Nahum 1:1-3:19 Affirm God's Justice

            AFFIRM GOD’S JUSTICE
    Nahum 1:1-3:19         June 17 2007

    The Book of Nahum declares the judgment of God on
    Nineveh. The city would be destroyed because its
    people had rejected God and had become a cruel, evil
    nation. God gave Nahum this prophecy in a vision.
    Nahum wrote God’s message in a book and also
    proclaimed it to Judah sometime prior to the fall
    of Nineveh in 612 B.C.
    God also promised to restore His people from the
    dominion of Assyria (Nah. 1:1-2:2).
    God’s sword of judgment, however, would devour
    Nineveh forever (Nineveh forever (Nah. 2:3-13).
    God announced to the king and his national leaders
    their doom was sealed with no remedy (Nah. 3:1-19).

    1. Understand God’s Competency ( Nah.1:1-3)

Nahum 1:1   An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the
vision of Nahum the Elkoshite. 1:2   The LORD is a jealous
and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is filled
with wrath. The LORD takes vengeance on his foes and
maintains his wrath against his enemies. 1:3   The LORD is
slow to anger and great in power; the LORD will not leave the
guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm,
and clouds are the dust of his feet.

    The title of the book. Oracle.( Isa 13:1). NinevehI.
    Background; ( Jonah 1:2; 3:3). Here the capital city stands
    for the entire Assyrian empire. Vision. ( Isa 1:1). Nahum
    the Elkoshite.  Author. (Nahum1:2-3) The covenant name
    Yahweh (“the LORD”) is emphasized. (Nahum 1:2) Jealous.
    (Ex 20:5). Avenging. . . Vengeance. . . Vengeance. God acts
    justly in judgment toward all who oppose him and his
    kingdom. The repetition is for emphasis. The guilty. Such as
    Nineveh. Whirlwind. . . Storm. . . Clouds. (Ps 18:7-15; 68:4;
    77:16-19; 104:3-4).

    2. Affirm God’s Nature (Nah.1:7-8)

Nahum 1:7   The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him, 1:8   but with an
overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will
pursue his foes into darkness.

    Those who trust in Him. Such as Judah. Overwhelming
    floor. Symbolic of an invading army (Isa 8:7-8). End. . .
    Darkness. In 612 B.C. that end came for Nineveh, and the
    darkness enveloped her. Through the ministry of Jonah,
    Nineveh had formerly experienced the light of God. But
    she later rejected it, and the result was the darkness
    of judgment.

    3. Implement God’s Standards (Nah.3:1-7,19)

Nahum 3:1   Woe to the city of blood, full of lies, full of
plunder, never without victims! 3:2   The crack of whips,
the clatter of wheels, galloping horses and jolting chariots !
3:3   Charging cavalry, flashing swords and glittering
spears! Many casualties, piles of dead, bodies without
number, people stumbling over the corpses — 3:4   all
because of the wanton lust of a harlot, alluring, the
mistress of sorceries, who enslaved nations by her
prostitution and peoples by her witchcraft. 3:5   “I am
against you,” declares the LORD Almighty. I will lift your
skirts over your face. I will show the nations your
nakedness and the kingdoms your shame. 3:6   I will pelt
you with filth, I will treat you with contempt and make
you a spectacle. 3:7   All who see you will flee from you
and say, Nineveh is in ruins —who will mourn for her?’
Where can I find anyone to comfort you?” 3:19   Nothing can
heal your wound; your injury is fatal. Everyone who hears the
news about you claps his hands at your fall, for who has not
felt your endless cruelty?

    City of Blood. Nineveh’s bloody massacres of her
    conquered rivals were well known. Never without victims .
    The Assyrians were noted for their ruthlessness, brutality
    and terrible atrocities. Many of their victims were
    beheaded, impaled or burned.
    Piles of dead. The Assyrian king Shalmaneser III boasted of
    erecting a pyramid of chopped-off heads in front of an enemy’s
    city. Other Assyrian kings stacked corpses like cordwood by
    the gates of defeated cities. Nahum’s description of the cruel
    Assyrians is apropos.
    Harlot. Probably a reference to the chief love goddess of
    Nineveh and, by extension, to the city as a whole. The lure of
    luxury and wealth brought multitudes to Nineveh.
    Sorceries. . . Withchraft. ( Dt 18:10).
    Lift your skirt over your face. The punishment of
    prostitutes and adulteresses. Nineveh will be humiliated.
    Who. . . ? Where. . . ? Rhetorical questions. Nineveh will
    receive no sympathy. Your injury is fatal. Nineveh was so
    totally destroyed that it was never rebuilt, and within a
    few centuries it was covered with windblown sand. So that
    “great city” (Jonah 1:2;  3:2) fell in 612 B.C., never to rise
    again —all in fulfillment of God’s word through his prophet
    Nahum.

    Summary:

        This title verse identifies the Book of Nahum by there
    terms usually associated with prophetic revelations. An
    oracle is a prophetic saying . sometimes this Hebrew word
    is translated "burden," for its basic meaning is "to lift, raise"
    as in lifting a load or raising one’s voice in giving a message.
    Nahum was the only prophet to use the term Book on his title.
    Book obviously referred to something written and probably
    meant a scroll.

    Questions.

        1. What recent injustice have you experienced? How are
    you trusting God to act justly toward those responsible?
2. Have recent terrorist activities affected your confidence in God’s justice in dealing with people? If so , how? has God’s word encouraged you during such times? If so, how?