Do you ever wonder what the point is for reading books of the Bible that primarily contain prophecies of God’s impending judgment against certain people and nations? Jonah, Nahum and Zephaniah all prophesied against the Assyrian empire. When Nahum predicted the impending destruction of the capital city, Nineveh, Assur-bani-pal was its evil king. Nineveh was full of bloodshed, deceit, plundering and constant warring against others (3:1).
We don’t know much about Nahum. His name means “comforter,” and he was an Elkoshite from the town of Alqosh which may have been in the area of Capharnaum in northern Galilee. What we do know is that he wrote strong words of warning from God, who was very angry with the behavior of Assyria. Nahum’s words to Assur-bani-pal were hardly comforting!
Nahum 1:14—The LORD has issued an order concerning you: There will be no offspring to carry on your name. I will eliminate the carved idol and cast image from the house of your gods; I will prepare your grave, for you are contemptible.
There are multiple things we learn about God from reading Nahum.
1. The LORD is a jealous and avenging God” who punishes His enemies (1:2). If the Lord was not jealous for His people, we could rightfully question the depth of His love. If God did not take action against evildoers, than what is to be gained by living righteously?
2. God is “slow to anger but great in power” (1:3). We ought to be encouraged that God is not hasty in taking action—He is deliberate. He considers what He is going to do and when He acts it is for the right reason.
3. “The LORD is good, a stronghold in a day of distress; He cares for those who take refuge in Him” (1:7).
4. God knows exactly what is happening on earth, cares about what He sees and acts when He needs to act. A contemptible person reaches the point where he or she has exhausted God’s patience and angered Him greatly through unceasing wickedness. The end result of loathsome behavior is eternal judgment.
After Jonah warned Nineveh of God’s impending wrath, the city repented. Later, when Nahum delivered his warning, the Assyrians ignored God’s messenger and continued their despicable behavior. Nineveh was destroyed by fire and a corrupt empire came to an end.
Do you know someone who personifies wickedness? Be courageous and warn of God’s hatred of evil. Offer the truth of God’s grace and kindness and pray the contemptible individual will repent. Elimination is the fruit of disgrace.
All wickedness flows from a disregard of God . . . Since the fear of God is the bridle by which our wickedness is held in check, its removal frees us to indulge in every kind of licentious conduct.—John Calvin
©2011 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)