Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, a brutish people who crushed Israel. The city once repented briefly when warned by Jonah of God’s coming wrath, but returned again to evil and worse, “Woe to the bloody city, all full of lies and plunder–no end to the prey!” (Nahum 3:1). This time, there would be no prophetical warning, but a pronouncement of doom, and no nation would shed a tear over Nineveh’s demise, rather, “all who hear the news about you clap their hands over you” (Nahum 3:19). Imagine a funeral where everyone is happy you are gone.
Their doom is set–“the Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies” (Nahum 1:2). Such words seem ungodly to our ears, wrath and vengeance and jealousy, possibly because we like our soft-focused, air-brushed pictures of Jesus, or because we think God a watchmaker who merely wound up creation and turned her loose to run her course, but the true God is intimate and personal. His jealousy is not the emotion we exhibit, enviously desiring the possessions of others, but the jealousy of God is the loving desire to protect the people who belong to him, wrathfully when necessary, for where is the love if there is no anger kindled toward an enemy who brings harm. And where is justice if injustice is not avenged, and who better to trust vengeance to than the holy righteous God.
Toward Nineveh is written, “Behold, I am against you, declares the Lord of hosts” (Nahum 3:5). This was welcome news to Judah in the face of her enemy. “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him” (Nahum 1:7). This is the God of heaven and earth, who is an intimate father and passionately protective of his people against evil.
Lord God, Maker of the heavens and the earth, God outside of time and space, Creator of time and space, Author of life, the beginning and the end, Eternal Father, Savior and Lord, Yahweh, I Am That I Am.
Thank You for loving me.