Who Is Really In Charge?
Dr. Allan Bosson
Nahum is a very exciting, though seldom-read Old Testament book that presents a strong message about the all-powerful, sovereign God of the Bible. His plans and purposes for mankind never change and can never be thwarted by the whims of men or the schemes of the devil.
The prophet Nahum wrote this book during a time when Assyria, perhaps the most wicked nation ever to rise on earth, ruled the entire world from Pakistan in the East, all across the Middle Eastern peninsula, to Greece in the West. This Assyrian dynasty ruled the world for approximately 270 years–the longest lasting dynasty in world history. The Assyrians’ principle mode of controlling nations was the practice of barbarism, along with the most evil forms of terrorism known to man. In every city they conquered, their first line of action was to round up all the city leaders and publicly behead them. Then they would inform the inhabitants of the city that anyone who stood out against the declarations of their nation would at first be publicly flogged, then caged, and finally, beheaded.
It was in this setting that God raised up Nahum, a somewhat quiet, godly prophet, to speak out against the might and fearsomeness of Assyria. He was to inform them that God had said enough already; their day of ruling the world in wickedness was over. Now the sure judgment of the God Almighty was coming upon them. They were finished.
I. The Lord’s patience – vs 1-3a
1 The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite. 2 God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth, and is furious; the Lord will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. 3 The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
II. The Lord’s power – vs 3b-5
3 The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. 4 He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. 5 The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.
III. The Lord’s presence – vs 6-8
6 Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him. 7 The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. 8 But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies.
IV. The Lord’s purpose – vs 9-14
9 What do ye imagine against the Lord? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time. 10 For while they be folden together as thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry. 11 There is one come out of thee, that imagineth evil against the Lord, a wicked counsellor. 12 Thus saith the Lord; Though they be quiet, and likewise many, yet thus shall they be cut down, when he shall pass through. Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more. 13 For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder. 14 And the Lord hath given a commandment concerning thee, that no more of thy name be sown: out of the house of thy gods will I cut off the graven image and the molten image: I will make thy grave; for thou art vile.
V. The Lord’s protection – vs 15
15 Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off