An Oracle concerning Nahum. An oracle is a message from God. Click here for reading.
In this first chapter, we see God as judge. A judge ruling over a wicked city. God as a judge, according to Chapter 1 is jealous, avenging, filled with wrath, great in power, justified, and indignant. However, He is also the Father of all people and He has been slow to anger, Good, a stronghold in a day of trouble, and trustworthy.
Chapter 2 may be hard to read, but God is Holy and Perfect. But we need to remember He does punish Sin. He has to. This book started out as a War against sin and it will end that way too. These chapters are a detailed description of God’s wrath. The detail in this oracle is amazing. Colors of robes, glittering swords. Just incredible detail.
So Here is the prophecy. Outside these great walls were the Medes and the Babylonians. Inside the walls, pandemonium is breaking out as the drunken army tries to defend their city. But God has caused a flood to take down the walls for them. (I can’t help but to think that in yesterdays reading, when Hezekiah was damming up the river, did this have something to do with this sudden flood, very cool thought). Anyway, the queen is taken captive and her maidservants are screaming. The Medes are yelling, “plunder the Gold, plunder the silver” (if you notice this really cripples them (ahhhhem). And Nineveh is destroyed forever.
This prophecy came true, exactly as described in 612 BC.
Nahum was from Judah, a native of Elkosh. Elkosh is assumed to be in Galilee. The name Nahum means “comfort”or “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble”. “He cares for those who trust in Him” 1:7. Other than that, we really don’t know anything about the author other than he wrote one of the most detailed poems in the Old Testament regarding a prophecy to come.
The theme of this book is the destruction of Nineveh. I know you recognize the name, Nineveh. But from where? Jonah! Jonah about 150 years ago saw Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, repent before his very eyes. However, much time has passed and they did not stick to their conviction (ahhhem). These people were not just backsliders; they deliberately rejected God. So now what? God needs to judge a sinning world.
God sent Nahum to predict the final doom on Nineveh’s empire. You have to know how this must have sounded. Picture this most powerful nation in the world (do I need to clear my throat again). Assyria for the past 300 years has built an empire so big it was a fortified city. The walls were 100 feet high, wide enough for 4 chariots to run side by side on. The city circumference was 80 miles (close your eyes and picture how far 80 miles is from your house). It had a moat that was 140 feet wide and 60 feet deep. It had hundreds of towers for its protection. Talk about feeling safe and complacent. But what is a city without the Lord in it? (Think about this as we push God out of our government, businesses, schools…)
When you read this story think of it personally and nationally today. Nineveh was overthrown for its sin. Her great wealth and power could not save her. A person or a nation that deliberately and finally rejects God has a very fatal ending.