Our next reading is Nahum 1:7-14
v7: He knows those who trust in Him: Those who trust G-d rely on Him and take refuge in Him. G-d knows those who respond to Him.
v8: An overwhelming flood: There are two words in the Hebrew Bible used for the word flood.
1. One type of flood happened at the time of Noah. This is a flood where there is a deluge of water which gets deeper and deeper. It is a flood where the water rises slowly but surely.
2. The second type of flood is the type of flood spoken of here. It can be likened to when a dam breaks; the water pours out rapidly, sweeping everything away and leaving destruction in its wake.
- Darkness. This is the same kind of darkness spoken of in the book of Exodus – the plague of darkness (Ex 10:21-23). It was a thick, tangible darkness that could be felt. It wasn’t merely an absence of light. The people couldn’t hear, stand up or sit down – they were frozen in place. They didn’t know where they were or what had happened to them. According to the ancient sages, this plague was the most terrifying of all the plagues. Those who don’t know G-d are going to be cast out into utter darkness (Matt 8:12).
v9: The first time this city rose up was with Jonah. G-d promised that they were not going to rise again.
v10: The people who are against G-d are going to be entangled, like as in a thicket of thorns.
v11: A wicked counselor: This means those whose counsel is evil. These are the ones who have the same mentality as satan. They believe that they can outfox, overcome, be greater than and defeat G-d. If we separate ourselves from G-d’s principles, we are as those plotting evil against Him. Nobody is exempt from ‘Whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap’ (Gal 6:7) .
v12: In Jeremiah, evil had risen to such a level that G-d told him not to pray for the people anymore – His judgement would come regardless (Jer 7:16, 20). In the same way, Assyria was going to be punished and it would be the end of them. They would be utterly destroyed. G-d would not have to afflict them again, because there would be nothing or no one left that could rise again.
v13: This verse is the only one, in this chapter, that relates to Israel. Up to this time, G-d has been speaking to the Ninevites. G-d promises, here, to set Israel free.
v14: The L-rd is again addressing Nineveh. He is going to cut off their name (future) and the people will no longer continue in the worship of their pagan deities.
The Ninevites have had their full of riotous living – eating and drinking for today, as they think they are going to go into non-existence when they die (Isaiah 22:13) They do not realize that it is appointed for man to die once and after that to face judgement (Heb 9:27).