Skip to main content

God is an Undertaker








I recently came across this article about Chloe McKnight one of the youngest female funeral directors in the UK. She was inspired at the young age of 12 to one day become a funeral day after visit the local funeral home on work placement. She remembers that on arrival, she was confronted with a corpse in the chapel of rest and felt "strangely comfortable with it".  It is quite a thought - being comfortable with death.

I was very assured though when she later says that the job has tonnes of sadness : "When the police call you to remove a body on behalf of a coroner, you don't know what you're going to see – an accident victim, a suicide …It can be overwhelming at times – even now I sometimes have to take a deep breath – and it's always unsettling when the person is younger than I am". 

This double tension of anundertaker - comfortable and yet unsettling is worth bearing in mind as we come to one of the most interesting descriptions of God in the Bible. According to Nahum, God is apparently an undertaker.   
The Lord has given commandment about you: “No more shall your name be perpetuated; from the house of your gods I will cut off the carved image and the metal image. I will make your grave, for you are vile.”  (Nahum 1:14) 
The prophet Nahum was raised by God to declare an oracle against Nineveh for its long list of sins, especially subjugating God's people. At the time of this prophecy, Nineveh is materially prosperous culture. In fact earlier on, Nahum reminds Nineveh that though it commands a mighty army in the end its military might will prove futile against God's judgement.

So while everyone sees the wealth and power of Nineveh, God sees Nineveh as a worthless nation. It is nation full of idolatry and God's assessment simply says "you are vile”. Being vile in the sight of God can only lead to one thing : total destruction. Nineveh shall be cut  down and its reputation and fame will come to an end. God will bury it as an undertaker puts the coffin in the ground. To this day Nineveh has been buried into historical extinction. 

We are living in age when we only want to see God as one who gives us stuff. T D Jakes last year tweeted a comment by Jasmin Sculark where she says, "We don't need an undertaker because God is our upper-giver, He's going to resurrect some stuff!" The hashtag was #DontBuryItJustYet. 


There is certainly room for trusting God to keep things in our lives going. But the warning for us from Nahum is not only that God is an undertaker who specialises in burying those who oppose him, but it is also that we are at risk of the undertaker's shovel. Our modern societies are really no different from Nineveh. We may be materially rich but we are really a funeral already hapening, we just don't  know or refuse to admit it!

Many of us are only living for ourselves. Individually, our lives are graves of the idols of money, sex, power, technology and worship of the self. Nationally,we have built economic models that promote oppression of the poor and promotes social relativism. Many rich countries continue to turn a blind eye to millions of poor people dying across the globe from starvation and poverty. They have also turned their backs on followers of Jesus who  are being persecuted at the hands of tyrants in the Western Sahel, Middle East, Afghanistan, Somalia and many other places. 

Nahum reminds us that God is not silent! He is an undertaker who has prepared the grave of sinners of all shapes and sizes. He has appointed the day of the Lord when full justice will be done!  This should comfort all followers of Jesus. But most importantly it should move us to share the good news of Jesus around the world because only though Jesus is the grave an empty tomb. If we trust in him though we are buied we still live! It should also challenge to live lives that honour God and does not promote vile and worthless societies. To live as those who have escaped theshovel of the Great Udertaker through Jesus! 


Series Post:


Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2014

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I am what I am by Gloria Gaynor

Beverly Knight closed the opening ceremony of the Paralympics with what has been dubbed the signature tune of the Paralympics. I had no idea Ms Knight is still in the singing business. And clearly going by the raving reviews she will continue to be around. One media source says her performance was so electric that "there wasn’t a dry eye to be seen as she sang the lyrics to the song and people even watching at home felt the passion in her words" . The song was Gloria Gaynor's I am what I am . Clearly not written by Gloria Gaynor but certainly musically owned and popularized by her. It opens triumphantly: I am what I am / I am my own special creation / So come take a look / Give me the hook or the ovation / It's my world that I want to have a little pride in / My world and it's not a place I have to hide in / Life's not worth a damn till you can say I am what I am The words “I am what I am” echo over ten times in the song. A bold declaration that she

The Gold of Affliction

Suppose that a loving father in some high room, throws down a bag of gold to his child, and it falls on the child's head causing injury. While the child is feeling the pain, he is impatient and troubled; while he looks only at the leather bag he is not thankful; but when he looks into the bag, and sees what a great deal of gold his father has given him, then he speaks well of his father, notwithstanding the injury to his head. Affliction is a bag of gold given to the people of God; though it seems from outside like a bad leather bag, yet there is gold within it. As long as we simply stare at the bag, or focus only on the suffering, we are not thankful, we do not praise the Lord, but are much discouraged; but if we would look into the bag, and count our gold, then we would have comfort, and not be discouraged. I tell you from the Lord, there is gold within; look in this bag, the bag of affliction; count over all the gold which the Lord has given you in this affliction, and then you

Workers for Your Joy (A Review)

Workers for your Joy (WFYJ) is about what Christ calls leaders in his church to be and do, particularly the teaching office in the church (i.e. pastor or elder).  It presents a biblical vision of leadership by going through the fifteen qualifications of elders listed 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. The central question Mathis is basically asking is – how should we pastor or lead the church in light of these qualifications? The target audience of the book seems to be those who are in the early stages of pastoral ministry. The book was part of the seminary syllabus at Bethlehem. However, the author does explicitly state that the book is also meant to be of use to church members in considering what Christ expects of leadership in the local church.   Mathis has written this book because he believes leadership has fallen on hard times. The church in the west and the society around us has become increasingly discontent with being led due to the high-profile cases that have sprung about leadership.