Judgment for Nineveh, yet a word of hope for the Covenant people of God (Nah. chap. 1 — 3). Habakkuk, a poet and prophet, hates sin (Hab. 1:2-4). His sense of judgment challenges the plan of God (1:12 — 2:1). His beautiful poem of praise (3:1-19).
Through Jonah's preaching, Nineveh had repented in dust and ashes and come to know the true God. However, several generations (about 150 years) passed and the Ninevites failed to teach their children about the One True God who had spared their lives and they returned to idolatry and sinful behavior. Nahum had a burden (Nah. 1:1) but no such word could be used to describe Jonah's prophecy. By Nahum's day there was no more hope for Nineveh. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the Truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation (Heb. 10:26-27).
Assyria, which ruled the world for about 500 years, is thought to have become the most brutal of all the ancient nations. Its capital Nineveh had greatly enriched itself by horrifying wars. Through Nahum, God forewarned: Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery. . . . Nineveh is laid waste. . . . she went into captivity: her young children also were dashed in pieces. . . . the sword shall cut thee off. . . . O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust (3:1,7,10,15,18).
It all came to pass exactly as Nahum had foretold. The wicked city was destroyed by the armies of the Medes in the north and the Babylonians in the south, and it passed into oblivion. Nineveh, the once-mighty city, is still laid waste (3:7) as a witness to the accuracy of the Word of God.
It was evident in Jonah's day that God will forgive sin when anyone repents; the Lord always forgives even the most sinful who truly repent and receive Christ as Savior and Lord of their lives. All mankind will one day realize that: The Lord is good, a strong hold (refuge) in the day of trouble; and He knoweth (loves) them that trust in Him (1:7).
We expectantly look forward to that day when the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord (Hab. 2:14; compare Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38; 11:1-6). But first it is of utmost importance that we Enter . . . in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. . . . Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves (Matt. 7:13,15).
Thought for Today:
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous (Ps. 1:5).
As the One whom even the sea obeys (Nah. 1:4). Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm (Matt. 8:26).
Nah. 1:12 quiet strong, safe, secure; 1:14 no more of thy name be sown nothing of your name will remain; 2:7 tabering beating; 3:19 bruit report. Hab. 1:4 the law is slacked the law is never enforced.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Audrey Hash • Government Officials: Rep. Frank Guinta (NH) and Gov. Jan Brewer (AZ) • Country: Antigua and Barbuda (64,000) in the Leeward Islands of the eastern Caribbean • Major languages: English and local dialects • Religious freedom • 83% Protestant; 11% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice in the Lord, for He is forgiving to those who call upon Him (Ps. 86:4-5).
Memory Verse for the Week: