This past Sunday was week 6 in my class on the Gospel according to the Minor Prophets. We worked our way through Nahum, one of the least-known Minor Prophets. Little is known about Nahum of Elkosh; scholars are even unsure where Elkosh was! His name means “comfort/compassion” which highlights the central message of his prophecy: to comfort Judah with the news of Assyria’s impending destruction. The book was written sometime between the destruction of Thebes in 664 BC (mentioned in 3:8 as something that has already happened) and the destruction of Nineveh in 612 BC (announced in advance by Nahum).
There are several key biblical-theological themes in Nahum: God’s jealous love for his people, God’s wrath towards his enemies, and God’s power and sovereignty of God are among the most prominent.
How can we as God’s people today benefit from Nahum? What is it that God has to say to us today through this Minor Prophet?
I believe the starting point is determining the theological big idea, which I would summarize as follows: God will judge the wicked and restore His people to freedom through His ultimate Warrior-King, Jesus Christ.
Some people think of God as meek grandfather or perhaps even a Santa Claus like figure who simply winks at sin and gives people what they want. To such people Nahum reminds us that God is a jealous God who will pour out his just wrath on his enemies. But God’s people must never think that they are somehow better than those who stand under God’s wrath, because we only avoid that wrath by the mercy of God. And our experience of mercy required God pouring out the wrath that we deserve for our sin onto his Son, Jesus Christ. God commissions us to call all people to flee the wrath to come and seek refuge in Christ. For there is coming a day when Christ will return and execute the righteous wrath and judgment of God on all his enemies (Rev 19:11-21).
Want to hear more? You can check out the audio and the handout below:
Week 6 – Nahum (AUDIO)