The Book of Nahum Bible Study Chapter 3 Part 2

Our last reading in Nahum is Nahum 3:11-19

God’s judgement has an eternal aspect, it never ends. G-d can be comforted by His judgement. 

v11: Will be drunk: This is not a literal drunkenness from the consumption of alcohol.  In this context it means the people are confused, they do not perceive things properly – as if they are inebriated. Nineveh was going to be confused about what they were going to experience.  

  • You will be hidden: It would have been inconceivable, in that day, for an empire like Nineveh to just vanish, disappear or be no more. As hard as it was to imagine, this was exactly what happened. 
  • You will seek refuge from your enemy – they were not going to find any help. One of the outcomes of G-d’s judgement is aloneness. 

v12: Conquering empires built fortresses for themselves, because they were concerned that they would one day be attacked. Nineveh was ripe for G-d’s judgement. It did not take much for her to be devoured by her enemy. Often G-d’s judgement is not His direct wrath, but He raises up another people (Babylonians, in this case) to carry out His judgement. 

v13: The armies of Assyria were no match for the Babylonians. There was no way for them to protect the city. There was no point avoiding judgement. Immediate surrender was the easiest alternative in the long run. Barricading themselves in the city would postpone the judgement but it wouldn’t turn it away –  it may in fact make the judgement worse as the city’s citizens start to die from thirst and starvation.

v14: Assyria liked to lay siege to cities rather than to just go in and conquer. In this way a lot of suffering was inflicted upon the people. G-d is saying, here, that if they want to postpone the inevitable, they can go ahead and do it, but in the end they are going to fall regardless.

v15: G-d wanted Nineveh to understand her spiritual condition. The enemies were coming, and they were going to dine on Nineveh like locusts dine on a crop. 

v16: If an empire had numerous merchants it meant that they were prosperous. Because they were prosperous meant nothing to G-d. It just meant that there would be more food for the locusts when they came to devour. 

v17: In this verse Nahum is speaking of those who were loyal to the government – i.e. Government workers. 

Assyria was full of merchants. These were going to be like food for the enemy. All the people who worked in this empire were going to flee away, like locusts who flee to the hills. This means that there would be no loyalty to the empire among the government officials. 

v18: Shepherds: Shepherds are those who are supposed to be watching and guarding the helpless sheep (citizens). 

  • Nobles: The noblemen (being wealthier) moved elsewhere so as to not be identified as a part of this empire. They abandoned Assyria. Sin brings about abandonment in a person’s life. 
  • Your people: The people were incapable of assembling together to make a stand against the enemy. Assyria was ALL ALONE. 

v19: Your injury has no healing: Simply stated: there is no remedy, no cure, no medicine for what ails Assyria. They have to endure G-d’s judgement and there will be no future or inheritance for them on the other side of it. Nothing will come from it except their utter destruction. 

  • Clap their hands: A business deal is sealed by shaking hands – showing that the agreement is finalized. The world will agree with Babylon defeating Assyria – ‘Well done,’ they will say. 
  • Whom has not your wickedness passed continually: Assyria constantly afflicted whoever they could. 

It is informative that the last thing mentioned about Assyria is that she is evil – ‘wickedness’ (this means that what she did was not in accordance with the will of G-d – these are not necessarily only those things which are immoral etc. We may do things that look right, from man’s perspective, but are wrong in G-d’s eyes because they are not done according to His will – E.g. Giving is not wrong. If G-d tells us to give to person X but, we do not like person X so, we give to person Y instead this is considered as an evil in G-d’s eyes. Our thoughts and our wills are not like G-ds. (Isaiah 55:8-9) We need to bring our thoughts, and will, into alignment with His. We are absolutely dependent on G-d’s truth if we are going to walk in a way that is pleasing to Him. We need to have the mind of Messiah. This only happens when we have a redemptive relationship with Him. 

There is a solution to the judgement of G-d: Messiah. He doesn’t remove G-d’s judgement. He redirects it to the cross. G-d’s judgement – in its fullness -fell upon Messiah when He hung upon that tree. All the judgement that we should have received (death) was placed upon Him. He went to hell, but hell could not contain Him. His resurrection speaks about His victory over hell and death. 

When we acknowledge our sin, and accept His work as sufficient (atonement, redemption, payment), then the judgement that should have been on us redirects to the finished work on the cross. 

Everyone is going to appear before the judgement seat of Messiah (2 Cor 5:10). As a believer we are not going to experience G-d’s eternal damnation (1 Thess 5:9). Nevertheless, G-d is going to evaluate every one of our thoughts, words or deeds (Eccl 12:14). As believers in Messiah we are not going to suffer judgement, but we can suffer a loss (of rewards) -1 Cor 3:14 -15 . 

Rewards are given to those who have been obedient to the plans and purposes of G-d. They are utilized to bring/give glory to G-d, to thank Him for what He has done. We want to live in a way to be recipients of all the things G-d has in store for us – not just for this age but, more importantly, for the age to come. 

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