Nahum is about judgment on the great city of Nineveh. Yes, the same city Jonah preached to and they repented. When God told Jonah to preach to the people of Nineveh, the whole city responded with repentance and Nineveh escaped destruction. But gradually arrogance crept back into Assyria. About a century after the preaching of Jonah, God calls Nahum to proclaim the coming destruction of Nineveh. This time there will be no escape. Unlike Jonah, Nahum does not go to the city but declares his message afar off. The fall of Nineveh to the Babylonians in 612 B.C., is seen by Nahum as a future event. So, Nahum is placed between 663 and 612 B.C.
God’s Vengeance in Judgment
Verse 1 – The burden against Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
Verse 2 – God is jealous, and the Lord avenges; the Lord avenges and is furious. The Lord will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserves wrath for His enemies;
Like a jealous husband, God would not tolerate any rivals for Israel’s affection. God’s jealousy is not like ours, which is focused on selfishness. God’s jealousy and vengeance purpose is to remove sin and restore peace to the world.
Verse 3 – The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked. The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.
If God was quick to get angry, none of us would be here. We’ve all done things that could have brought immediate punishment, but because He showed mercy and patience to us, we have time to repent. But, here’s the thing: The wicked think His patience will never run out, but it does.
Verse 4 – He rebukes the sea and makes it dry, and dries up all the rivers. Bashan and Carmel wither, and the flower of Lebanon wilts.
Yahweh alone controls the rain, and fertility. Bashan was famous for its lush pastures, fine cattle, and rich forests, and Carmel for its vegetation. Both were withered by God’s judgment.
Verse 5 – The mountains quake before Him, the hills melt, and the earth heaves at His presence, yes, the world and all who dwell in it.
Verse 6 – Who can stand before His indignation? And who can endure the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by Him.
Verse 7 – The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.
Verse 8 – But with an overflowing flood He will make an utter end of its place, and darkness will pursue His enemies.
To God’s enemies, He is like a flood that will sweep them away, to those who believer, He is everything we need.
Verse 9 – What do you conspire against the Lord? He will make an utter end of it. Affliction will not rise up a second time.
Verse 10 – For while tangled like thorns, and while drunken like drunkards, they shall devour like stubble fully dried.
Verse 11 – From you comes forth one who plots evil against the Lord, a wicked counselor.
Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria during much of Nahum’s like, was the one who brought the Assyrians to power. Sennacherib openly defied God and brought rebellion and was part of the evil plotters.
Verse 12 – Thus says the LOrd: “Though they are safe, and likewise many, yet in this manner they will be cut down when he passes through. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no more;
The Assyrian’s punishment was fatal, permanent, but Judah’s was temporary and corrective.
Verse 13 – For now I will break off his yoke from you, and burst your bonds apart.”
Verse 14 – The Lord has given a command concerning you: “Your name shall be perpetuated no longer. Out of the house of your gods I will cut off the carved image and the molded image. I will dig your grave, for you are vile.”
As the Assyrians had treated other gods of other nations and their people, so shall they be treated. The dynasty of the kings in Nineveh became extinct. Nineveh was so completely destroyed and wiped out that its ruins were not identified until 1845.
Verse 15 – Behold on the mountains the feet of him who brings good tidings, who proclaims peace! O Judah, keep your appointed feasts, perform your vows. For the wicked one shall no more pass through you; he is utterly cut off.
Sennacherib had encamped in the mountains around Jerusalem and kept the people from having their feasts. God told them He would utterly destroy them, so go ahead with the planed feasts and vows that they had promised if God delivered them.