2011-06-19 - Enough is Enough
Nahum ~ Part 2
It is only a matter of time until God acts against His enemies. That was true during the time of Nahum and it is true today. The message of Nahum includes a warning to a fallen world that it is only a matter of time until God acts. Remember the words of Peter.
First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, Where is this coming he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation. But they deliberately forget that long ago by Gods word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends:
With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare; (2 Peter 3:3-10).
Verse 1: This is the introductory verse telling us that it is a prophecy given by Nahum and the content concerns Nineveh. The NIV Study Bible defines oracle this way:
ORACLE. The Hebrew for this word is related to a Hebrew verb meaning ;to lift up, carry; and is possibly to be understood as either lifting up ones voice or carrying a burden. Such an oracle often contains a message of doom. 2
Verses 2-3a: The nature of the oracle is shown by presenting the nature of God. And the aspect presented is God at His most fearful. The name of God given is Yahweh, and relates to His covenant keeping and therefore judgmental aspects. These are grounded in His eternal and creative natures. As weve seen, Paul shows their connection in the Romans passage.
The people of Nineveh had rejected truth. They had received direct revelation and divine healing. But now they have returned to their sin, and God is saying, "enough is enough."
There are two aspects to the description Nahum provides. First, he goes back to the Ten Commandments. God will not allow the recognition He deserves to go to others.
You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me (Exodus 20:5).
The adjective jealous is used solely of God, primarily in his self-revelation at Sinai (Exod 20:5; 34:14). Against this covenantal background it denotes the Lords deep, indeed, fierce commitment to his people and his exclusive claim to obedience and reciprocal commitment (cf. Deut 4:24; 5:9) Where this relationship of mutual commitment is threatened, either by Israels unfaithfulness or by foreign oppression, the inevitable expressions of such jealousy are vengeance and wrath, directed to restoring that relationship ... 3
We must remember the foes of Gods people are the foes of God. This does not justify supporting Gods people when they are disobedient, but it means that those who would attack Gods own, attack Him. It is in the context of Gods wrath and jealously that all follows.
Verse 2 lays a foundation for the entire prophecy: all that follows is rooted in this revelation of the justice and burning zeal of the Lord exercised on behalf of his people. To wrest the following chapters from the context, seeing only the historical details of carnage and destruction, is to miss their significance as a demonstration of the terrible wrath and power of God
The second half of the description is more positive because we are also told God is patient and slow to act. While He will judge, He also waits, giving opportunity for repentance and restoration. This was certainly the case with Nineveh, but now Gods patience has run out and the day is coming when His patience will not stop Him from bringing judgment on the world and its unrighteous.
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness (Exodus 34:6).
Comments or Questions?