Attack Against Nineveh
Open Your Bible
Nahum 2:1-13, Nahum 3:1-19, 2 Chronicles 32:9-23
BY Guest Writer
Scripture Reading: Nahum 2:1-13, Nahum 3:1-19, 2 Chronicles 32:9-23
The book of Nahum is the second act of a well-known story—the story of Jonah, a prophet chosen by God to go to the city of Nineveh to call its unrepentant people to God. But despite God’s calling, Jonah did not go to Nineveh; he went to the sea, was swallowed by a fish, and was eventually regurgitated. THEN he went to Nineveh, told the people to repent, and they did.
However, the Ninevites’ repentance didn’t last long. Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, and Assyria was a terrible place. In an effort to describe Assyria, biblical scholars and historians have used words such as “cruel” and “arrogant,” “violent” and “tortuous.” This was a nation founded on bloodshed and established by massacre.
Assyria had conquered Israel, the land of God’s people. The Israelites were exiled, their cities burned, and they were filled with sorrow and lament. All the while, Assyria’s power grew through oppression and violence. It was a superpower standing on a terrible foundation.
Nahum prophesies the destruction of Assyria in this short book, full of vivid images of violence. His sarcastic tone emphasizes his mocking of the Assyrians and is punctuated by the joy of the people who would “clap their hands” at the news of Assyria’s destruction (Nahum 3:19). Their oppressors would be destroyed.
Which is why, as hard as it is to remember, God had sent the Assyrians to overtake Israel initially. We see it in 2 Kings 17:6 and again in Isaiah 8:6–8:
“Because these people rejected
the slowly flowing water of Shiloah…
the Lord will certainly bring against them
the mighty rushing water of the Euphrates River—
the king of Assyria and all his glory.
It will overflow its channels
and spill over all its banks.
It will pour into Judah,
flood over it, and sweep through,
reaching up to the neck;
and its flooded banks
will fill your entire land, Immanuel!”
Israel felt the consequences of their disobedience. And then their oppressors felt the wrath of God. The through line here is that God demands justice. Ecclesiastes 12:14 says, “For God will bring every act to judgment, including every hidden thing, whether good or evil.” The Old Testament sings of His faithfulness and mercy but also His impervious commitment to justice. God’s justice is bound up with His holiness and is part of the fabric of His universe. And His justice is satisfied in Christ alone.
In Isaiah 9, right after God’s declaration to send Assyria to overtake Israel, He makes a promise: a child would be born, a son would be given. A promise of a government and peace that would have no end (v.6).
God knew that the only way to satisfy His desire for justice was to send His Son—Himself—to stand in the place of His people. The God who warned, “Beware, I am against you. This is the declaration of the LORD of Armies” (Nahum 2:13), would turn that anger against Himself. His need for justice would be satisfied once for all time in the death of His Son. That Son would rise again, defeating death, with a promise to return and bring a peace that will have no end.
Come, Lord Jesus!
Melanie Rainer is a bookworm from birth who makes her days writing, editing and reading in Nashville, where she also joyfully serves as the editor of Kids Read Truth. She has an M.A. in Theological Studies from Covenant Seminary, spends as much time as she can in the kitchen, and can’t wait until her two daughters are old enough to read Anne of Green Gables.
48 thoughts on "Attack Against Nineveh"
This study is wrecking me. God is fully invested in His people. So, so good.
I am a justice seeker. I want to see wrongs righted. In today reading I realized that’s b/c I am made in the image of God who demands justice. However, my pursuit of justice leaves me angry and unsatisfied b/c I cannot obtain it the way I want. This reminds me that justice has been satisfied in Jesus Christ – through his life, death and resurrection. While we still are called to do justice, we can do so knowing ultimate justice has been won and we no longer have to strive for it for our satisfaction. Hallelujah!
Amen! I agree… I want justice too but two things I know : 1) vengeance is the Lords 2) I am just as guilty as anyone…
So this reminds me of the GREATNESS of Jesus and his work. And also reminds me I can’t be the judge… lol.
Hi Chris! I have some words of encouragement for you. Yes, Gods wrath is to be known. God is just, we deserve it right? We have fallen short. BUT we have to remember there is NO condemnation for those in Christ the scripture says. You are no longer bound by the old covenant. There is nothing you can do to earn God’s love. He loved us first. What God would send himself to die? Read Phillipian 2:6-13 it shows how God became a servant to fulfill OUR punishment. OH WHAT A LOVE! We are now righteous and perfect in the eyes of God. Throughout the Old Testament yes you see the wrath of God but you see his Goodness and plan to reconcile his people. He had a plan from the beginning. He wanted us. In scripture it says I don’t want Your burnt offerings I want you to know me has abba father. That is so personally and he is a Good father. He took up our sins the physical and mental torment of becoming sin. That love is agape. Unconditional. Romans 8 says NOTHING can separate us from the love of God. Fear is not from the Lord. Perfect love cast out all fear. The Fear is the Lord should bring you to a place of awe and worship of how Great of a God we have. Don’t be discouraged, to know him fully read the scripture it’s alive and active. I’ll be praying for you!
Thank you for your kindness and encouragement, Jenna. Your explanation really helped!
Also, the wrath we see here is supposed to help us appreciate what Jesus death did for us . My stomach was churning and heart even broken at the level of God’s anger displayed in the text . Then the Holy Spirit whispered to me that you have been saved from all these by grace . This is to help you know where you would been without Grace.
I feel you, Chris, on your concern and discernment of God’s wrath. Thank you Jenna for the explanation as I needed it too!
The theme of God’s justice continues. This is something I’m actually extremely grateful for. The Co-op here has a bumper sticker that says “None-judgment day is coming”. That’s really actually an awful thought were that true. A God who doesnt exist or worse doesnt Care about the sin and sickness of this world, who winks at it or just isn’t personally interested. But God will judge because he is righteous and true to himself. He will not be mocked and he will ultimately be glorified and worshiped by all. He satisfied his wrath by coming and paying for humanities debt and he will come again to judge this world that rejected him. He is good. He loves his children and will be glorified.
“The SON would rise again, defeating death, with a promise to return and bring a piece that will have no end”. Come Lord Jesus! Thank you for that Melanie!
Amen! Thank you for the reminder about building our foundation on God alone.
@Chris….i am familiar with your struggle…however as has been mentioned, God does not send evil. He is Love, and if bad times come our way, He will only use them to call us to Him….but does not send them. God does not throw dead ends or dark tunnels at us. The trials He allows always come with a solution or a way out or with some ray of hope. This was told to me and i have learned to believe it!
Thanks for sharing! My current turbulent life has brought me closer than I’ve been in a very long time!
Chris, I grew up in church and as a child in church in the late 70’s, we were taught to fear God, and God became a “cop in the sky” if you will. Something to be terrified of. My relationship with my Father God is much different now. He’s my rock. My safe place. When the storms of life are crashing, I run to the rock and know it is Him that fights my battles! I pray you have peace and comfort, knowing God is in control and we are to simply trust he will order our steps. All the love to you!
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