Nahum 3

Nahum 3

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Woe to Nineveh

  Woe to the bloody city,
    all full of lies and plunder—
    no end to the prey!
  The crack of the whip, and rumble of the wheel,
    galloping horse and bounding chariot!
  Horsemen charging,
    flashing sword and glittering spear,
  hosts of slain,
    heaps of corpses,
  dead bodies without end—
    they stumble over the bodies!
  And all for the countless whorings of the prostitute,
    graceful and of deadly charms,
  who betrays nations with her whorings,
    and peoples with her charms.
  Behold, I am against you,
    declares the LORD of hosts,
    and will lift up your skirts over your face;
  and I will make nations look at your nakedness
    and kingdoms at your shame.
  I will throw filth at you
    and treat you with contempt
    and make you a spectacle.
  And all who look at you will shrink from you and say,
  “Wasted is Nineveh; who will grieve for her?”
    Where shall I seek comforters for you?
  Are you better than Thebes
    that sat by the Nile,
  with water around her,
    her rampart a sea,
    and water her wall?
  Cush was her strength;
    Egypt too, and that without limit;
    Put and the Libyans were her helpers.
  Yet she became an exile;
    she went into captivity;
  her infants were dashed in pieces
    at the head of every street;
  for her honored men lots were cast,
    and all her great men were bound in chains.
  You also will be drunken;
    you will go into hiding;
  you will seek a refuge from the enemy.
  All your fortresses are like fig trees
    with first-ripe figs—
  if shaken they fall
    into the mouth of the eater.
  Behold, your troops
    are women in your midst.
  The gates of your land
    are wide open to your enemies;
    fire has devoured your bars.
  Draw water for the siege;
    strengthen your forts;
  go into the clay;
    tread the mortar;
    take hold of the brick mold!
  There will the fire devour you;
    the sword will cut you off.
    It will devour you like the locust.
  Multiply yourselves like the locust;
    multiply like the grasshopper!
  You increased your merchants
    more than the stars of the heavens.
    The locust spreads its wings and flies away.
  Your princes are like grasshoppers,
    your scribes like clouds of locusts
  settling on the fences
    in a day of cold—
  when the sun rises, they fly away;
    no one knows where they are.
  Your shepherds are asleep,
    O king of Assyria;
    your nobles slumber.
  Your people are scattered on the mountains
    with none to gather them.
  There is no easing your hurt;
    your wound is grievous.
  All who hear the news about you
    clap their hands over you.
  For upon whom has not come
    your unceasing evil?


Nahum 3 Commentary

by Hank Workman

“…clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

1 Peter 5:5-11

The proud Nineveh is ripe for judgment here as the final chapter of Nahum speaks toward the demise and sins of this nation.  They had been given chances to respond and return but in the end chose their pride over humility before God.  Their pride would usher in the loss of the battle.

Peter wrote in his first letter of God’s opposition to the proud but honoring those who were humble.  Clearly in this straight to the point but actually encouraging passage, Peter writes of the need for our humility before God first and foremost.

Tremendous hardships happen to each of us.  We also struggle with following hard after God at times as our selfish, sinful nature rules far too often.  We’ve all been there.  We may be there now.  The aspect to cling to here is the reality of our God in the middle of our sin, the middle of our consequences even – through humility before Him, He strengthens.

Go back and reread this passage of Peter.  If you are there at this moment, where the enemy is pressing in, remember through your humility before the Lord, He will raise you up at the proper time.  Take all the anxiety that has bombarded your own mind and heart through whatever you face, and cast it upon Him.  Grab hold of the destructive thought patterns and rest in His peace, which He freely gives.  

Yes, even in the choices we’ve made, the difficulties we currently face possibly by our own hands, our humility before Him, casting these anxieties all upon Him – He hears and I believe He relieves our thoughts.  Stand firm in your faith, regardless of what you face.  Stand in the strength of His might.  He cares for you and extends grace to all who humbly bring their mess and life before Him.  Claim this promise over and over today.

Nahum 3 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

God has declared the condition of Nineveh unrepairable. They have gone too far. There is no chance for restoration. Is this how you feel currently in a relationship or situation?

There is no remedy for your injuries, and your wounds cannot be healed. All those who hear the news of your destruction clap their hands for joy. Did anyone escape your endless cruelty?

Nahum 3:19 GNB

Wounds. We inflict them every day. Sometimes on ourselves and sometimes on others. We must understand that we are no different than the people of Nineveh. Yes, it is true we are living in a different culture with different values. But sin is still sin. Consider, the judgment of God was cast down upon these people because they refused to turn from their sinful ways. The very first sin they committed should have been the last, but God was merciful in allowing them to continue. Eventually, that tab ran it’s limit and justice was necessary.

We must see this from God’s perspective. If the people of Nineveh had come to your home and killed your family and burned your house down, you might have been one of those who “clapped their hands in joy” when hearing of God’s destruction. This is the trap of sin. We hate it when we are sinned against but we stand guilty ourselves and God’s standard is too high for anyone to achieve.

How depressing would it be to hear God say that there is no chance of restoration? You have gone too far. Your condition is unrepairable. This is what makes Jesus’ sacrifice so scandalous. God had already declared the human condition hopeless. Just like Nineveh, there was no way we could change our own hearts!

But even in the midst of his judgment, God would make a way. Our wounds would become His wounds.

But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds.

Isaiah 53:5 HCSB

It doesn’t make sense, but it was God’s will. It was His plan. You were bought at a price. Live like it.

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