Summary: God is just and will judge. God is sovereign and in control. We are all answerable to God.
Today we want to look at Nahum. He prophesied God’s judgement against Nineveh, the capital of Assyria.
• We read last week of Jonah’s call to Nineveh and how they repented. That’s 100 years ago.
• 3 generations after, God will ultimately judge them for their evil and sin. They had already destroyed Israel (Northern Kingdom) in 722BC.
• Nahum prophesied in Judah, the Southern Kingdom. Read Nahum 1:1-8
One scholar said, “Nineveh was the capital of one of the cruellest, vilest, most powerful, and most idolatrous empires in the world.”
• Historical records tell us their cut of the heads of their enemies, stack their heads into a pyramid in front of the city, burn youth and women in fire, skin them and spread the skin on the walls, mutilate them alive, cut their throats like lambs, stacking their corpses in piles.
• Nahum called Nineveh “the city of blood” (3:1), a city noted for its “cruelty” (3:19).
Chapter 1 talks about WHAT God will do to Nineveh. Chapter 2 tells HOW God will do it. Chapter 3 – WHY God will do it.
• Nahum was speaking in Judah and there was no indication that these messages ever reached the Assyrians.
• So it’s obvious that God has intended these messages to be heard by His people.
• God is consoling His people. No wonder he sent a prophet named Nahum (“consolation” or “comfort”)
(1) God is Just and will Judge
1:2 “The Lord is a jealous and avenging God… the Lord takes vengeance on his foes.”
• Not even the might Assyria, the most powerful nation on earth in Nahum’s day, could withstand God’s judgement.
We can be disturbed by what we see – terrorism, atrocities, the evil that exists and how corrupt the world has become. It scares us sometimes.
• But God wants to assure us that He will ACT. He is a just God and will punish evil.
• God is good, therefore He must punish evil. God is holy, therefore He will judge sin. God is so good that no evil can remain His presence!
If God is willing to sacrifice His Son Jesus to eradicate sin and its evil influence – that’s how much He hates sin - then we can be assured today, that God is very determined to right every wrong.
• "God is a consuming fire." (Heb 12:29) 2 Pet 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
• God is delaying sentencing, so that man will have a chance.
(2) God is Sovereign and in Control
God is in control over all nations.
• We read in the prophetic books (particularly Amos) the judgment of God not just for Israel and Judah, but for all their neighbouring nations as well.
• God is not just interested in local politics but international politics. God is not only in control of history, He is in control of the future.
In my devotional reading through OT, I reached the book of Ezra this week and it gives me great comfort reading this again – Ezra 1:1-4
• 1:1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfil the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing:
2"This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: "The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. 3Anyone of his people among you-may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem. 4And the people of any place where survivors may now be living are to provide him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.'"
This is how absolute God’s rule is. There is no uncharted path to God; He knows and controls everything.
• Our future is always bright. Our children’s future is bright in Christ.
• When I say bright, I do not mean they will be successful or rich – that’s probably how the world will like it to be – a bright future means a comfortable life.
• I’m saying it spiritually. Life is good because God is present and He is in control.
I was just reflecting on this the other day, and the Lord reminded me.
Singapore is facing a population crisis. We have a greying population coupled with a low birth rate. We need to import more or do something to keep the economy going and maintain a good quality of life.