5 Lessons from the Life of Nahum

 The life of Nahum is embedded with powerful life lessons for us. Nahum is not mentioned much in the bible, but we know some basic details about his life and ministry. He was from the town of Elkosh, which is probably in the northern kingdom of Israel. He prophesied during the reign of the king Josiah of Judah ,who was a righteous king who restored the worship of God in Judah. Nahum is well known for his prophecy against the city of Nineveh, the capital city of the Assyrian empire.

Nahum means " consolation" or " comfort". The prophet Nahum was contemporary with Isaiah and Micah and he prophesied against Nineveh a few generations earlier. His prophecies were focused on the coming judgement of Nineveh. The empire was known for its cruelty and violence, and Nahum prophesied that God would judge it for its sins.

Let us explore 5 object lessons from the life of Nahum;

1. Faith in God's justice 

Nahum's life teaches us the importance of faith in the justice of God . He foretold the destruction of Nineveh, which was a powerful and mighty city and they were singled out for an unusually harsh end. But even though the city was strong, Nahum knew that God's justice would ultimately prevail. 

God's justice may seem slow in coming ,but it is sure in coming. Nahum 1:7-8 says, " 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 ". 

God's justice is not just about punishment. While he punishes sin, his ultimate goal is to bring about restoration and redemption. In the case of Nineveh, God's judgement led to the destruction of the city, but it also opened the door for the people to turn away from their evil ways and turn back to him. 

Being a follower of Jesus is a faith journey, and that faith includes believing that justice will prevail. 

2. God's anger is fierce 

Nahum described God's anger and it can be found in the whirlwind storm. God dries up bodies of water, flowers fade. Mountains and hills fall before his anger. Nahum 1:3 says, " The lord is slow to anger but great in power, the lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storms, and clouds are the dust of his feet ". 

Nahum prophesied about the destruction of Nineveh which was a powerful and wicked city at the time. God's anger was fierce against Nineveh and Nahum foretold it's destruction.

God is holy and righteous and he will not tolerate sin. At the same time, we should remember that God is merciful and forgiving, He is willing to forgive even the most wicked of sinners if they repent and turn to him. 

3. God's sovereignty

The message of Nahum is that God's sovereign, loving justice will eventually prevail. God is both sovereign and patient. While he gives men and nations opportunity to repent, he also warns them if they do not, the hammer of judgement will fall on them. 

Even though the Assyrian empire was powerful and seemed invincible , Nahum knew that God was in control 

4. The Lord is a jealous and avenging God

Nahum 1:2-3 tells us that, " God is jealous, and the lord avenges; The lord will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserves wrath for his enemies; The lord is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked. The lord has his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of this feet". In Nahum, God is glorifying himself through jealousy , so that he might demonstrate his goodness in the salvation of sinners, the damnation of the wicked, and for the preservation of his people for his eternal glory, and their eternal joy. 

5. Prayer is an important part of our relationship with God

In the book of Nahum, we see how Nahum was called by God to speak his word to Nineveh. Nahum is known for his unrelenting prayer for Nineveh, even though it seemed like a hopeless cause. 

His example reminds us that we should never give up on praying to God, no matter how impossible the situation may seem. God hears our prayers and he can do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine. Even if the answer to our prayers is not what we expected, we can trust that God is working all things together for our good. 

The lessons learnt from the life of Nahum are applicable to our lives as christians . We should remember that God is in control, but we still have a responsibility to obey him.

Nahum's prophecy extends beyond judgement to offer hope and consolation. His words convey that, despite the challenges and trials , there is a divine plan that unfolds purpose. Nahum's ability to balance the severity of judgement with the promise of hope teaches us the importance of maintaining a positive look in the face of adversity.

The story of Jonah going to Nineveh happened years before the message of Nahum was written. Therefore, the city of Nineveh did actually repent from their evil ways and God spared them. Unfortunately, after a few years the Assyrians went back to their old ways and not only did they return to their wicked ways but their evil became worse than ever. 

This blatant refusal to maintain Godly ways was the final straw  and thus Nahum was given a prophetic vision to deliver as God's final message to the people of Nineveh. 

The book of Nahum serves as an example to encourage us that God does not take evil and injustice lightly. It is a bold indictment upon evil and injustice and gives us a glimpse of how God will one day bring his sovereign justice to these horrible injustices in our world today. 

Also, the meaning of Nahum's name, " consoler" plays an important role in the prophet's message. The unrepentant wicked will not receive comfort, but the righteous can take comfort from Nahum's message that the lord cares about them and will one day bring an end to wickedness. However, it is important to recognize hat underlying God's anger towards Nineveh is a deep sense of concern for the suffering of the many people who had been conquered , slain, enslaved, and terrorized by the Assyrians. The lord's judgement of the wicked are connected to his compassion for their victims. 

God is perfect in rewarding the righteous and bringing judgement upon the wicked. 

Nahum message in a world beset by increasing warfare , strife, unhappiness ,sorrow, hunger and many other disasters and calamities, it is vital that we keep our hope vested in the gospel message burning forever brightly in our minds. Nahum 1:12 refers to a time where God says his people will no longer be afflicted. Nahum's message is an end time warning to us as believers. God cares about us and will not let our oppressors go unpunished.

We should also remember that God is slow to anger and will give every nation time to repent of sin and follow him . But he is not mocked, any time a nation turns away from him, he steps in with judgement. As christians, it is our duty to stand up and proclaim Christ because it is only in repentance that our lives can be transformed.

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