Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Future Destruction of Nineveh
About a hundred fifty years after Jonah warned Nineveh, Nahum again prophesied against Nineveh. Unlike in Jonah’s day, they did not listen and the prophecy was fulfilled about a hundred years later. .
“The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite. God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.” (Nahum 1:1-2)
The Assyrians had conquered Israel and attacked Judah. Nahum warns them that God is a jealous God who will not ignore their treatment of his people. He will take revenge against them, and he is saving up his wrath against them II Peter 3:9 declares, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” That God had not destroyed them already was only a reminder of his patience with people, giving them a chance to repent.
If they did not judgment would fall, as Paul warns in Romans 2:4-8. “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath.” To continue as they were would only lead to worse judgment.
“The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.” (Nahum 1:3-6)
Both Peter and Paul emphasized God’s patience with mankind. At the same time, there is a definite limit to his patience. He will not overlook continued rebellion against him. He is the creator of the world, and controls the weather, causing and guiding the tornadoes and storms, and the clouds are like the dust a person stirs up walking in the desert. He causes global warming and the drying up lakes and seas such as the Aral Sea. He can cause a drought such that mighty rivers become just a dry riverbed and rich verdant lands become deserts. He causes earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and wildfires that burn millions of acres, killing man and beast. There is no human force that can protect against these natural events God causes.
“The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies. What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time. For while they be folden together as thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry.” (Nahum 1:7-10)
God is good and protects the people who put their trust in him. Those who oppose him will be utterly destroyed, with no hope. When he finishes there will be nothing left to recover. Right in the middle of their partying and thinking they have escaped judgment, he will fold them up like dried out weeds and burn them.
“There is one come out of thee, that imagineth evil against the LORD, a wicked counsellor. Thus saith the LORD; Though they be quiet, and likewise many, yet thus shall they be cut down, when he shall pass through. Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more. For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder. And the LORD hath given a commandment concerning thee, that no more of thy name be sown: out of the house of thy gods will I cut off the graven image and the molten image: I will make thy grave; for thou art vile. “ (Nahum 1:11-14)
The Assyrians had brought judgment on Israel because of wicked leaders who encouraged them to disobey God. Though they have a lot of followers, they will be destroyed when God intervenes, and the Assyrian power will be broken. They will no longer kill the Jews. He will wipe out the idols and groves Israel has worshipped because they are reprehensible to him.
:Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.” (Nahum 1:15)
If Judah will listen, God’s message will be a rich blessing, leading them to peace. God will protect them from invasions by groups like the Assyrians. They will be completely wiped out.