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a Zealous God
Gen. James Green
I T IS believed that the prophet Nahum prophesied in Judah, after the 10 tribes had been carried captive, and between the two invasions of Sennacherib. Those 10 northern tribes felt the displeasure of God—BECAUSE of their SINS!
"The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite. God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him. The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him" (Nahum 1:1-7).
Here we find Nahum prophesying against Nineveh, capital of the Assyrian empire. The God of Judah (the two standing southern tribes were Benjamin and Judah) is pictured as One who wreaks vengeance on his enemies. God used the Assyrian armies to punish Israel, now He is judging them for their sins.
You see, God IS the God of history; there is a moral law which undergirds the entire world, and through it may be ignored, and it is, it still judges/punishes the criminal in the end. When a nation, pagan or "Christian" exalts itself above God's law/laws, the LORD of history, the God of principle takes action (read 2:13 and 3:5).
Love / Wrath
I must remind my readers that God is both a God of "love" and "wrath" (see our two magazines on "The Wrath of God”). Nahum writes that God "avenges," full of "anger;" He is "patient" and "good" (1-7). WE MUST DIVORCE OURSELVES FROM THE FALSE IDEA THAT "LOVE" OVERLOOKS SIN OR THE SINNER. It may, for a season, but not forever. God's love is not a humanistic type of softness, moral indifference, spiritual turpitude, or a sentiment that buys itself off form service by offering copious tears; love is law, righteousness, holiness, even anger. God's love can be soft as water, or diamond hard, cool or HOT as HELL! The Bible says that God is a "consuming fire" and "tender mercies;" He is jealous (zealous) and revengeth. He also forgives and blesses. The HARMONY of things, dear ones, does not lie under our power, but under His. History must be judged by Him—left to the sovereignty of the sovereign God. He is able to BURN with fire, and also able to quench that same fire. In the care of Nahum, we find Him dealing with the Assyrians, the very ones He used as His "weapon" against sinning Israel.
He is "jealous" (v. 2) in the sense of being ardent or fervent—His power may be seen in the storm, drought, earthquake, whirlwind etc. (see also Amos 1:14; Hosea 13:15; Jer. 23:19; 1 Kgs. 19:11; 2nd Kgs. 2:1; Job 9:17; 38:1; 40:6; Exod. 19:18; Judg. 5:4; Hab. 3:6; Ps. 97:4 etc.). But there is always a purpose in these: 1—the protection of those righteous ones who obey Him; 2—the overthrow (even annihilation) of all opposition.
We have many "nature worshippers" here in America who love the wonders of God's creation. Well, how about worshiping God who Created nature? Will we worship God when He uses "nature" as a whip on the back of the sinful (1:3-5)? He is still the God of nature when He brings forth thunders, and lightnings, shakes, and quakes in the earth, sends the hurricanes, and tornadoes, the droughts, and the floods. The LORD'S signature is upon all these.
God is also the God of the sword. Here in chapter two, Nahum writes about "He that dasheth in pieces" (v. 1), i.e., the armies of the Babylonians and Medes is about to attack Nineveh. In 1:14, it states that "…the LORD hath given a commandment concerning thee, that no more of thy name be sown: 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." What we have here is a direct challenge to Assyria's false gods—will they be able to withstand Israel's God? Their deities, made of carved wood and poured metal are powerless.
So, here comes God's armies—pagans attacking pagans. He has mustered His armies for battle. The whole of chapter 2 is attack and battle. As Nineveh had despoiled her captives, so now she is despoiled. One can read the annals of Nabopolassar in which he describes the capture of the city by the Babylonians and Medes (see J.B. Pritchard, editor of “Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament” (Princeton Univ. Press, 1950, p. 304).
3:1-4 describes Nineveh's crimes/sins. Let's look at them: lies, robbery, whoredoms, witchcrafts; all these can be found right smack dab in America—in the church and state.
She had become ruthlessly oppressive and cruel, and she had shown herself to be dishonest, unreliable, treacherous, and deceitful—just like America today!
Nineveh, for all her great wealth, was rotten to the core!, just like America!; her great charms, like those of a whore, were ephemeral, and the day of her exposure/ruin had come; the same fate awaits America if she does not REPENT!!
Oh, America: she is bewitchingly charming; her present president, Obama, is the mistress of witchcrafts (he is more feminine than masculine!).
The KJV uses "sells" (v. 4), the RSV uses "betrays" nations. Amos 3:1 uses "whole family." Jeremiah's indictment, not of Nineveh, but of Jerusalem (see Jer. 5:1-3, 26-29), includes these two basic evils of dishonesty and cruelty. In fact, most of the prophets express God's indignation over cruelty (see Amos 1:3; 4:1; 5:11; Hos. 4:2; 6:9; Isa. 5:8; 14:4; 58:1-14; Ez. 22:23; Mic. 2:1-5, 9 et al.).
This is not all. Cruelty's partner in crime is falsehood (Hos. 4:1; 7:3; Isa. 10:1; 47:1-15; Mic. 2:11). All these are current SINS in both church and state (with some exceptions).
Watch out over this word "behold" (v. 5). The LORD was against that wicked city (3:5). He was going to throw her skirt upon her face so as to SHOW THE WORLD her wickedness—shaming her. V. 6 says that God was going to cast abominable filth upon her; we don't know what it was, but it was going to make her more vile (could be human waste). As human waste is good for nothing, so God was to demonstrate this fact.
Nineveh, at one time repented under the preaching of Jonah, but she had forgotten her penitence, and had gone back into idolatry, self-indulgence, and enervating luxury. She threw her arms and legs around wickedness, loving it with passion. This backslidden city was now being visited again, by another prophet, this time there was no pleading for repentance, only punishment.
It has become so bad here in America that we have a FULL BLOWN conspiracy, a confederacy of evil, a REBELLION AGAINST GOD to oust Him from this nation. We should learn from history that God raises nations up, and brings nations down.
Nahum finishes his prophecy with "There is no healing if they bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?" (3:19). That once great city, whom the LORD GOD once had mercy on (see Jonah), had become gangrenous/rotten.
You see, Assyria had been an Empire of warmongering. She trusted in her sword, but the LORD avenges the ruthlessness of those who put their trust in the sword. This ought to scare us folks, for America trusts her military prowess and not God. This invites His anger.
This nation is on dangerous ground with God. We may have our revivals, our reforms, but what is needed the most is a "REPENTANCE REVOLUTION." America needs to be regenerated. This is a divine act, not a human act of reform. When all political and ecclesiastical reformers, ameliorators, improvers and decorators have exhausted themselves, they have merely "fixed up" things, but have not healed the wound. Putting a band-aid over an oozing sore does not cure the sore—THE ROTTENNESS MUST BE EXTRACTED. Repentance is the cure.
America is trying to heal her oozing sore by hiding it. Both church and state leaders have hidden, momentarily, America's hideousness under a coating of foolish ornamentation…but the corruption, the horrid STINK is still there, eating away at the body. America is dying (already DEAD towards God), slipping away downwards towards her final resting place called Hell. ONLY A REPENTANCE REVOLUTION IS ABLE TO CURE SUCH A DISEASE OF BACKSLIDING.