The prophet Nahum calls Nineveh the bloody city, which was probably the name given it by the Israelites and others who had felt the violence of its attacks. The prophet described in vivid detail one of its attacks, but with Nineveh as the victim. The LORD would return its violence upon its own head. It had murdered cities, and amassed heaps of plunder from those it desecrated. Heaps of Ninevite corpses would testify that the LORD does not allow such sin to go unpunished. The LORD will send armies with “horsemen charging, flashing sword and glittering spear.” The armies will stumble over the bodies of the dead. They will leave “heaps of corpses, dead bodies without end.”
Our God is a just God. He is patient with the sinfulness of humanity, but he remembers what we have done. There is an appropriate judgment awaiting every soul who rebels against him. Everyone deserves this judgment. God has a book with all our works in it, including our specific sins. The end result of his judgment will be proportional to those specific sins, as well as the primary sin of rejecting him. Jesus will sit upon the great white throne and administer that judgment. It will be fair, but it will end in destruction and the second death – permanent death for all who receive it.
But our God is also a merciful God. He does not desire to destroy us. What he wants is for us to turn back to him. He has a solution to the bloody city that indwells our violent hearts. That solution is the blood of Christ, the Lamb of God. He has a book for that as well. It is called the Lamb’s book of life. It contains the names of every soul who has said “yes” to the Lamb’s atoning sacrifice.
LORD, we fall at the foot of the cross, and plead his blood as atonement for our sins. Do not give us what we deserve. We deserve to be part of a heap of corpses. Give us your grace, for we fear your justice. Give us your grace, because you love us, and sent your Son to die in our place.