(15 verses, 2:25 to read)
What I am about to READ:
Nahum comforted God’s people with the message that the Lord would destroy Nineveh.
MARK and LEARN:
- “Nahum”—Nahum comes from a Hebrew word that means “comfort” or “consolation.” Nahum was sent to comfort God’s people with the message of the overthrow of the evil empire of Assyria. Nahum wrote sometime between 663 BC, when the Egyptian city of Thebes was destroyed (referred to in Nahum 3:8), and 612 BC, when Nineveh was destroyed.
- The book of Nahum deals with the city of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire, the ancient world’s superpower from about 850 to 612
- In many ways, Nahum is a companion book to Jonah. Jonah was the Lord’s prophet to Assyria, sent there to turn the Assyrians from their sins. If they repented, they would not be destroyed, said Jonah. They did repent and were spared. But their deliverance meant that they were able to destroy the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Nahum, written many years after Jonah, is also addressed to Nineveh. By this time Nineveh had punished God’s people. But the Assyrians had gone too far and had acted in pride and cruelty. Nahum foretells their final destruction by Babylon.
- In a remarkable hymn (verses 2–7) Nahum describes God as both a jealous and avenging God who punishes sinners and a good and merciful God who forgives sinners.
- Verses 7 and 8…law and gospel. God will have compassion on His people. That’s gospel. But the flip side is law. In the process of showing mercy to His people, He will invariably condemn His people’s enemies. This continues today as the Lord punishes those who take a stand against God’s people.
- God used Nineveh to punish His people for their sins. But once they finished His work, God would punish and destroy the Ninevites. He would send heralds to preach good news to His people. No longer would they be harassed by their enemies. God’s people would be able to worship him forever.
Verse 15 is still being fulfilled to this very day. God continues to send heralds to preach His Good News to His people. Messengers of the Gospel continue to proclaim the Good News : by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, God’s people are free from their enemies and free to serve Him. That message is for you today!
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Pastor Kevin Zellers, Jr.