Mighty God, I affirm Your wisdom, counsel, and understanding. You are wise and Your Word is full of Your wisdom.
Read Nahum 1:1-15
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Our God is a “compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Psa. 86:15). Praise him!
Nahum’s book is “a prophecy concerning Nineveh” (1), but more than half the first chapter speaks only of the Lord, the God of Israel. The cruel, oppressive and very powerful Assyrian regime, represented by its capital city, was dominating Israel’s thinking, but Nahum knew how important it was that their thoughts about Nineveh were set in the context of their knowledge about God. God is certainly good, caring, trustworthy and slow to anger (3,7). He longs for all people to be his friends, but pretending that this means he has no enemies does no one a favor. If Nineveh, Israel or, indeed, modern Christians think that God’s love for all means he is unable or unwilling to deal with those who reject him or cruelly oppress his people, then they had better think again! Jonah tells us about God’s desire to save Nineveh, but Nahum leaves no doubt that those who remain God’s “enemies” (2), who refuse to repent, will be dealt with–even those as powerful and well-supported as Nineveh was. We must be very clear about how seriously God takes sin, how deeply he feels about wrongdoing.
Previous generations are sometimes seen as concentrating so much on God’s anger at sin that they forgot to emphasize his love for sinners. Perhaps our generation sometimes concentrates so much on God’s love for all people that we forget to emphasize his anger at sin. He is “slow to anger” (3), but anger is not alien to his nature. If we forget this awesome, sometimes frightening, aspect of God we are likely to be overwhelmed when facing modern Ninevehs: other religions, political powers, modern atheistic philosophies or even demonic forces. But our God is able and willing to deal with all of these. He is also determined to do so.
What enemies have you identified in today’s world? Remember that God can deal with any and all of those seemingly all-powerful enemies.
Loving Father, at times I forget that You hate sin and all its effects. I want to hate it just as You do.
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