1:1 and 2 – Nahum presents concepts difficult for us to understand because of our worldview regarding these topics.
“Jealous” according to the dictionary means requiring complete loyalty or faithfulness; watchful in keeping or guarding something, careful; fearful that a person one loves may love or prefer some else.
“Envy” means discontent or ill will at another’s good fortune because one wishes it had been his.
God’s jealousy speaks to the fiercely protective commitment to His people and His exclusive claim to obedience and reciprocal commitment.
Exodus 20:5; 34:14; Deuteronomy 4:24; 5:9
Where this relationship of mutual commitment is threatened, either by Israel’s unfaithfulness or by foreign oppression, the inevitable expressions of such jealousy are vengeance and wrath which are directed to restoring that relationship.
Avenging and vengeance are judicial in nature and express judgment and requital for infractions of law and morality, primarily those committed with presumption and impenitence. As a judicial function, vengeance belongs supremely to God.
Revelation 15:3; Revelation 16:7 Yahweh is always just.
Deuteronomy 32:4, 35, 43
O LORD, God of vengeance, God of vengeance, shine forth!
Rise up, O judge of the earth, render recompense to the proud.
How long shall the wicked, O LORD, how long shall the wicked exult?
Psalm 9:7 and 8Only Yahweh is qualified to judge and execute vengeance because He is holy, omniscient, omnipresent, and the only true God.
The LORD abides forever; He has established His throne for judgment, and He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity.
Revelation 4:8 - Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
Psalm 147:5 - Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.
Jeremiah 23:23 & 24 - "Am I a God who is near," declares the LORD, "And not a God far off? Can a man hide himself in hiding places so I do not see him?" declares the LORD. "Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?" declares the LORD.
Exodus 34:6 & 7 - Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations."Romans 12: 19 Men are not qualified to judge and exercise vengeance because we can act out of hurt feelings, hate, bitterness, shame.
Like jealousy, wrath denotes intense and passionate feeling; it represents here the outworking of jealousy, which moves to eradicate every obstacle to its commitment. Wrath constitutes a divine characteristic that man must face whenever he breaks the proper limits of his relationship to God. To deny God’s wrath is to deny the reality of judgment and the necessity of atonement.
2 – The foundation for the entire prophecy All that follows is rooted in this revelation of the justice and burning zeal of the Lord exercised on behalf of His people.
3 – Yahweh’s anger is balanced by His forbearance. Exodus 34:6; Number 14:18; Neh. 9:17
The judgment of Nineveh is a type for what will happen at the end of the age with the last Assyrian.
« back to sermon archive