Daily Devotional: Tuesday 19th May

by William Moody

Nahum 1:1–7

1:1 An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh.

God's Wrath Against Nineveh

  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.
  The LORD is slow to anger and great in power,
    and the LORD will by no means clear the guilty.
  His way is in whirlwind and storm,
    and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
  He rebukes the sea and makes it dry;
    he dries up all the rivers;
  Bashan and Carmel wither;
    the bloom of Lebanon withers.
  The mountains quake before him;
    the hills melt;
  the earth heaves before him,
    the world and all who dwell in it.
  Who can stand before his indignation?
    Who can endure the heat of his anger?
  His wrath is poured out like fire,
    and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.
  The LORD is good,
    a stronghold in the day of trouble;
  he knows those who take refuge in him.

(ESV)

We start today to consider the book of Nahum which is a prophecy against the city of Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria. This is the same city that earlier Jonah had preached in and it had repented of its sin.

Nineveh Timeline

786-746BC           Period when Jonah prophesied against Nineveh

722 BC                   Samaria falls to Assyria

661BC                    Egypt defeated by Assyria

652-626BC           Likely period when Nahum prophesied

630BC                    Assyria’s power begins to weaken

612 BC                   Assyria falls to the Babylonians

587 BC                   Jerusalem falls to the Babylonians

Nahum’s name means ‘comfort’. Where Nahum came from we do not know, although possibly it was Capernaum (means city of Nahum).

An oracle was a ‘burdened’ message (v1). Nahum’s message is not a light or easy one, but rather one primarily about judgment. His message though begins about God.

The wrath of God (v2) is Nahum’s first focus. Avenging or its derivative vengeance is used three times in this verse. God does not take Himself being wronged lightly and there will be a day of accountability.

The righteousness of God (v3a) comes into focus next as Nahum says God will not clear the guilty. This means our greatest need is therefore not to be found guilty before God. This is possible only in Jesus.

God is next portrayed as majestic and the One whom no-one can stand against (v3b-6). He is the Sovereign King whom no one can stand against.

The goodness of God is the final focus on God here (v7). This God who is good is the One we need to find refuge in, even from His wrath.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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