No One's Favorite Book: Nahum

The Old Testament book, Nahum, is probably no one's favorite book, but it contains some important truths about God's love and His wrath.

I doubt that Nahum is anyone’s favorite book in the Bible. A book about God’s wrath against Nineveh is never going to be a popular source for sermons or Bible studies.

But it illustrates a most wonderful truth about God’s longsuffering patience and His willingness to give us ample opportunity to repent (1 Timothy 2:1-4).


Remember Nineveh? They were thoroughly evil, deserving destruction when God sent Jonah to warn them. But they repented and God relented.


Nahum’s prophecy against Nineveh came over 60 years later when Nineveh again became thoroughly evil. And God waited another decade before destroying them.


"The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him, but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will pursue his foes into the realm of darkness."
Nahum 1:7-8  

God cannot be good and do nothing about evil. He cannot be light without exposing darkness. 


May we never be ashamed of God’s perfect, divine wrath. 


See some pertinent background information and Bible passages below:     

For a more detailed look at the elements of God's character involved in the destruction of an entire city see Why Did God Destroy Entire Nations?  
These other 1-minute devotions also give insights into this subject: 
Are you Ashamed of God’s Wrath?
Is Sin its own Punishment?
God Punishes
Discipline, Punishment, Condemnation
Scripture Debunks this Popular Quote about Hell 


Nahum was written in 630-620 B.C. before Nineveh's destruction in 612 B.C. Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, a nation known for its extreme cruelty, immorality, and witchcraft. 

Nahum 1:3: "The LORD is slow to anger but great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished."  

See also Psalm 145:8 and Joel 2:13.

God sent Jonah to preach to Nineveh (c.760 B.C.). And even though God knew their repentance would be short lived, He didn’t destroy them when they repented. This made Jonah angry:

Jonah 4:1-2: "To Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord, 'Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.'"

When God destroyed Nineveh in 612 B.C., He did it completely. It wasn't until the mid-1800's that the ruins of Nineveh were uncovered (source). 

Embarrassed by God's wrath: There is a tendency in the church to share the comforting truths in Scripture and ignore God's wrath. But the Author of Scripture, the Creator of the universe, the Redeemer of the repentant expects us to share all truth in the Bible—not simply those truths that make us comfortable. God wrote these warnings into Scripture because we need to hear them. 

As Paul explained in Acts 20:27: "I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God."


Some Christians think God's wrath is an Old Testament concept. Not so. God's wrath is a necessary aspect of His goodness. Here are some New Testament Scriptures to consider:

John 3:36: "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on them."

Romans 1:18: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth."

Romans 2:5: "Because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed."

Romans 3:5-6: "But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world?"

And please note this description of our loving Savior when He returns to earth after all men have been given opportunity to repent:    

Revelation 19:15: "From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress."


Bible Love Notes

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