Read Nahum 1-3
Nahum means comfort. I can’t help but think, what a contrary name for a book that is talking about the judgment of God for the cruelty and violence of Nineveh. Nineveh will be overthrown. And this is comfort?
God is both merciful and just. There is comfort available in these two distinct characteristics of God; our GOD doesn’t wink at evil but he does show mercy to the humble. Romans 11:22 continues the themes from Nahum. Romans will pick up on some of the same vivid imagery, Judah and ISRAEL are called branches. The exhortation made to the Gentile church not to reject the lessons of history warn us of this today— 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. You do not support the root the root supports you. Consider therefore, the kindness and sternness of God.
The hammer of judgment doesn’t fall without warning. Nahum prophesies the future fall of Nineveh, and the prophet speaks to Judah, the good news of restoration. Their splendor will be restored their vine branches devastated will grow again. The exhortation to celebrate the feasts, and pay vows because their distress is over is true comfort. The end of distress is coming. The destroyer will be destroyed.
This judicial theme in book of Nahum holds promise for an end to evil bloodshed and brutality. He was a contemporary of young Jeremiah and Zephaniah. Historians say this book was written between 663 to 612 BC.
Along with imagery there are a lot of staccato phrases, such as horsemen charging, swords flashing, spears gleaming. It’s a vivid and severe judgment that is coming. And yes the prophet got it right Nineveh is destroyed in 612 BC.
In the midst of God’s justice, one can take extreme comfort in Nahum 1:7; The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble, and he knows those who take refuge in Him. This is much like the language that the Lord speaks to Jeremiah, before you were in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you. Stop right here, GOD KNOWS YOU. God doesn’t just say this through Nathan and Jeremiah he says this throughout the Bible. Psalm 139:1-6
Nahum uses a phrase, in verse 15, behold on the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace! Sounds like Isaiah 52:7! And Romans 10:15 has a direct reference to Isaiah 52. How can they preach, unless they are sent, as it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” This is the news of peace with God found only in Jesus Christ, Paul writes of in Ephesians 6:15 as a part of our armor. You can be grafted in and Jesus will support you.
There is a refuge, no matter what you are facing, whatever the circumstances. Judgement could be happening all around you, and YOU have peace with GOD. You and I can be confident that we are at peace with God through Christ Jesus because we trust in JESUS for salvation. This is a continual theme in entire Bible.
Zephaniah, a contemporary of Nahum, says judgement is coming. “Neither their silver, nor their gold shall be able to deliver them on the day of the wrath of the Lord. In the fire of his jealousy, all the Earth shall be consumed. For a full and sudden end, he will make of the inhabitants of the Earth.” Zephaniah 1:18
Just as Nineveh was judged, and likewise the Earth will be judged. That’s why it’s necessary for all of us to learn from history, and escape the final judgment. It seems to me like there is an urgency to share the good news.
History does us no good if we can not learn. Matthew 3:8-10 should sober any of us. John the Baptist is the last prophet before Jesus and his words have weight. John the Baptist was preparing the people for the Messiah. And when the Messiah comes we either confess with humble repentance, which the Bible says, is bearing fruit, or we are cut down. Again, we can put no trust in what family we are born into or what culture we claim, whether it is religious or irreligious. We all have to come to the waters of repentance. This was the message of John the Baptist, and Jesus (THE SINLESS LAMB 🐑 ) humbled himself, and went into the water. Likewise, we too, must go into the water, and place our faith in God’s Messiah alone.
Nineveh shows us no amount of money, no amount of worldly status, no amount of beauty, no amount of wealth or political power, or fame or cunning will endure before the judgment of God. As we look at Nineveh when previously Jonah preached the message to them of judgment, what did they do? They repented. And now here in the New Testament, John, the Baptist preaches, the same necessity. This humble door is the way to the good news. God is not placid against evil. He is against all forms of evil. Nahum 3:12 all your fortifications are fig trees with ripe fruit— when shaken they fall into the eater’s mouth. Your goods will be stripped as a fig of its fruit. And verse 19, There is no relief for your breakdown, Your wound is incurable. All who hear about you will clap their hands over you, for on whom has not your evil passed continually? Evil will be judged. The city of Nineveh has never risen again. Within a few centuries, it was covered with sand.
Sydney Lund Chapter 1 verse 7 says that “the Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in Him.”
God knows us. I feel like sometimes we tend to pass over that fact and not dwell in it. He created us, knows our thoughts/troubles, everything about us. He is our stronghold. He is GOOD. He never leaves us. All we have to do is take refuge in Him.
Definition of refuge: a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger or trouble.