A message of condemnation or a message of consolation?

Hampton Keathley comments on the book of Nahum, which we read today in our reading plan:

The name “Nahum“ means comfort or consolation. His book is a message of destruction for Nineveh, and that would have been a message of consolation for the nations she had oppressed….

….This judgment is coming because of the character of God. This means we need to look at circumstances in the light of who God is. The book reveals quite a lot about the character of God:

(1) God is Sovereign – He is in control of both nature and the nations. He used the Babylonians to bring his judgment on the Assyrians. He also used a flood to help the Babylonians.

(2) God is Just – Assyria’s judgment was well deserved. Although God used them to destroy Israel, it went to their heads and they attributed their success to their own power and God did not appreciate that. God also dealt with the Assyrians appropriate to the way in which they had dealt with other nations. Many of the same atrocities they committed on others were committed on them.

(3) God protects his people – Although God used Assyria to discipline Israel, he would take notice of those who were faithful.

Why is God judging?

  • Because God cares for those who trust in Him.
  • Because God will judge those who violate His law.

This is a message of condemnation for those who disobey God and a message of consolation for those who trust and obey Him.

Ninevah exalted herself but she was humbled by God. This is what I call the Pharisee and Publican principle. In the parable of the pharisee and the tax gatherer, the pharisee compared himself to the tax gatherer and exalted himself before God. The tax gatherer was humble and asked for mercy. Jesus said it was the tax gatherer who went away justified. If you exalt yourself, God will humble you.


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