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Nahum – Day One

Chapter 1

A prophecy concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.

The Lord is a jealous and avenging God;
    the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath.
The Lord takes vengeance on his foes
    and vents his wrath against his enemies.
The Lord is slow to anger but great in power;
    the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished.
His way is in the whirlwind and the storm,
    and clouds are the dust of his feet.
He rebukes the sea and dries it up;
    he makes all the rivers run dry.
Bashan and Carmel wither
    and the blossoms of Lebanon fade.
The mountains quake before him
    and the hills melt away.
The earth trembles at his presence,
    the world and all who live in it.
Who can withstand his indignation?
    Who can endure his fierce anger?
His wrath is poured out like fire;
    the rocks are shattered before him.

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.

Whatever they plot against the Lord
    he will bring to an end;
    trouble will not come a second time.
They will be entangled among thorns
    and drunk from their wine;
    they will be consumed like dry stubble.
From you, Nineveh, has one come forth
    who plots evil against the Lord
    and devises wicked plans.

This is what the Lord says:

“Although they have allies and are numerous,
    they will be destroyed and pass away.
Although I have afflicted you, Judah,
    I will afflict you no more.
Now I will break their yoke from your neck
    and tear your shackles away.”

The Lord has given a command concerning you, Nineveh:
    “You will have no descendants to bear your name.
I will destroy the images and idols
    that are in the temple of your gods.
I will prepare your grave,
    for you are vile.”

Look, there on the mountains,
    the feet of one who brings good news,
    who proclaims peace!
Celebrate your festivals, Judah,
    and fulfill your vows.
No more will the wicked invade you;
    they will be completely destroyed.

This book is a prophecy of the destruction of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian empire. The Assyrians were brutally cruel conquerors who uprooted entire populations when they captured them. The leaders of the conquered people were often tortured and mutilated before being executed. God had allowed the Assyrians to capture the northern kingdom of Israel and they were a constant threat to Judah in the south. Nahum is a prophet that we know very little about other than he came from Elkosh, the location of which is not known either. It is thought he gave this prophecy sometime close to the overthrow of the Assyrians by the Babylonians in 612 B.C.

The first chapter makes note of God’s ever-just nature. That he will not leave guilt unpunished and he will take vengeance on his foes (vs. 2-3). Nahum then proclaims the Almighty’s power and makes clear that none can withstand it (vs. 4-6). Then is the key statement of the chapter that God is indeed good and when we trust in him we will be cared for. Then begins the prophecy against Nineveh. The destruction will be complete and none will be left and there will be no descendants. Judah will be given relief and no longer afflicted.

Questions to ponder:

  • What is oppressing you today that you need God to take away?
  • Take a minute to meditate on how good God has been to you in the past.
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