For this Advent season, I have been reading through the Minor Prophets. The book of Nahum tells the rest of the story of Jonah. Jonah was called by God to preach to the pagan, Gentile city of Nineveh. After his disobedience, he does, and the city repents, turning to God. Jonah sinfully is upset with God that he would show mercy on this pagan city when they repent. Ironically, at the end of Jonah, Nineveh has repented, and Jonah in rebellion to God. However, it did not stay this way. The city of Nineveh soon turned back to their sinful ways. Nahum prophecies Nineveh’s judgment and destruction. The Assyrian Empire will fall.
There are two powerful contrasts that Nahum makes:
- God is avenging, wrathful, powerful, and creation itself trembles before Him (1:2-6), YET He is good and a refuge for those who seek Him (v. 7). When all the world seems to be coming apart, God is a shelter to those who seek refuge in Him.
- The bad news of destruction and the end of the Assyrian Empire is foretold (1:12-14), YET it is Good News that will come that God is faithful in judging sin and restoring His people (1:15, 2:2). Judgement of sin is the worst of news for those who stand in sin, but for those who have come to Christ for their righteousness, judgment of sin is the Good News that God will set all things right and one day do away with sin entirely.