archaeology sites that I would want to excavate would be the city of Ninevah. Many people thought Ninevah was a myth and not a real city because it was so covered with sand for hundreds of years. However, some British archaeologists began searching for Ninevah several hundred years ago and discovered the ruins of that great city. The ruins were so vast that archaeologists are still uncovering artifacts from the city that was once the largest and most powerful on earth.
Nineveh was also called Kouyunjik in its early stages of development. The ruins are found near Mosul in northern Iraq. The city was founded by one of Noah’s grandsons named Nimrod. Its location on the Tigris River made it one of the richest and most powerful cities on earth. The people of Nineveh called themselves Assyrians. The Assyrians were noted for being some of the most cruel, savage and evil people in the history of man. Not even the Romans were as cruel as the Assyrians.
The Romans would crucify man naked and nailed to a wooden cross for all the world to see. They remained on the cross until they died. The Assyrians would strip a man naked, tie his hands and feet to a post. Then they would skin the man alive. After that they would put a stick in the man’s mouth so the mouth would remain open. Then they would put honey in the man’s mouth to attract wasps, bees and scorpions. As the insects would sting the man, he would try to scream in agony. His screams would cause the insects to sting the poor man multiple times increasing his anguish. The on-watching crowd would hurl insults and words of hate to him as he slowly died over a two- or three-day period. Yes, the Assyrians were the cruelest people who ever lived on earth.
This evil empire lasted 300 years before being overrun by a combination of Babylonians, and Medes and Persians.
God had sent Jonah (a reluctant) preacher to tell the Assyrians to confess their sins, turn from their wicked ways, and pray to the true God for forgiveness. The entire city, including the King, confessed their sins, and wept because of their wicked ways. This revival lasted about 100 years. Then, the people went right back to their evil ways and stirred up the anger of God Almighty.
This new bunch of Assyrians had a King who worshipped a god named Assur. The King built a beautiful temple to this false god.
The new King decided to expand his lands, so He conquered the land of Israel (that was the name of the Northern Kingdom of Jewish people). He conquered them and scattered them over the entire Assyrian empire. Some people call these scattered Jews the Ten Lost Tribes of Jews.
After conquering the northern Kingdom, the King surrounded the city of Jerusalem (the capital of the southern group of Jews) who called themselves Jews and their nation Judah. The King of Assyria sent a message to the King of Judah saying: “Don’t be fooled by your God. I have captured the northern Kingdom of Jews, and tomorrow I will conquer you too.”
The Jewish king called for an all-night prayer meeting for protection from the true God. When the Assyrian King woke up the next morning, he found that 180,000 of his soldiers were lying dead. It scared him so bad that he quickly retreated to Ninevah. He went to his temple to pray to his god. While praying there two of his sons stabbed him to death.
Here is what God Almighty has to say to all people of all ages (including our Nation today): Nahum 1: 2-9 The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath.
The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and vents his wrath against his enemies.
The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished.
His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.
He rebukes the sea and dries it up; he makes all the rivers run dry.
Bashan and Carmel wither and the blossoms of Lebanon fade.
The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away.
The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it.
Who can withstand his indignation? Who can endure his fierce anger?
His wrath is poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before him.
The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him, but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will pursue his foes into the realm of darkness.
Whatever they plot against the Lord he will bring to an end; trouble will not come a second time.
Ninevah was an evil nation that ignored God. They lasted 300 years before being thrown into the trash can of human history. American is 247 years old. Are we following God’s plan to honor Him? Are we arrogant and complacent?
(Narrative and photo provided by Jena native Gale Trussell)