In these chapters the prophet Nahum describes the unavoidable destruction of the Assyrians. Remember those guys from the story of Jonah? Ninevah was their capital. They had initially repented, then slipped back into their old ways. About 150 years after Jonah had his encounter with them, Nahum spoke against them. Their cruelty was renowned and God’s people suffered heavily under their thumbs. By having Nahum prophesy against the Assyrians God also offered words of comfort for the people of Judah. God promised to never abandon them and to always rescue his people. The forthcoming destruction of their enemies and repayment for the cruelty endured was like a beacon of hope for the Israelites. Even though it took nearly another hundred years before God finally finished them off and the prophecy about Ninevah’s destruction did come to pass.
Key verse: Nahum 1:7-8 “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him, but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will pursue his foes into the realm of darkness.”
How does what you read change your vision of God?
This book changed my vision of God by reminding me of His role as parent. We parents love our kids but eventually their disobedience gets to a point where we have no choice but to hand out consequences. For Israel, it was living under the harsh treatment of the Assyrians. At the same time it broke God’s heart to punish them and it didn’t last forever. I imagine that reconciliation I have with my own kiddos after a time out- There is forgiveness, hugs and a restored relationship, just like God must have wanted with Israel.
How does what you read change your vision of others/yourself?
There have been many times in my life that I’ve felt punished and neglected by God. Verse 7 shines a new light on mylife by reminding me that even when things are dark and seem miserable and hopeless God is my refuge. I need to run to him when life sucks instead of facing it on my own. God cares about me even when I don’t deserve it, I just need to remember to trust Him.
How will you go with God because of this reading?
Nahum is a stark reminder that God is just, handing out punishment when it’s deserved. I will go WITH God because his side is always the winning one. Staying close to Him and listening to His voice in my life is how I’ll do it.
Where do you see Jesus in these chapters?
I see Jesus in chapter 1, at the beginning of verse 15: “Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace!” Jesus is our ultimate peace and the one who took God’s full wrath so we don’t have to. All the destruction that was poured out on the Assyrians was put onto Jesus so He could be the ultimate sacrifice for sin and bring us into peace with God.