Zephaniah was a contemporary of Jeremiah and would have spoken God’s words during the reign of King Josiah. You’ll recall when King Josiah learned of the scrolls containing God’s law, great reforms began to help the people of Judah to return to God. Zephaniah would help shake the people of Judah out of their complacency so they could understand their hope comes from God.
Zephaniah doesn’t sugar coat the radical message from God but gets right to the point. God’s wrath will sweep away everything and crush Jerusalem and Judah. Even his own creation will suffer. God’s anger has been fueled by all the idol worship that fills the land.
Continue reading “Zephaniah 1:1-6 – God’s Wrath”
How ironic that Nahum’s final oracle would begin with advice on how to prepare for the onslaught. It’s like warning the enemy because what’s coming is just that horrible. I think of the countless flyers the United States dumped from the air over Japan before sending the deadly bombs that ended World War II.
Do you think Nahum intended to give them another chance to redeem themselves? He was certainly making a personal effort to protect them, even though there was no chance for survival. Nahum must have had some difficulty in proclaiming such a message. Bricks would not save them!
Continue reading “Nahum 3:14-19 – Getting Personal”
The city of Thebes was the center of the Egyptian Empire for nearly 1400 years! They fell at the hands of the Assyrians in 663 B.C. Yet Nahum boldly asks Nineveh, “Are you any better than the city of Thebes, situated on the Nile River, surrounded by water?” Of course, arrogant Nineveh would answer, “Yes! We defeated them, didn’t we?” Yet Nahum taunts them just the same using yet another metaphor.
Nahum’s provocation is not meant to compare the relative strengths of the two empires, but to announce that human might is nothing compared to God’s power. This oracle is directed at Nineveh’s false sense of security. They apparently thought they were immune to the wrath of God. We probably know plenty of people even today that have that same false sense of security.
Continue reading “Nahum 3:8-13 – False Sense of Security”
Read Nahum 2:1-13
It’s not easy to read about the destruction of human life, even when those humans had been oppressive enemies of God’s people. They had their triumphs in this world, but their time was done. Completely done.
Justice. The Assyrians who had been ruthless to Israel and Judah would now be silent. God allowed and orchestrated their demise at the hands of the Babylonians, the same empire who trampled on Judah. Such an interesting time in history with profound messages from our Creator.
Continue reading “Nahum 2:1-13 – Nineveh’s Demise”
The book of Nahum is only three chapters long, and it’s one of the minor prophets that doesn’t get a lot of attention by church leadership when planning worship services! While we may encounter some harsh language, we need to keep in mind that Nahum was prophesying to a stubborn group of people who were refusing to repent.
Historically, Nahum’s focus is on Nineveh, and we’ll see the prediction and celebration of Nineveh’s demise. Nineveh was the center of the Assyrian empire, and the Assyrians had been used by God to bring Israel to its knees for their own rebellion and sinfulness. We encountered Nineveh before in the book of Jonah.
Continue reading “Nahum 1:1-11 – The Sides of God”