April 15, 2011

Minor Prophets LXVII: The Split-Personality of Humanity

We see two attributes of God mirrored in Nahum 1:7 and 15 and  Nahum 1:8 and 14. They are deliberately placed the way they are to created a contrast between God's goodness/righteousness and His wrath/judgment in relation to men. Yet they are consistant with a Being that is Holy and Perfect, Just and Fair, Loving and Patient and so on. This is done to draw the contrast between Judah and Nineveh. We see these two nations contrasted as we do because what they really are are opposite sides of a choice. A choice to obey God and a choice to disobey God. To submit or rebel. Sinning is a choice. Regardless of how many people try and blame their sin on their genetics.
It appears these verses are comparison/contrast between God’s actions towards His people of Judah and the idolatrous Nineveh. Since these prophecies are of future events it is clear Judah will be restored due to repentance or faithfulness. Nineveh on the other hand will be ground to powder and blown into the wind of history only to be remembered because of the pages of the Bible. God’s wrath would descend on Nineveh but His goodness to His own people. Judah’s affliction will end because of Nineveh’s annihilation. We see the certainty of God acting in history in both a peaceful manner and a destroying manner. For Judah there is a promise of peace in God's presence for Nineveh...they are dead...they just don't know it yet.

A. (v.7) (Judah) God is good and he protects His own when they are in trouble. He takes care of those who trust in Him. Although He would show His wrath He is still good.

B. (v.8) (Nineveh)…on the other hand probably thinks they are safe but their days are numbered. A catastrophe is coming. A “flood” of God’s judgment was about to inundate them, “to make an end to them” and pursue them into the realm of darkness.

B. (v.14) (Nineveh)…will have no descendants. Their people will be destroyed. They will have no heirs. Because of their idolatry and temples to false gods…they are finished. The finality of these passages includes their religion also.

A. (v.15) (Judah) is called to worship (celebrate festivals). They will no longer be invaded by wicked peoples since God will have completely destroyed them.

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