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An Oracle concerning Nahum. An oracle is a message from God.
CHAPTER 1 — 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, Just, and Perfect. Because God is Holy, He can NOT be in the presence of sin. He will not tolerate it and eventually He does punish Sin. He has to. This book began as a War against sin and it will end that way too. These chapters are a detailed description of God’s wrath. The detail with each sentence, each topic is powerful….Restoration for Judah….Red shields for the soldiers, warriors clothed in scarlet….flaming torches darting about like lightening….a protective shield…..!! Assyria has been enjoying the “big” life….lots of money…lots of power…cruelty in their power and wealth….no provisions for the poor and needy….enjoying their sin and wanting more of it. BUT God reveals to us that NO power, NO strength, NO money can SAVE us…. ONLY God can SAVE us which is why Jesus came for us!! However, SIN is SIN…regardless of who is doing it and God tells us it never goes us noticed. We either repent or continue in our sin…notice God NEVER tells us we are to be perfect!! NONE of the Bible heroes were perfect….they were however faithful, sought forgiveness, TURNED BACK to HIM and repented when needed. God desires the same from us…not perfection but a deep abiding relationship with HIM through Jesus so we may TRANSFORM more into HIS image through knowing HIS Word (Romans 12:1-2)
CHAPTER 3 — So what was the prophecy??? Outside of these great walls of the great nation of Assyria were the Medes and the Babylonians who were both growing in power. 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. (This makes me wonder in yesterday’s reading when Hezekiah dammed up the river…..if that was part of God’s plan to flood the walls of Assyria in today’s reading???) The queen was taken captive in the confusion and her maidservants were screaming. The Medes are yelling, “plunder the Gold, plunder the silver” And Nineveh is destroyed forever. WHY were they destroyed….because they had forgotten their relationship with God and returned to all their pagan ways (remember Jonah was sent to convert Nineveh over a hundred years ago….so they KNEW God…they had converted….but now wanted NOTHING to do with God. They were happy campers living in their sin, thinking their power, money, and strength could save them from anything……ummmmmm….NOT!!
This prophecy came true, exactly as described in 612 BC.
I KNOW this book was written as hope for Judah so they would no longer be held captive under Assyria, but as I read this I once again can’t help but see so MANY similarities in Assyria and in our world today. The majority of our world is pulling away from God..”doing it their way”….seeing whose got the most strength, money, power…and WHO can CONTROL the world. Our own country is trying to get rid of all traces of God on the money, on public buildings, in public places, and on and on. However, God is God and HE NEVER CHANGES. He does not like sin. HE wants people to TURN BACK to HIM with all their hearts and obey HIM in all areas. Revelation tells us that Jesus will come again and ONLY those who have CHOSEN HIM as their Lord and Savior in their hearts and live for HIM with join HIM in the NEW Jerusalem. We don’t know when HE will come….but we KNOW HE will come again…..LOOK at ALL the prophecies we have seen come to pass!!! HIS 2nd coming will happen. JESUS IS HOPE!! HE is our ONLY HOPE….all else is worthless. So where is your hope?
Sharing HIS love,
Tomorrow we will read the book of Nahum.
The purpose of the book of Nahum was to pronounce God’s judgement on Assyria and to comfort Judah with this truth.
The book was written by Nahum sometime during his ministry and is thought to have been written between 663 and 612 B.C. According to 3:8-10 this prophecy took place after the fall of Thebes in 663 B.C.
Interestingly, the specific place that Nahum was prophesying about was Nineveh!!! Does Nineveh ring any bells….. ummmmm……remember Jonah and the big fish? Nineveh is where Jonah finally went (after trying to run and then being vomited out of the belly of the fish) and the people of Nineveh were converted right before Jonah’s eyes (not that Jonah was happy about it) to the ONE TRUE God. Poor Jonah…. he really didn’t believe the people of Nineveh deserved to be saved because Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, and its people were KNOWN for being VERY cruel and abusive to the Jewish people!!! THANK GOD our being saved it NOT based on what other people think about us or are even asked their opinion as to whether we should be saved….know what I mean!!! The event with Jonah happened about 150 years prior to the book of Nahum. I know…Jonah…the big fish….and Nineveh are all coming back to you now.
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. Much time has passed since Jonah and the people of Nineveh did not stick to their conviction/conversion. OH MAN….look around in our world today…..lots of people not sticking to or standing for their conviction to the ONE TRUE GOD!! (OUCH) These people were not just backsliders; they deliberately rejected God. So NOW what? God needed 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 THE MOST powerful nation in the world. Assyria for the past 300 years had built an empire SOOOOOOs 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 lives, government, laws in the name of “tolerance,” “free choice,” and “acceptance of other faiths,” businesses, schools….and even some churches….…)
As you read this Book of Nahum ask God to show you how this relates to you personally, to your city, your church, your State, your Nation, and globally. Israel and Judah entered captivity and exiled because of their SIN (SELF Indulgent Nature….separation from God.) Nineveh was overthrown for its SIN. Her great wealth, power, tolerance, independence, “security”, “big walls”, big army, etc., could NOT save her. A person or a nation that deliberately and finally rejects God will have a very fatal ending.
Once again….I know I’ve said this many times….but PRAY for our nation….our leaders on ALL levels….our church leaders….our leaders of our homes…and PRAY for a GIANORMOUS REVIVAL!!! KNOW the GREAT impact ONE leader can have on a nation….either for good or for evil…PRAY for leaders with hearts for God and for God to use people who do not know HIM anyway for HIS good.
Sharing HIS love,