In today’s Bible reading* Nahum predicts God’s destruction of Nineveh. Yes, this is the same Nineveh that repented under the preaching of Jonah a century earlier. But Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire went back to its idolatry, violence, and pride. Nahum announced God’s judgment on Nineveh — and the Assyrian Empire — for their treatment of God’s people.
God made good on His promise to Solomon to bring calamity on His people if they strayed from Him. (see the lead up to 2 Chronicles 7) They did and He did.
God brought in mighty, foreign enemies who took captive God’s people from Israel and Judah in order to punish them so that they would turn back to Him. But God doesn’t punish His people forever. He promises to restore the remnant who repent. He expresses His sovereign, vengeful protection of His people.
The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is fierce in wrath. The LORD takes vengeance against his foes; he is furious with his enemies. The LORD is slow to anger but great in power; the LORD will never leave the guilty unpunished. His path is in the whirlwind and storm, and clouds are the dust beneath his feet.
Nahum 1:2–3 (CSB)
God is sovereign over His people. He will do whatever it takes to bring His people to their knees, humble themselves, and turn back to Him. And He will do whatever it takes to avenge the foes of His people.
This is particularly applicable for Believers. On both counts! If you are a Believer, God will do whatever it takes to bring you to Himself. If you choose to walk away, He will do whatever it takes to bring you back. And He will exact judgment on those who oppose you, even those He uses to bring you back to Himself.
If you are not a Believer, know that He may use you to bring His people to their knees. But when they turn, He will exact judgment on you!
On both counts, Nahum is a good reminder to be reconciled to God and stay close to Him.
* Chapters covered in today’s reading: