Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – 1 John 4:7 & 8
Read the “0927 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“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. … The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” (Nahum 1:3, 7)
Some facts about Nahum:
This book is the prophecy of the judgment of God upon Nineveh, which was fulfilled in 612 BC. You will remember that Jonah had previously been called upon to preach to the people of Nineveh. His message, though very short, was basically the same thing that Nahum preached in much greater detail:
“And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” – (Jonah 3:4)
Jonah didn’t cry out to the people of Nineveh to repent, he just told them that judgment was on its way. However, the people of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah; but apparently, they did not repent at the preaching of Nahum, though Nahum’s actual message regarding the judgment of Nineveh was much longer. Though the pronouncement of judgment was against Ninevah, the actual message was given to Judah.
We do not know a great deal about Nahum, whose name means “comfort” or “compassion”, except that he was an Elkoshite. We really are not sure where Elkosh is located. Some have stated that there was a town called Elkosh (Al Qosh) in Assyria, just to the north of Nineveh, which could mean that Nahum was one of the exiles from the northern kingdom. Others have claimed that Elkosh was located in what was left of the northern kingdom of Israel, near Capernaum, though by this time, Israel was no more. Most are convinced that whether or not Nahum was originally from the Elkosh of Galilee in the northern kingdom, he lived in Judah during the time of his prophecy. Some even claim that there was also a village called Elkosh in the southern kingdom.
The time of the writing is a little easier to figure out. Nahum refers in the past tense to the destruction and captivity of the city of No (Hebrew – No Amon, Egyptian name – Thebes), which the historians tell us took place in 663 BC. The actual fall of Nineveh is recorded to have taken place in 612 BC; so, it is safe to assume that Nahum wrote in-between these two events (663 – 612 BC), during the reigns of wicked kings Manasseh and Amon, and good King Josiah. More than likely, it was written earlier in that period when Assyria was still strong and Judah was very weak. During King Josiah’s reign Assyria was weakening and Judah was strong (at least spiritually) If the earlier date is right, Nahum may have personally witnessed the fall of Samaria and Sennacherib’s attempted siege on Jerusalem, which would make him contemporary with Isaiah and Micah. If Nahum lived closer to the time of Josiah he would have been contemporary with the prophets Jeremiah, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah.
Nineveh had repented at the preaching Jonah, but had quickly reverted back to their cruelty toward the people of God, along with the committing of immorality and idolatry. The religious idolatry in Nineveh and Assyria had negatively influenced both the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom.
Nineveh was a very proud nation that was about to be brought low by God. The downfall of Assyria would bring great comfort to the people of Judah as Assyria had been harassing them for quite some time. Judah never felt safe as long as the threat of Assyria was looming over them. Some would wish that this Book of judgment was not part of the Canon because it seems to go against the message of love, but this Book paints a wonderful picture of God’s final removal of evil in a sin-cursed world. The city of Ninevah was destroyed by King Nabopolassar and his son, Nubuchadnezzar, of Babylon in 612 BC. Nineveh was thought to be impenetrable with walls 100 feet high, and a surrounding moat that was 150 feet wide and 60 feet deep.
Thoughts from the Passage:
Notice two very important facts about our God from Nahum 1:3 & 7:
- God is very patient with people. This applies to both the Lost world as well as those that belong to Him. God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). God was patient with Nineveh. He sent Jonah to warn them and He postponed the destruction of the city because they heeded Jonah’s warning. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11), and He certainly does not want to punish His own children; but He will correct us for His glory and our good.
- The Lord is good. Whenever things get crazy in your world, just remind yourself of that fact. Whenever your feelings tell you that God does not care about your situation, remember that He is always good, and He knows those who trust in Him. Not only does He know you, He loves you and cares deeply for you.
We are living in a time where craziness and chaos is increasing, and it appears as if the Lord is pulling back His hand of protection and provision from our nation. But if you belong to Him: if you are His child through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you have absolutely nothing to fear. He knows you, and He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). Stuff may get worse in our world, but the Christian can be comforted in knowing that God will shield him (Proverbs 30:5, Psalm 84:11) from the brunt of what the world is facing. Why? Because He is a stronghold in the day of trouble.
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with 3 comments.