Today is Day 70 in our journey through the Bible in 90 days.
If you’ve read through Jonah, you know the people that Nahum was speaking about: the people of Nineveh. You know right from the start that it’s not going to be pretty, though. The first sentence of the book is: “The burden against Nineveh.” Uh oh.
If you’re familiar with Jonah, however, that sentence might leave you wondering what’s going on. You’ll recall that when Jonah finally made it to Nineveh, they all repented and turned to the Lord and God relented from judging them. So why the judgment now and what happened to the “relenting”?
Nahum came about 160 years after Jonah. The problem seems to lie in the fact that although one generation of Ninevites had repented and been forgiven and saved, they hadn’t passed on their new lifestyle to the subsequent generations. That’s a major problem, and Nahum is proof.
The book of Nahum reminds us of a side of God that we don’t like to talk much about: justice. We love to talk about God’s mercy, love, and compassion, but when it comes to God judging sin, it’s not one of our favorite things to think about. In fact, many churches today won’t mention it from the pulpit, won’t say the word “hell,” and never give a moment to Satan, treating him like he doesn’t exist (which is exactly how he likes it).
For instance, I’ll bet these verses aren’t underlined in your Bible…
Desolate! Desolation and ruin! Hearts melt and knees tremble; anguish is in all loins; all faces grow pale! – Nahum 2:10
Behold, I am against you, declares the Lord of hosts, and I will burn your chariots in smoke, and the sword shall devour your young lions. I will cut off your prey from the earth, and the voice of your messengers shall no longer be heard. – Nahum 2:13
The reality is that God’s holiness demands God’s justice. If God doesn’t deal appropriately with sin, than we cannot call Him “holy.” Sin earns death. Ezekiel said it. Paul said it. The cross proved it.
So here’s the question: how do we avoid becoming a modern-day Nineveh? 2 ways…
Live in the light of God’s holiness. Remember that He doesn’t tolerate sin and although He’s merciful, He doesn’t wink at disobedience. His holiness demands that sin be dealt with.
Pass it on. It is our role as Christians to pass on the truth of God’s holiness to the next generation. The church is always one generation away from extinction. If it fails after we die, we didn’t do our job. Yes, Jesus is holding it together, but He has assigned us the task of passing it on. Do your part. Speak up!