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We have in this Chapter a very awful account of the Lord's judgments. The excellency of Jacob and Israel is said to be turned away; and the Chapter is one continued account of solemn dispensations.
Most commentators have agreed, that as the burden of Nahum's prophecy is concerning Nineveh, they confine the observations the Prophet hath made to the destruction of that great city. But, I confess, with me the subject appears to have a much higher and more spiritual meaning. And what is said in the last of those two verses concerning Jacob and Israel, confirm me in my opinion. For if the Lord hath turned away Jacob's excellency, and if the emptiers have emptied them out, surely then Nineveh, as well as Babylon, may be considered as mystical. And in this sense we may discover the Church, here brought under affliction by the enemies of her salvation, and the exercises of Israel rendered subservient to the promotion of the Redeemer's glory, and the final happiness of his redeemed. If we read this prophecy in this point of view, we shall find much of gospel in it; and the Lord here as in all other instances, correcting Israel in love and mercy.
After the observations I ventured to make on the preceding verses, I do not think it needful to dissect the several parts of the subject contained in this whole paragraph. If I mistake not, the Lord is describing, under a great variety of figures, the character of Israel's foes; their shields, their chariots, their swords, are commissioned in all they do by the Lord. But when they shall have executed, and finished their appointed service, like the rod which a kind but wise father takes to correct a favorite but disobedient child, he throws it away. So the Lord declares. Behold, I am against thee, saith the Lord. This sums up all in one, the Lord's love to his people; and his displeasure against all their enemies!
I HAVE often thought that if the ungodly and carnal world could but consider, that all the opposition which they are making against the Church is overruled to the Lord's glory and his people's furtherance; they would, even from motives of ill will, desist sometimes from the exercise of their unprovoked malice. And I have as often thought, if the people of God could but keep in view that the malice of their opposers is not only permitted, but even appointed of the Lord; and like the clouds, pregnant with refreshing showers, must at length break over their head in blessing; how would they bless God for raising up to them enemies, to thwart and call forth their graces into exercise. In the history of Egypt, the Lord himself so explains the persecutions Israel sustained. He turned their heart (it is said) to hate his people. Psalms 105:25 . So that though Pharaoh stormed, and the Egyptians oppressed them, yet they were but the instruments, the hand was the Lord's. Reader! whatever tends to lead the heart to the Lord, must be of the Lord. And whether Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, or Nineveh; whether corruption within, or persecution without; whether our own deceitful hearts, or the world, or the powers of darkness, assault and harass, and afflict the people of God; wait but the issue, and listen to the voice of the Lord. To every adversary of his Church, the Lord speaks in those decisive words, behold, I am against thee, saith the Lord! Blessed Lord Jesus, I would say for myself and Reader, if - thou be for us, what need we care who or what is against us!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Nahum 2". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25