Reflections on Nahum

I’m reading through the Bible in a year, and every month I post about what I’ve read. Other posts this month shall be on 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Micah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.

Nahum’s name means ‘comfort’ or ‘consolation’, and that’s what he offers Judah. Only that he does it by speaking an oracle against Nineveh.

From historical records and evidence within Nahum, it is believed that the book was written some 150 years after the repentance provoked by Jonah’s preaching. Apparently, that event didn’t have lasting effects on the Assyrians, who went back to their cruel ways.

The book opens up with a threefold emphasis on ‘avenging’ and ‘vengeance’ (1:2). Yahweh declares to Nineveh, “I am against you.” Twice. He would utterly destroy Nineveh (1:14). It’s my understanding that chapter 2 contains a fairly accurate description of the fall of Nineveh. Its destruction was so thorough that it wasn’t until the late 1800s that its location was identified (around present-day Mosul in Iraq, in case you were wondering).

So what can we learn from Nahum? “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,” affirms Nahum 1:7. God will protect His people, and that may at times entail the destruction of the enemies of His people. To be safe from His wrath, all you need is to trust in Christ.

Sources: Bible.org, Mark Dever.

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