He that dasheth in pieces is come up before thy face: keep the munition, watch the way, make thy loins strong, fortify thy power mightily.
2 For the Lord hath turned away the excellency of Jacob, as the excellency of Israel: for the emptiers have emptied them out, and marred their vine branches.
3 The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken.
4 The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings.
5 He shall recount his worthies: they shall stumble in their walk; they shall make haste to the wall thereof, and the defence shall be prepared.
6 The gates of the rivers shall be opened, and the palace shall be dissolved.
7 And Huzzab shall be led away captive, she shall be brought up, and her maids shall lead her as with the voice of doves, tabering upon their breasts.
8 But Nineveh is of old like a pool of water: yet they shall flee away. Stand, stand, shall they cry; but none shall look back.
9 Take ye the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold: for there is none end of the store and glory out of all the pleasant furniture.
10 She is empty, and void, and waste: and the heart melteth, and the knees smite together, and much pain is in all loins, and the faces of them all gather blackness.
11 Where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feedingplace of the young lions, where the lion, even the old lion, walked, and the lion's whelp, and none made them afraid?
12 The lion did tear in pieces enough for his whelps, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his holes with prey, and his dens with ravin.
13 Behold, I am against thee, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will burn her chariots in the smoke, and the sword shall devour thy young lions: and I will cut off thy prey from the earth, and the voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard.
Prophets Jonah and Nahum were both called by God to deliver a message to the evil inhabitants of the city of Nineveh. When Jonah “cried out” against the city of Nineveh, the Ninevites responded with genuine repentance. God had compassion on them and did not destroy them. Jonah was angry that God was for the Ninevites in spite of their wickedness. The book of Jonah ends with a question as God invites Jonah to give reasons as to why God should not be for the Ninevites.
A hundred years later we find a different scenario. Nahum is also crying out against Ninevites who are as wicked as their ancestors. This time, however, they do not turn to God with repentance. Nahum vividly describes the downfall of the city of Nineveh in striking colorful details (vs.3-4) and declares that the city will not only fall but the inhabitants will be humiliated. Unlike the time of Jonah, this time God declares “I am against you” (v. 13). What a sad turn of events!
God is against those who arrogantly ignore His pleas to forsake their evil ways, against those who mercilessly oppress others, and against those who continually harden their hearts. God, however, is for those who are willing to be led by His Spirit and He restores them (v. 2)! Where do you stand today?
Pastor, Allegheny East Conference, USA