Nahum 1:1-3 – “The oracle of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite. 2 A jealous and avenging God is the LORD; The LORD is avenging and wrathful. The LORD takes vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies. 3 The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, And the LORD will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.” NASB
Most of us would rather talk about “God is Love” rather than “God is a Consuming Fire.” We like the Mercies of God, not the Judgments, and rightly so. No one wants to be judged or punished. We want mercy and forgiveness and that is the ultimate heart of God as revealed in both the Old and New Testaments. I have often said, “God is more willing to give pardon than we are to receive it.” In that I mean, He is always looking for a way to restore, and sometimes we are too full of pride to truly repent and submit ourselves to Him in humility, repentance, and faith.
This is an incredibly interesting prophecy for it deals with a city that repented when Jonah preached to them of impending destruction. Now, this city has drifted back to its former state and God’s patience has worn thin. If we only had this book of the Bible to understand who God is, we would not see Him as He really is but only as a vengeful being with the power to crush mankind like a bug.
When I read, “A jealous and avenging God is the LORD…” I tremble. When I continue reading and hear, “The LORD is avenging and wrathful…” I am terrified. When I read, “The LORD takes vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies.” I want to find a hiding place, but quickly realize there is none.
Who are the enemies of the LORD immediately becomes my question and quest to discover so I can avoid being among that number? He becomes that image many have of God that He is “carrying a big stick and just waiting for us to step out of line so He can beat us over the head.”
That image of God prevents the one adhering to that concept from every developing a loving and learning relationship with Him. We dare not become too visible and certainly would never want to get too near out of paralytic fear. When we read, “The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means leave the guilty unpunished” we become hopeless. What if we are the ones deemed guilty and guilty, we are for “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”? What do we do? Where do we turn? Where is our Hope?
Thankfully this is not the only reference concerning God in the Bible. We do need to understand His Power and that at a word He can cause the sea to become dry, the clouds obey His command, the soil and cities of the Earth are under His power. Nothing escapes His eye and there is no place to hide from His presence. So, if we align ourselves with the devil directly or indirectly, intentionally, or unintentionally and allow our devices to become a scheme against God Look Out! We sometimes fret over the lack of obvious judgment for the wicked and those who openly oppose God and His people but take heart God promises or warns that whatever anyone schemes against Him will come to nothing.
Nineveh was informed by Nahum the prophet that though they were strong and full of themselves they would be cut down to nothing. They had been known for generations as a might people but soon would find their name no longer mentioned in awe and they would be cut off. Then, the prophet slips in a word concerning the Coming Messiah in v 15, “Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace!”
That was a word of comfort to the Jewish people and to all of those in generations to come who Believe! The wicked will not prevail but God will and in Him we will ascend to the mountain of God and worship in His Holy Hill. We should fear the LORD with reverential fear and know that there is another side to Him beyond Judgment. He is also the God of Mercy! He longs for us to COME TO HIM!
God, bless you as you rest in His presence and peace.