Cultural Glimpse

Enjoying diversity

Tag: Nineveh

ISIS Blows up Ancient Nineveh Wall

Nineveh2

I just received an email from one of my friends, Nahren.  She wrote:

“I am in tears again as I write this update. I am devastated to report and confirm that the walls of Nineveh, one of the greatest Assyrian archaeological sites in the world, is being detonated and a large portion of the walls have been leveled with explosives conducted by ISIS terrorists. This day is a grieving day for all people especially the ones who have respect for ancient and priceless history. The landmarks of the Cradle of Civilization are being detonated as the world stands still and the people who created them are being sacrificed.”

Located in northern Iraq near the modern city of Mosul, Nineveh served as the capital of the Assyrian Empire from 705 to 612 BC and was described in the Book of Jonah as an “exceedingly great city.” In 612, after it was attacked and reduced to rubble by a combination of Medes, Babylonians, and Susianians, Nineveh was left lost and buried until its rediscovery by archaeologists in the mid-19th century.

“These are the types of destructions that will occur when the international community is sleeping at the wheel,” continued Nahren in her email. “What are you waiting for? Innocent people are being slaughtered and priceless history is being detonated that have lasted for almost 7,000 years!”

I suppose the international community is busy honoring the death of the Saudi King, the man who funded radical terrorist groups. Here at home, many people are busy hating on Michael Moore and other celebrities who are using their First Amendment rights to express their opinions. Others are caught up with the women who suddenly popped up, over 40 years after the fact, to accuse Bill Cosby of date rape.

One wonders where our priorities are and how much of our power we have given away that we are forced to deal with petty matters which in the long run will have no real significance for us. Yet serious matters like ISIS, which might one day come knocking on our door, we give over to our government and our military in the hopes that they take care of it while we continue to enjoy an easy life. Unfortunately, it does not work that way.

If we don’t become politically fit, the problem is not going to go away.

Our Neighborhood is Our Mission Field

“Our neighborhood is our mission field,” said Pastor John Opalewski at Sunday’s church sermon. “If God can bring revival to Nineveh through one person, Jonah, imagine what he could do for America through us!”

One thing I love to hear people remind others is the power of looking within, not without. Of taking responsibility for ourselves, our families and for our contributions to our immediate surroundings. As Mother Teresa once said, “We can do small things with lots of love.”

“If you’re a thinking person and you are awake, you realize we have a declining society,” said the Pastor. “We need to take responsibility for that.”

He showed us statistics from the Barna Institute that showed the serious of the decline of the U.S. It said, among other things, that major depressive disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and preschoolers are the fastest growing market for anti-depressants.

“Lack of spiritual power has led our country to the gutters,” he said, adding, “I’m calling you to come out of our spiritual coma. A call to God is not a call to legalism. Legalism is death. I’m calling you to love God more. To love people more.”

This is so easy to do once you open your eyes and look around and see, as I do every now in then in my neighborhood, a community of ducks and geese stopping traffic to cross the road, and I think to myself, “Isn’t God great!”

Neighborhood

Nineveh is Like Any Major City in the U.S.

Nineveh

“Nineveh is like any major city in the U.S.,” said Pastor Aaron at today’s sermon.

Nineveh was an ancient Assyrian city on the eastern bank of the Tigris River. It is one of the oldest and greatest cities in antiquity. The area was settled as early as 6000 BC and by 3000 BC had become an important religious center for worship of the Assyrian goddess Ishtar.

“Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, was the superpower of her day,” said the Pastor. “It required three days to circle metropolitan Nineveh. And the Ninevites lived large. They enjoyed the best chariots, the finest food, and the most exotic entertainment. It had an extensive business and commercial system like none in the world. In addition, Assyria had ruled the world for 200 years and was the strongest military power. Sounds familiar?”

He added that Nineveh’s wickedness was great, and unbeknownst to them, their days were numbered. It would not be long before Babylon would overtake Nineveh. God gave them one last chance to repent, however, by sending Jonah. After Jonah’s sermon to them, the entire city turned from their sin of violence, which they were known for, and turned to God. (Jonah 4:4 NLT)

“Shouldn’t we be concerned with Sterling Heights, with that great city and its surrounding cities?” asked the Pastor.

The message is clear, and it resembles the heart of Cultural Glimpse. Wherever we are we are on holy ground. It is wonderful to recognize, honor and serve the sacredness of our homes and communities.