Don’t Mess With God

Hidden in the pages of the Old Testament is the little book of Nahum. It bears the name of one believed to have lived in Capernaum (Town of Nahum). He wrote of the long and painful oppression of Israel by the Assyrians. They were actually God’s means of disciplining His disobedient people. God said, “I have afflicted you….” (Nahum 1: 12)

Fast forward, the heart of Nahum’s message is epitomized in 1: 7 – 9. Therein God’s goodness and sufficiency is noted.

Nahum’s contemporaries Jeremiah and Zephaniah wrote principally of Israel’s reformation resulting from the judgment. 

Regarding God’s moral judgment on both Israel and later on Nineveh it was slow to come, long deferred, but certain. Nahum accents the fact the judgment is not an act of capricious sovereignty, but the just reward for the two.

Nahum writes of the impending judgment of God on the Assyrian capital Nineveh. Chapters 2 and 3 detail explicit details regarding Nineveh (2: 8 & 3: 7).

The destruction of such a city seemed impossible. It was surrounded by 7 ½ miles of walls so thick three chariots could ride abreast on the top. It was populated by a sensual, ferocious, and diabolical atrocious race.

Nahum’s prophecy came true when the Medes, Babylonians, and Scythians razed the city. To facilitate the fall the Tigris River overflowed creating breaches in he wall. Seeing the end the king burned himself alive killing himself in his palace (3: 15 – 19).

Why all of these details?  They reveal the universality of God’s governing. It reveals there is a just God, His judgment is a subordinate part of His grace. 

Two verses in the book stand out like twin peaks on a sandy beach.

Before reading then reflect on their setting.

“Jehovah is slow to anger and great in power, and by no means will clear the guilty” (1: 3).

The second verse is one of my favorites in all of the Bible.

“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows them that trust [take refuge] in Him.” Nahum 1: 7

Many heartaches and lots of problems could be avoided if that were kept in mind. Amid all difficulties He is a citadel for those who trust in Him.

Discipline of nations and people is not an expression of punishment in order to inflict pain. The word discipline and the word disciple both come from the same root which means to learn. Israel in the era of Nahum learned from their discipline and reformed to become a better and blessed nation. May we individually respond to God’s discipline and learn to be better people. 

I love two countries. America and Israel, may both learn from Nahum.