Remember Paul Harvey & A ; his Rest of the Story? Open your Christian bibles to Nahum. This short book is the remainder of the narrative that began in Jonah. Nahum has a prognostication for Nineveh about 100 old ages subsequently. It seems slightly uneven that the prognostication that ‘ s all about God ‘ s retribution against His enemies comes from a prophesier whose names means comfort or solace. But God ‘ s people can be comforted by this prognostication against the capital of Assyria, one of the most violent, barbarous, heartless, iniquitous empires the universe has of all time known. Jonah had reluctantly preached in Nineveh & A ; the Assyrians repented & A ; God withheld His wrath. But it did n’t take them long to return to their old ways. When Nahum wrote this, Israel had already fallen to the Assyrians as had many other states. Judah seemed entirely & amp ; vulnerable. But God views the enemies of His people as His ain enemies. Not a good place to be in! Nahum told the people of Nineveh that God had had enough ; they would now see the horror of His Godhead wrath. Nahum assures us that God will judge wickedness & A ; evil personally, strongly, & A ; devastatingly. The job of immorality is finally resolved in God ‘ s judgement, but personally, if you ‘ re a evildoer like me ( & A ; you are ) , that ‘ s non reassuring. We ‘ d much prefer to hear about God ‘ s love, right? & A ; the clemency, love, & A ; grace of God ca n’t be proclaimed excessively to the full, believed excessively steadfastly, or extolled excessively extremely. We rejoice in the cognition of God ‘ s space, matchless, goodness, right? But even many Christians have a distorted position of God ‘ s goodness. It ‘ s a construct of love that denies God ‘ s other properties. It ‘ s an thought of clemency that denies the justness of God. It ‘ s a impression of God ‘ s goodness that denies His sanctity. Those who have the thought that God is so loving, gracious, & A ; good that He wo n’t penalize wickednesss have no thought of who God is. As Charles Spurgeon one time said, He who does non believe that God will penalize wickedness will non believe that He will excuse it through the blood of His Son. If we truly want to idolize God, we must be captured by a sense & A ; consciousness of the stateliness, glorification, & A ; power of all-powerful God in His glorious sanctity. Pray
Nahum prophesied sometime around 650 BC, after the Northern Kingdom has been conquered by Assyria but before the Southern Kingdom was taken into expatriate. It ‘ s a clip of fright, as the Assyrians continue to endanger to make to Judah the same thing they ‘ d done to Israel. Assyria has returned to their iniquitous & A ; violent ways. But God is still in charge & A ; control. Nahum is about God righteously & A ; enthusiastically destructing His enemies, those who have abused His chosen people. Nahum begins with a description of the God the Ninehevites had provoked.
1. God will protect His people because of who He is. 1: 2-5. A. God is covetous ( 2 ) . As Christians, we must hold an apprehension of the green-eyed monster of God. Give our ain experiences with green-eyed monster, it ‘ s difficult to believe of it apart from wickedness. But God is right to jealously necessitate our sole worship of Him, because He ‘ s the lone true God. Can you conceive of what it would state about God if He did n’t care whether or non we worshiped prevarications? He is committed to Himself, & A ; requires us to be committed to Him every bit good, which is for our good. With God green-eyed monster is n’t a mistake, but an property. It ‘ s right for God to be covetous, because He is perfect. Any assault upon His individual, opposition to His will, rebellion against His regulation, or expostulation to His work is evil. God ‘ s green-eyed monster is a sinless, holy green-eyed monster. He is covetous for His people. He will revenge them & A ; the award of His name. The fact that God is love does n’t in anyhow decrease the fact that He is covetous. In fact, it ‘ s God ‘ s love that makes Him covetous, so covetous that He militias wrath for His enemies ( 2 ) .
B. God is slow to anger. ( 3 ) This great & A ; awful God whose jealousy makes Him ferocious is besides patient, forgiving, & A ; longsuffering. God is n’t in a haste to penalize evildoers & A ; convey judgement upon His enemies. Yes, judgement is His work but He gives evildoers room for penitence. This is mercy. He gives His enemies chance to atone & amp ; even commands them to make so ( Acts 17: 30 ; 2 Pt 3: 9 ) .
C. God is powerful. He ‘ s the omnipotent, all-powerful God. He has all power, & A ; can make everything He wants to make. Our God is a great God, because He is great in power ( 3 ) . He has the power & A ; ability to make everything He ‘ s purposed to make. Nor willaˆ¦
D. God leave the guilty unpunished because He is merely. Though He ‘ s longsuffering & A ; patient, He ‘ ll penalize every transgressor. God ‘ s patience is n’t an indicant that He lacks the will or ability to penalize His enemies. He is great in power & A ; He is merely. Therefore, the individual who sins will decease ( Ez 18: 20 ) . God will non, can non unclutter the guilty. The Lord will by no agencies leave the guilty unpunished ( 3 ) . The enigmas of the cross are bound up in this short sentence. When a guilty felon is pardoned, something is urgently incorrect, either with the jurisprudence that condemned him or the disposal of it. For God to assoil the wicked would bespeak the same defect, either in Him or in His jurisprudence, unless He can make so upon the evidences of justness satisfied. How can God be merely & amp ; still be the Justifier of evildoers? If God is merely & amp ; must penalize wickedness, how can any sinner of all time be saved? Will God lay aside His justness so that He can be merciful? No. He ca n’t. Justice is indispensable to His character. How so can He salvage us? There ‘ s merely one manner: Substitution ( Job 33: 24 ; Pr 16: 6 ; Rom 3: 24-26 ) . If God almighty saves a guilty evildoer & A ; forgives his wickednesss, 3 things must be done. 1st, the evildoer must be punished to the full satisfaction of justness. 2nd, his wickednesss & A ; guilt must be wholly removed. 3rd, he must go absolutely righteous. We ca n’t make any of that. These things can be done merely by the substitutionary work of Jesus. God punished all the wickednesss of all His people to the full satisfaction of His justness when Jesus died as our Substitute ( Gal 3: 13 ) . He removed them from us & A ; set them off by the forfeit of His Son ( Heb 9: 26 ) . & A ; He has imputed to us Christ ‘ s perfect righteousness in precisely the same manner & A ; to the same grade as He imputed our wickednesss to Christ ( 2 Cor 5: 21 ) . When we trust in Jesus, we die with Him on the cross & A ; are made new animals, who have His resurrected life. We ‘ ve been brought out of the darkness & A ; into His fantastic visible radiation ( 1 Pt 2: 9 ) .
You turned to God from graven images to function a life & A ; true God, & A ; to wait for His Son from Eden, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come ( 1 Thes 1: 9-10 ) .
The righteous Judge bore our judgement Himself so that we are free to function Him without fright. This thankful, unafraid service includes allowing others know, with all the ability & A ; urgency we can, the good intelligence of the option to bearing God ‘ s judgement themselves. God wants our enemies to go our brothers & A ; sisters in the religion. We can make none of this on our ain. We must depend entirely upon God. Our assemblages as a church should be times where we on a regular basis confess, through vocal & A ; supplication, our dependance on God ‘ s love, Christ ‘ s righteousness, & A ; the Spirit ‘ s empowering. We need Him to forgive our wickednesss. We need Him to take & amp ; steer us. We need Him to supply for our demands. We need Him to uncover more of Himself to us so that we might cognize Him better. Our garnering together must remind us that we depend wholly on Him, & A ; that He ‘ s the One who should be celebrated, thanked, & A ; praised.
E. God is autonomous. 3b What does that intend? It means that our God, who is covetous, longsuffering, almighty, & A ; merely, is besides wholly autonomous. He regulations all things. The clouds are the dust beneath His pess. In all things, at all times, with all animals, & A ; in all topographic points, God has His manner. We can joy in the sovereignty of our great God, cognizing that He ever exercises His sovereignty over all things for the salvation & A ; redemption & A ; good of His people ( vss 4-6 ; Is 45: 7, 22 ; 50: 2 ; 51: 10-12 ) . God did n’t weave up the existence, get down it whirling, & A ; so go forth it to see what would go on. He is n’t some far off, bored observer. Nor is He surprised by anything that does go on. He is the God of infinity & A ; history. Several old ages after Nahum ‘ s prognostication God turned His wrath loose & A ; Nineveh fell wholly. Judgment is God ‘ s work. Even as the prophesier describes the judgement of God, the ferocious choler of His wrath, he raises a inquiry which, when answered, brings a message of hope for evildoers. 6a Not me! Not you! God ‘ s wrath would devour us like a snowflake in an oven. But Jesus, our great Substitute, stood before the rage of Godhead God & A ; tire His wrath for us. Make you see these properties of God? The Lord is covetous. The Lord is longsuffering. The Lord is almighty. The Lord is merely. The Lord is autonomous. Now read 1: 7.
F. God is good. Our great God is good! Good is every bit indispensable to God ‘ s being as sovereignty, justness, & A ; sanctity. Goodness is the character of our God & A ; His goodness gives us hope, comfort, & A ; strength. Nahum has been speaking about the storm of God ‘ s wrath, the panic of His justness, the illustriousness of His choler, whirlwinds, agitating mountains, runing hills, & A ; broken stones. Then, He comes to a unagitated island of remainder. The Lord is good. God is basically good. Goodness is indispensable to God. Without it, He would n’t be God. Goodness is so basically the character of God that as John Gill wrote, There is nil but goodness in God, & A ; nil but goodness comes from Him ( Js 1: 13-14 ) . He permits evil, but overrules it for good ( Ps 76: 10 ; Rom 8: 28 ; Pr 12: 21 ; Gen 50: 20 ) . God punishes wickedness with retribution ; but even that penalty of wickedness is good as grounds of justness. God is the merely good One in the existence ( Mt 19: 17 ) . As William Tyndale said, God ‘ s goodness is the root of all goodness. Our goodness, if we have any, springs out of His goodness. God is everlastingly & A ; unalterably good ( Mal 3: 6 ) . The goodness of God ne’er varies, alterations, or alters. In all that He ‘ s done, is making, & A ; will make, God is good. He is boundlessly, uncomparably, immeasurably good. The Lord is good is a truth worthy of changeless speculation. Eternity itself wo n’t state the comprehensiveness of God ‘ s goodness. & A ; all His goodness is directed toward His people at all times! The point of all this description of God is found in vss 7-8, where we read that because God is greater than Judah ‘ s enemies, they need non fear. 7-8
2. God ‘ s threatened judgement With an thought of who God is & A ; cognizing that He will protect His people, we see that God will judge His people ‘ s enemies ( 9-15 ) . Assyria idea of herself as a king of beasts, the male monarch of animals for whom the remainder of the universe was merely a bite to be devoured ( 2: 11-12 ) . They ‘ d already destruct about 50 metropoliss in Judah entirely, including Lachish, a metropolis that guarded Jerusalem from the coastal field along the Mediterranean. Graphic images of Lachish ‘ s devastation survive to this twenty-four hours in Assyrian art, demoing impaled work forces, hemorrhoids of caputs, & A ; dismembered organic structures, all victims of the Assyrian push into Judah ‘ s hills. Remember, there were no Geneva Conventions of War so. The Assyrians were what Stalin merely dreamed to be. When they conquered a metropolis, they would wholly desolate it & A ; so resettle it with people from other topographic points so that no problem would of all time come from that topographic point once more. That ‘ s what the Assyrians were celebrated for. But when the King of male monarchs comes against them, the king of beasts becomes the quarry. Assyria ‘ s day of reckoning is sealed when the one whose wrath is poured out like fire says to them, I am against you ( 1: 6 ; 2: 13 ; 3: 5 ) . To procure comfort & A ; peace for God ‘ s people, God will wholly destruct the wicked who threaten them ( 1: 15 ) . In the thick of these times of problem, there ‘ s merely one safety, one fortress, one secure topographic point where there will be safety & A ; protection: God Himself. Those who reject this topographic point of safety, swearing in their ain fortresses, will go forth themselves exposed to an overpowering inundation of godly wrath. You have to understand that Nineveh was one of the grandest & A ; most powerful metropoliss on Earth. Its size, power, & A ; wealth inspired awe & A ; fright. Its walls were a good image of this impressiveness. At least 2 series of walls surrounded the whole metropolis, running for stat mis. The inner wall, the taller of the 2, was about 100 pess high & A ; broad plenty for 3 chariots to race side-by-side around it. Outside of the sets of walls was a fosse 150 pess broad & A ; 60 pess deep. The Tigris & A ; other smaller rivers environing Nineveh made the metropolis appear inviolable. But God was traveling to unleash His wrath against it. As the author of Hebrews tells us, It is a awful thing to fall into the custodies of the life God ( 10: 31 ) . But God provides a manner for everyone to come in into the protective walls of His fortress. Jesus is that manner. Jesus came to see the firestorm of God ‘ s wrath for us, to go in His ain individual a fortress against godly judgement in the hereafter. All who trust in Him are brought inside His protective walls. But for those outside, there will be no flight. For those inside, there ‘ s visible radiation & A ; life. But for those outside, there will be darkness, where there will be crying & A ; gnashing of dentitions ( Mt 22: 13 ) . Jesus is the One who will bear our judgement on Himself when we come to Him in religion. But those who refuse His improbably gracious offer & A ; who continue to take a firm stand on being the enemy of His people ( & A ; therefore His enemy ) will cognize Him non as their Jesus but as their Judge. Like the people of God in Nahum ‘ s twenty-four hours, we can look frontward to soothe & amp ; alleviation from those who problem us, because God will refund with affliction those who afflict you, & A ; to give alleviation to you who are afflicted. This will go on when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from Eden with His mighty angels in flaring fire ( 2 Thes 1: 6-7 ) . Jesus is the One who will judge between those who are His people & A ; those who are against His people. & A ; the Judge is coming. Peter tells us that,
( God ) ordered us to prophesy to the people, & A ; solemnly to attest that this is the One ( Jesus ) who has been appointed by God as Judge of the life & A ; the dead ( Acts 10: 42 ) .
God has raised up Jesus to be the righteous Judge of the life & A ; the dead. Jesus is coming in judgement, but in clemency He has experienced that judgement already for those who have faith in Him. The doors of His protective fortress are broad unfastened until the twenty-four hours comes when they ‘ re unopen & A ; judgement comes. Outside are terror, devastation, & A ; decease ; inside are life, safety, peace, & A ; joy. Who would take a firm stand on remaining outside?
Yes, the wrath of God makes us uncomfortable, which it should. But without a deep grasp of judgement, redemption is nonmeaningful. Who needs redemption if there ‘ s nil to be saved from? By reading & A ; larning about the judgement that will come against the enemies of God & A ; His people, we understand more to the full what Jesus has saved us from by taking the punishment for us. We ‘ re besides reminded of what we were before God made us new creative activities by religion in Christ & A ; what we should be going as we ‘ re conformed to the similitude of our Lord by the transforming power of His Spirit. God ‘ s judgement is merely ; God ‘ s judgement is entire ; God ‘ s judgement is certain. God has miraculously converted us from His enemies to His friends, His kids. Amazing love, how can it be, that Thou my God didst dice for me?
The consequence of this is that God is covetous & A ; protective of His people, whether it ‘ s Judah so, or the Church now. He is huming with fury against those who harm His people. Whatever problem, persecution, or straiten the people of God may see in this universe, we can populate courageously & A ; confidently that God ne’er leaves nor forsakes us, & A ; that He will justify us when He returns to judge the states. God, because of who He is, will protect His people, threatens judgement on His enemies, & A ; now we haveaˆ¦
3. A prognostication of Nineveh ‘ s devastation We find the cooling words in 2: 13 that are repeated in chapter 3: I am against you, declares the Lord of hosts. The point of the whole book of Nahum is made clear here. More serious words ca n’t be imagined. God is n’t merely stating that He ‘ ll abandon Assyria or merely go forth them entirely. He ‘ s assuring to actively oppose them: I am against you! Think on that. Imagine what it would be like to hold the Almighty God expression at you & amp ; state, I am against you. In this book, God notifies Assyria that its clip has run out. His forbearance with its iniquitous ways has ended & amp ; the self-imagined unbeatable state will be destroyed. So complete will be its licking, the Lord says, that 1: 14. The male monarch & A ; his posterities will be cut off ; his line will non digest. God was determined to absolutely & A ; for good destroy Nineveh. If God be for us, who can be against us? But when God turns against us, who can be for us? To contemn God ‘ s clemency is to meet His wrath. God had sent Jonah to Nineveh. He ‘ d expose His grace to that wicked metropolis, saving them in His clemency. But in clip, they wilfully turned aside from the disclosure of His goodness. Now, the metropolis was under the irrevokable sentence of His wrath. Nahum ‘ s prognostication describes the arrant devastation of Nineveh ; & A ; the metropolis was so utterly destroyed that every hint of its being was lost to history until the 1840s when archaeologists discovered its remains. The Ninevites thought they were unbeatable. But when the appointive clip of wrath came, God saw to the arrant devastation of the metropolis, merely as Nahum prophesied. This judgmentwo n’t be avoided because God delectations to judge His enemies. Judgment is n’t some unfortunate demand of His being a merely God that He does merely with sorrow. He hates wickedness & A ; He hates those who do evil & amp ; He will judge them. 3: 12-15a
Nahum ‘ s prognostication was right. Nineveh did autumn. In 612 BC the Medes, Babylonians, & A ; Scythians, laid besieging to the metropolis & A ; were helped by a coinciding storm. The protective river & A ; moat around the metropolis flooded up against the walls until great balls of them fell off, merely as Nahum had predicted in 2: 6.
Assyria ‘ s male monarch gathered himself & A ; his family together in a immense funeral pyre & A ; burned himself, his married womans, courtesans, & A ; kids to ashes. The encroachers walked in & A ; stripped the metropolis so au naturel that its really location was forgotten for more than 2, 000 old ages. 2: 10a
Before we leave, look at the last sentence of the book which is a inquiry. 3: 19b
Remember which other prophesier terminals in a inquiry? Jonah. The prophesier of God ‘ s clemency to Nineveh. Surely that connexion is n’t inadvertent. Nineveh, one time the object of God ‘ s clemency, became the object of God ‘ s wrath. God does judge evil. Personally, strongly, & A ; eventually. Nahum ‘ s message to Nineveh was a message of wrath & A ; judgement which they to the full deserved. But that is n’t all there is to his message. Remember, Nahum means comfort or solace & A ; his message to God ‘ s people is a message of comfort & A ; solace. The Lord is a fastness in the twenty-four hours of problem ( 1: 7 ) . The lone topographic point of safety in this universe is the topographic point we find beneath the shadow of His wings ( Pr 18: 10 ) . The Lord who is good is our fastness, our topographic point of safety. He is our safety in the twenty-four hours of problem ( Heb 6: 18 ) . Whatever the problem may be, the Lord is our Stronghold ( Heb 4: 16 ) . He is a secure fortress for the protection of His people. He is the topographic point of safety, of peace, of abode, & A ; of proviso. Let us fly to & A ; abide in our mighty Stronghold. Let us of all time swear our Savior ‘ s loving attention. If the Lord who is good knows us, we want nil else to fulfill us. He knows us everlastingly. He knows us absolutely. He knows us universally ( Ps 107: 8, 15, 21, 31 ) . If He who is good knows us, all is good! Amons?
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