The burden against Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite. 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; 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. He rebukes the sea and makes it dry, and dries up all the rivers. Bashan and Carmel wither, and the flower of Lebanon wilts. The mountains quake before Him, the hills melt, and the earth heaves at His presence, Yes, the world and all who dwell in it. 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. (Nahum 1:1-6)
The Burden Against Nineveh
One of the oldest cities in the world was Nineveh. From the genealogy of Noah’s sons Moses records the establishment of the city of Nineveh by the Cush, son of Ham. Generations later it would become the capital of the powerful Assyrian Empire that would sweep across the early world destroying everything in its path. The Lord used the Assyrians to punish His own people because of their wickedness but would also punish the Assyrian nation and Nineveh as a bloody city. The prophet Nahum declares the judgment against this great city in less than 1300 words. It was in Nineveh that Jonah proclaimed the message of salvation and God relented. Now through Nahum there is no hope for Nineveh. Its doom is sealed. Isaiah and Zephaniah confirm the total destruction of the great city.
Nineveh fell in 612 B.C. The final siege lasted only three months and the final blow came when the Tigris River flooded tearing a portion of the wall away. This allowed the Babylonians to enter the city and lay waste to its inhabitants. The destruction of Nineveh was final. It remains today as a heap of ruins. In fulfillment of the prophecies given through the hand of the prophets shepherds with their sheep graze on the ruins of this ancient world capital.
The study of the prophets is neglected because of the misconceived idea they are difficult to understand. Of the sixty-six books retained by the wisdom of God which Bible book is not important? The prophets (like Nahum) are vital to understand who Jesus is and why He came. These books declare the glory and majesty of the Lord. It shows the power of fulfillment that continues in evidence to this day. Nahum and the other books of ancient scrip declare the sovereign nature of God over nations that continue to this day. These books are relevant to this day and we do a disservice to the message of salvation to ignore them.
God’s goodness and severity are interwoven through the messages of the prophets. His justice, grace and mercy are found on every page as He implores the people of God to return to Him. Failing to obey Him the nation of Israel is punished by the nations to show the severity of God’s wrath on unrighteousness. The wrath of God is also brought against the nations of the world. Egypt, Assyria and Babylon are key nations used by the Lord to exercise His will and then used as examples of His fierce punishment. The conclusion is inescapable: the Lord God demands all men to be obedient to Him. Who can endure the fierceness of His anger? God is jealous and He will avenge. He is slow to anger and great in power. The wicked shall not escape. The Lord has His way.