Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, July 20th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Nahum 1

Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the BibleBox on Selected Books

Verses 1-2

God is a jealous God -- Nah_1:1-2 : God is pictured both as a jealous God and as an avenger against wrong doers. "God is jealous, and the Lord avenges; The Lord will take vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies." ( Nah_1:2 ) God is jealous for honor and glory, and for worship and for His statute to be carried out. He will not give His glory to another, nor allow His praise to be given to graven images. He is jealous for His people, and cannot bear to see them injured. The Lord is a jealous God and avenging; the Lord avenges and He is full of wrath against the disobedient. The Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries and reserves wrath for His enemies. God withholds His wrath for a while but does not forget the wrong done to Him or to His people.

Verses 3-5

God is a patient God but there is a limit to His patience -- Nah_1:3-5 : "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." ( Nah_1:3 ) He is not in haste to execute His wrath; He takes time for it, and gives men opportunity for repentance. God is able to execute the wrath He threatens, and will by no means clear the guilty, or let them go free and unpunished; though He moves slowly. The wrath of God is not just some small thing. Nahum speaks of it as something that has furry in it. Deu_29:28 provides an intense picture of the wrath of the Almighty. "And the Lord rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day."

Verses 6-9

God is so powerful that sinners cannot stand before Him -- Nah_1:6-9 : Nahum asked, "Who can stand before His indignation? And who can en-dure the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, And the rocks are thrown down by Him." ( Nah_1:6 ) These words are much like those written by Isaiah. "What will you do in the day of punishment, And in the desolation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help?" ( Isa_10:3 ) Humanity must come to recognize the power of God. "Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee." ( Isa_12:6 ) No creature whatever; no man nor body of men; not Nineveh, and the inhabitants of it; nor the whole Assyrian empire: can abide in the fierceness of His anger? God’s fury is poured out like fire of lightning poured out of the heavens, which is quick, powerful, and penetrating, and there is no resisting it. Who can stand before His indignation? Those that trust in God are able to avoid His wrath. The prophet provides a powerful contrast between the friends of God and the enemies of God. His friends trust in Him and He knows them. But, darkness shall pursue his enemies. ( Nah_1:7-8 )

Verses 10-15

God is a God that expects us to keep our promises -- Nah_1:10-15 : During the days of Jonah the people of Nineveh promised to leave sin and serve God. They did not keep their promises and the pay was destruction. ( Rom_6:23 ) They should have performed their vows that they had made when in distress. At the close of the first chapter Nahum contrasted the comfort that belongs to those that are faithful to God with the utter ruin of His enemies. "Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off." ( Nah_1:15 ) Reference is made to this same thought in Isa_52:7 and Rom_10:15 . The person that led the rebellion against God was Sennacherib. In 2Ki_19:22-23 we learn that he reproached and blasphemed God. He reproached the Holy One of Israel. God had used the Assyrians to punish His people. Sennacherib and the Assyrian people had been exceedingly wicked in their dealing with the people of God. Now with the destruction of Nineveh Assyria's power would be gone! God promised, "out of the house of thy gods will I cut off the graven image and the molten image: I will make thy grave; for thou art vile." ( Nah_1:14 ) Not only would the Assyrian king and his country be cut off, but the false gods that they worshipped would perish.

Nahum teaches us that God is the sovereign ruler of the universe and that He is our only hope for de-liverance. Only our sin stands in the way of many blessings from the hand of our benevolent Creator.

Bibliographical Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Nahum 1". "Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/box/nahum-1.html. 2014.
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