Summary: We see various aspects of the LORD from Nahum -- POWERFUL, a Refuge for the righteous, and Wrathful on the wicked. Let us flee from the Avenging Wrath at hand and take on the LORD as our Stronghold through trusting in His Son's Sacrifice for us!
(Psalm of Praise: Psalm 93)
Where do you Stand with the LORD?
Originally given 4/10/11
Glorious King Jesus Christian Church
Pastor Sterling C. Franklin
'No prophet comes from Galilee'
Jonah - from Gath-Hepher (cf. 2 Kings 14:25), in the region of Galilee.
Nahum - from Elkosh, most likely in the region of Galilee.
They were wrong! Even so, as they were trying to belittle Galilee (we see Nicodemus defending Jesus and receiving reproach), they did not know that Jesus was actually born in Bethlehem! So what about this prophet from Galilee named Nahum?
722: Israel (Northern Kingdom) falls to Assyria
612: Assyria ultimately falls to Babylon
Text: Nahum 1:2-8
(Intro: Nahum 1:1)
1 The burden against Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
2 God is jealous, and the LORD avenges; The LORD avenges and is furious. The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves 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 has His way In the whirlwind and in the storm, And the clouds are the dust of His feet.
4 He rebukes the sea and makes it dry, And dries up all the rivers. Bashan and Carmel wither, And the flower of Lebanon wilts.
5 The mountains quake before Him, The hills melt, And the earth heaves at His presence, Yes, the world and all who dwell in it.
6 Who can stand before His indignation? And who can endure 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 stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.
8 But with an overflowing flood He will make an utter end of its place, And darkness will pursue His enemies.
From this text, we see many attributes of God. He is powerful. He is also a refuge for those who trust in Him. We also see that He is just and also wrathful to His adversaries. Where do you stand with God? Before we go into this passage further, let's pray.
Where is Elkosh?
Most likely Galilee.
Note that this prophecy is called a "book of the vision"
- No other prophet has this distinction.
- This could have been written from an escapee prophet still in the Northern Kingdom area (Galilee), written and sent to the people there.
- This could have been written in Nineveh and just been called a "book" due to the word choice of the author (instead of 'oracle' or 'word' or 'prophecy'). Nahum then would have been a prophet from the Northern Kingdom who was present in Nineveh and prophesying against the ongoing evil in the land.
Nahum's name: "Consolation" or "Comfort"
Who is this oracle about? Nineveh (in Assyrian empire)
Remember Jonah? God showed mercy on the Ninevites.
Even though they had repented in the past, they reverted to their wicked ways again.
Again, the Assyrian nation was known for its cruel torture on its foes.
- Impaling people on sharp poles
- Taking prisoners away on hooks
- Burning entire cities
Even to the exiled Israelites, it would be a comfort to them to know that God was still watching over them, even though He had allowed and even sent this wicked nation to bring them to ruins.
At the very most, if Nahum were a prophet still living in that area, this would also have been a comfort and hope of the people, though it's less certain.
So what is certain from this passage?
The LORD is:
Jealous - He will have us serve NO OTHER -- any other idol in His place is by definition FALSE!
Avenging and Wrathful - Indeed, we see much of the 'love' emphasis placed on God. He loves us immeasurably. However, He does not wink at evildoing.
- He stores up wrath
- He has adversaries
Romans 5 - We are 'enemies of God' outside of knowing Jesus
Ephesians 2 - Though we were aliens to grace, we are now brought near by the Blood of Christ!
As we've been discussing the need for evangelism, we need to emphasize that the Gospel message is centered on repentance! We are redeemed by Him because we are found at fault. He isn't merely an extra addition or 'enhancement' to life.
What was Jesus' message when He preached?
"Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!"
And so we see that there is need to repent. Otherwise, God's wrath remains on us and we are His enemies...
…yet He is slow to anger (patient)
God desires repentance, which leads to joy.