"The Twelve"

Nahum means "Comfort" and is a prophet who speaks of God's justice and mercy. This theme is the title given to the book: Justice and Mercy. Nahum is situated in a theological conundrum. Both God’s severity and mercy are under scrutiny. Is God's severity against sin applied only selectively to His own people? How can God justly show mercy? How can God be both holy and merciful? Will He be able and still desire to bring about salvation according to His faithful loving-kindness?

The notion of mercy in view has overtones of salvation. Just over 100 years have passed since Jonah preached to Nineveh wherein they repented. Now the prophet Nahum proclaims in service to the Almighty that Nineveh will be destroyed. Nineveh's repentance was genuine, but after they repented, they were used of God to judge Israel (10 northern tribes). In her pride, Nineveh reverted to idolatry and violent brutality. God speaks strongly against Assyria through Nahum and thereby demonstrates His indiscriminate holiness. The universal holiness of God resonates throughout this text.

Assyria was at her height, making sport of ravishing and destroying people. The holy echo from heaven, declared in the sure authority of God’s word, is that Nineveh will reap what she has sown. Assyria thought she was invincible. Nineveh, her capital, had 200 towers along her high fortifying walls along with a 150ft wide and 60 ft deep moat that encircled her city walls. The walls were approximately 100ft high and wide enough to accommodate three chariots running (abreast) in side-by-side. They boasted of an impregnable fortress!

In light of this, Nahum's prophecy was probably laughed at!

ESV Nahum 3:12 All your fortresses are like fig trees with first-ripe figs-- if shaken they fall into the mouth of the eater.

“For God not to have overthrown the Assyrians would have meant that he was not true to himself. The character of God means that evil cannot triumph in the world.” (Barker, 166).

“For if God does not destroy the evil human beings have brought into God’s good creation, the world can never return to the wholeness he intended for it in the beginning. To divest God of his function as destroyer of wrong is to acquiesce to the present corrupt state of the world—to accept the sinful status quo and simply to put up with whatever is done by selfish and prideful and corrupted men and women.” (Barker, 166-67).

ESV Psalm 90:11 Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you?

ESV Psalm 90:14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

ESV Deuteronomy 4:24 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

ESV Hebrews 12:29 for our God is a consuming fire.

ESV Revelation 6:17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"

ESV Isaiah 13:5 They come from a distant land, from the end of the heavens, the LORD and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.

ESV Isaiah 10:5 Ah, Assyria, the rod of my anger; the staff in their hands is my fury!

ESV Jeremiah 50:25 The LORD has opened his armory and brought out the weapons of his wrath, for the Lord GOD of hosts has a work to do in the land of the Chaldeans.

ESV Jeremiah 50:28 "A voice! They flee and escape from the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God, vengeance for his temple. 29 "Summon archers against Babylon, all those who bend the bow. Encamp around her; let no one escape. Repay her according to her deeds; do to her according to all that she has done. For she has proudly defied the LORD, the Holy One of Israel.

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