Dear Westminster Family:
This week we will focus on the prophet, Nahum. The message of Nahum deals solely with Nineveh and her destruction. Nineveh was for some hundreds of years the dread of Western Asia. It was an immense city by the Tigris river. The city was strongly fortified and was a great commercial center enriched by numerous military campaigns.
Having been warned by God in Jonah’s day and having repented only temporarily (in that generation), Nineveh is now to suffer final and complete destruction.
Scripture is clear that God is patient, slow to anger, and not willing that anyone should perish under his judgement (Psalm 103:8; Nahum 1:3; II Peter 3:9). Yet even the patience of God has limits. He will not allow sin to go unchecked forever. Sooner or later, He will deal with evil and those who commit it, and when He does, His wrath is likely to come rather swiftly (Genesis 19:24; II Peter 3:10).
The Book of Nahum points out the limits of short-term repentance. Having once experienced God’s forgiveness as a result of Jonah’s preaching, the people of Nineveh were that much more responsible. They had been forgiven of enormous sins, but they chose to continue in their sins. God leaves rebellious people unpunished for only so long (Exodus 34:6,7). God’s grace is free, but it is not cheap. It does not allow people to continue to do what ever they wish, without guilt and without consequence.
Nahum offers us today the sobering reminder that God is merciful AND just. We need to be careful not to be lulled into focusing on merely His loving side; He is also a God of vengeance….“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….pursue his foes into darkness.”
(Nahum 1:2, 7)
This is an important message for the times in which we live. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.