For an introduction to this series, click here.
Nov. 16, 2006
This is a very dark book. The entire book is a pronouncement of judgment against Nineveh. I have not looked it up, so I don't know exactly when Nahum wrote this, but it is plain he is prophesying about a time after Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah. I get the feeling Jonah would have enjoyed writing this much more than Nahum did.
Chapter 1 is about the fearsome wrath of God. A lot of people like to quote 1:7, but they forget about verse 8:
“The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. But with an overwhelming flood he will make a complete end of the adversaries, and will pursue his enemies into darkness.” (1:7-8)
God is in control of all human history, and we are foolish if we ignore Him as the Ninevites did. I am reminded of Psalm 115:3: "Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases."(ESV) It is not stated by Nahum but perhaps God's judgment on Nineveh was so extreme because they had a chance to repent, but they forgot what they had promised the Lord after they heard Jonah preach.
Chapter 2 tells of the reaction of the Ninevites when the judgment of God overtakes them. Chapter 3 pictures Nineveh as a prostitute who has been stripped and beaten. It's not pretty, but neither is Nineveh's sin, and that is the point of the book. The only reason we know of Nineveh is because of references to it in the Bible and in other books and records from this period of history. There is nothing there today- it is only desert. Its very emptiness proves the utter devastation of God's wrath.