We begin this study by looking at Nahum 1:1-6. All comments are based on the verses out of the NKJV.
The G-d of Genesis is the same G-d as the One we see throughout the book of Psalms, the books of the prophets and the One revealed in the New Testament. He is perfect. There is no need for Him to change (Heb 13:8). G-d is gracious, merciful and loving, but, because He is holy and just, He is also vengeful. He will punish those who rightly deserve it – those who reject the gospel.
Nahum means ‘comfort’. What comforts G-d?
1. When His will is lived out among His people.
2. When His judgement/wrath deals with evil – ‘evil’ is defined as doing those things that are not in accordance with the will of G-d.
Nahum was written after the prophecy of Jonah.
v1: Burden: This is a word that means ‘a lifting up’ or ‘a placing upon’. It is a weight or an affliction that is placed on an individual, a nation or an empire (as is the case here). This prophecy was a burden that was placed upon Nineveh. Nineveh was the capital city of Assyria. At the time of Jonah, they had repented as a nation, but now they were exploiting the grace of G-d that they had received. G-d’s judgement fell mightily upon this empire because of their unrighteousness, ungodliness and unwillingness to walk in His ways.
- Elkoshite has to do with the region that Nahum was from.
v2: Jealous: G-d is a jealous G-d. He was not only jealous in the Tanakh, but He is still jealous today. This means that He demands our FULL and COMPLETE obedience. Those who are not obedient to Him are usually submitting to the enemy.
- Avenges: G-d is a G-d of vengeance. His enemies will not be left unpunished. Are we enemies of G-d? It is only through the person and work of Messiah Yeshua that we become a friend of G-d (Rom 10:13, James 2:23).
v3: G-d had been patient with the Ninevites and, in Jonah’s day, had given them 40 days to repent. Jonah’s message had been one of judgement to come, yet, despite this, the Ninevites had quickly repented and sought G-d’s forgiveness – which He graciously gave them.
- Will not at all acquit the wicked: G-d is holy. His justice is absolute, and He will not let the guilty go unpunished. This prophecy of Nahum is testimony to the fact that if we neglect, or tarry in our response to, G-d His judgement will certainly fall.
- In the whirlwind and in the storm: G-d, who rules over nature, is greater than the power of nature. Hurricanes and windstorms can be extremely destructive. The wrath of G-d, that is going to fall upon the earth (as seen in Revelation), is going to be much greater than any devastation that happens in natural disasters. We can look at the devastating power of these disasters and glimpse what G-d’s judgement and wrath are going to look like.
v4: Bashan and Carmel: These were two beautiful places in the land of Israel.
- Wither…wilts: The same Hebrew word is used for these two English words. In Hebrew it is literally a word that means miserable. When words are used more than once it shows emphasis in a text. This word emphasizes that the beautiful places become miserable, they are in a horrible condition.
v5: Mountains quake…hills melt….earth heaves: In response to sin in the world, G-d is going to reveal Himself. The whole world is going to take note of it and respond. Everything responds to G-d (mountains, hills, rivers and seas). Will we respond appropriately to the Presence of the righteous and Holy G-d coming, to earth, to establish His Kingdom?
v6: This verse gives us an example of what G-d’s wrath looks like. The Father’s full wrath was upon Yeshua when He died on the cross. The cross is a powerful message regarding how much G-d hates sin, as well as how His wrath, toward us, was satisfied by the perfect sacrifice of Yeshua (Roms 5:9-10).