Nahum 1:1 “An oracle, or burden, concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh.”
In the first word of this book we saw that God’s word, rightly understood, can at times be a heavy burden to bear. When we deliver the bad news of God’s judgment against sin we dare not deliver it with glee.
It is up to God to soften hearts as he decides. That was our first life lesson in Nahum – Carry the message of scripture faithfully and as one who hopes the message is taken to heart by those who hear. Not as though we enjoyed the thought of the eternal torment of the non-repentant. Since some will hear and repent, this hard burden is worth bearing.
The burden Nahum carried was concerning Nineveh. We have heard of Nineveh before. Remember Jonah? He was sent to Nineveh. That was somewhere around 100 years before Nahum. When Jonah finally delivered his burden to Nineveh, they repented and the entire city was spared.
But as Nahum writes, that was several generations ago. Now we see that the offspring of those repentant Ninevites had turned again to evil, and were in for a world of hurt unless they, too, repented.
Is there a lesson in this for us? Absolutely.
God is not quick to judge. His desire is always for us to repent.
“As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die?” (Ezekiel 33:11)
This is God’s heart. He sent Jonah to warn Nineveh of coming judgment. They repented and were spared. That account was written down for you and me to see. God sent Nahum to warn Nineveh of coming judgment. History tells us they refused to repent and were wiped out. And that also was written down for you and me to see. God is eternal and God is patient. But he is not eternally patient.
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. (2 Peter 3:9-10 ESV).
God offers mercy when he warns of judgment.
Accept it for yourself.
Offer it to others.
This is a limited time offer.