Does God Judge Nations?

The question is often asked, does God judge nations? Let’s let the Bible answer this question.

Nahum was God’s oracle to write of His anger against Nineveh and illustrate it. Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian empire. One hundred years earlier the prophet Jonah had been sent by God to appeal to the people of Nineveh to repent. They responded positively and God blessed them. His blessings were abundant and they prospered. Soon their devotion evolved from gratitude to the One blessing them to the blessings and materialism set in again, followed by promiscuity and corruption. They once again evolved into a carnal city.

Nahum wrote to warn them of the result. Doing so was a “burden” for him. It wasn’t a feel-good message. Studying the book, though timely and expedient, isn’t a joyous study.

“Burden” translates the Hebrew word “massa” which can also be translated “load.” This is a weighty message.

The fact the message is for the city of Nineveh and the country of Assyria indicates God not only judges individuals, but nations. Three prophets wrote of three cultures God judged.

Nahum against Assyria, Obadiah against Edom, Habakkuk against Babylon.

Ezekiel Chapters 25 – 28 forms a compendium of nations God had judged to date. The Philistines are noted as an example: “I will execute great vengeance on them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I lay My vengeance upon them.”

It should be noted and God’s anger and judgment understood in light of a pattern observable in God’s judgement of nations.

God warns. They are without excuse.

God waits. Time to respond is always allowed so the people are again without excuse. The book opens with a revelation of the character of the God who will judge them.  “The Lord is slow to anger…” (vs. 3)

His wrath. If the response is not one of contrition, confession, and commitment then, and only then, God shows His wrath. 

Samuel warned that failure to respond positively to the Lord has serious consequences: “If you do not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you, as it was against your fathers.”  (II Samuel 12:15)

The admirable response of God to those who repentantly turn to Him is found in II Chronicle 7:14: “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Let’s pray America accepts this shield from judgment and discipline.