OPPRESSOR AND OPPRESSED
Lord, thank You for knowing those who trust You.
Read NAHUM 1
1 A prophecy concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
The Lord’s Anger Against Nineveh
2 The Lord is a jealous and avenging God;
the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath.
The Lord takes vengeance on his foes
and vents his wrath against his enemies.
3 The Lord is slow to anger but great in power;
the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished.
His way is in the whirlwind and the storm,
and clouds are the dust of his feet.
4 He rebukes the sea and dries it up;
he makes all the rivers run dry.
Bashan and Carmel wither
and the blossoms of Lebanon fade.
5 The mountains quake before him
and the hills melt away.
The earth trembles at his presence,
the world and all who live in it.
6 Who can withstand his indignation?
Who can endure his fierce anger?
His wrath is poured out like fire;
the rocks are shattered before him.
7 The Lord is good,
a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him,
8 but with an overwhelming flood
he will make an end of Nineveh;
he will pursue his foes into the realm of darkness.
9 Whatever they plot against the Lord
he will bring[a] to an end;
trouble will not come a second time.
10 They will be entangled among thorns
and drunk from their wine;
they will be consumed like dry stubble.[b]
11 From you, Nineveh, has one come forth
who plots evil against the Lord
and devises wicked plans.
12 This is what the Lord says:
“Although they have allies and are numerous,
they will be destroyed and pass away.
Although I have afflicted you, Judah,
I will afflict you no more.
13 Now I will break their yoke from your neck
and tear your shackles away.”
14 The Lord has given a command concerning you, Nineveh:
“You will have no descendants to bear your name.
I will destroy the images and idols
that are in the temple of your gods.
I will prepare your grave,
for you are vile.”
15 Look, there on the mountains,
the feet of one who brings good news,
who proclaims peace!
Celebrate your festivals, Judah,
and fulfill your vows.
No more will the wicked invade you;
they will be completely destroyed.[c]
- Nahum 1:9 Or What do you foes plot against the Lord? / He will bring it
- Nahum 1:10 The meaning of the Hebrew for this verse is uncertain.
- Nahum 1:15 In Hebrew texts this verse (1:15) is numbered 2:1.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Thank You, Lord, that the brutality and suffering in the world is not the last word: one day justice will be done.
As I write, the news headlines are full of horrendous flooding in Mozambique, following a cyclone. The suffering must be incredible. With the hindsight of Jesus’ teaching (eg., John 9:1–3), we would not associate this with the guilt of Mozambique’s people in particular. However, it remains true that God is against all evil; Nahum’s metaphors, such as God being in the whirlwind and storm (3), are a vivid way of portraying the seriousness with which He views all sin. Then the metaphors continue with the idea of God’s protection for those faithful to Him, who take refuge in Him, even in ‘an overwhelming flood’ (vs 7,8).
Nahum has just one message: Nineveh (capital of Assyria) will fall; there will be destruction for the oppressor and relief for the oppressed, Judah. Assyria has already overthrown the northern kingdom of Israel and Judah also suffered its brutality, but by Nahum’s time, Assyria itself was threatened by other rising powers and was captured in 612 B.C. by the Medes. Nahum probably prophesied just before then. He shows how God is sovereign and has power to save in the face of human barbarity (G Emerson, Minor Prophets II, Doubleday, 1998, p2f).
This chapter is difficult to read, but it ends with a familiar verse: ‘Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace!’ (15). As we live in a world so prone to suffering, whether from human brutality or natural disasters, God’s people are to proclaim the good news of the gospel, the Christian hope of peace with God and with each other. One day our world will bow before our Lord Jesus Christ, and He will make all things new.
Bring the current news headlines to God in prayer, trusting that He is working out His purposes.
Lord, though You have Your way in the whirlwind and the storm, we Your people can rest in the assurance that we are protected.
Book and Author Intros
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