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NAHUM: A MESSAGE OF GOD’S JUDGMENT      NAHUM 1-3   JANUARY 6, 2013FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI         USA
Reference material:     LifeWay    Christian    Resources    of the SBC
JANUARY BIBLE STUDYGreatest Week in History:Luke’s Account of thePassion WeekJanuary 7-9, 9:15 - 11:30amCLC Dining RoomTea...
Why this lesson isimportant:Many believers see Godonly in terms of theirpersonal relationship withHim; however, God is als...
Therefore, just as Hejudges sinful individuals,God will judge wickednations.
This lesson serves as awarning thatdisobedience to God atany level will not prevailbut will be exposed andseverely punishe...
*God had chosen Jonahabout 150 years prior toNahum’s time to deliver amessage of "repent orperish" to the Assyrians inNine...
But now, around 650 B.C.,instead of asking forrepentance, God choseNahum to take Hisfrightening message ofimpending doom t...
Nahum ranks among thegreat communicators ofthe Old Testament and isconsidered the greatestpoet of the OldTestament.
Scholars hail his work as aliterary masterpiece thatcompares with the greatliterary works of allnations and of all times.
God always raises upindividuals with the giftsHe needs to accomplishHis purposes.
When He needed anincomparable poet withconsummate skill tocommunicate His comingjudgment against Ninevehand Assyria, He se...
Nahum’s words still ringtoday with the sureknowledge that those whooppose God will face Hisjudgment.
*Chapter 1 –We see that God hates eviland that Nineveh wouldexperience His wrath.
*Chapter 2 –Nahum’s prophesiesspeak of impending siegeand plundering (asfulfilled by theBabylonians in the not toodistant ...
*Chapter 3 –The plundering would bea punishment for their sinand could not be averted.
What can Christians learnfrom the book of Nahum?
Great, seeminglyinvincible nations fall:Hittites, Assyrians,Babylonians, Greeks,Romans, OttomanEmpire, British Empire,Nazi...
Soviet Union, just to namea few.*We live in times ofpolitical and economicuncertainty and the USAcould easily fall just as...
Christians must remainfaithful to God regardlessof the political conditionsunder which we live(Luke 20:19-26;Rom. 13:1-7;1...
The Sign of JonahMatthew 12:38-4138 “Then some of thescribes and Pharisees saidto Him, “Teacher, wewant to see a sign from...
39 But He answered them,“An evil and adulterousgeneration demands asign, but no sign will begiven to it except the signof ...
40 For as Jonah was in thebelly of the huge fishthree days and threenights, so the Son of Manwill be in the heart of theea...
 41 The men of Ninevehwill stand up at thejudgment with thisgeneration and condemnit, because they repentedat Jonah’s proc...
and look—somethinggreater than Jonah ishere!”       Matthew 12:38-41
Unlike Nineveh,Christians can avert finalpunishment for their sinsand be forgiven, althoughthey may suffer lasting,negativ...
diseases, unwantedpregnancy, lost jobs,weakened influence).
This Lesson Is About:How God judged Assyriaand its capital city,Nineveh, because of theirwickedness, rebellion, andacts of...
*When Chuck Missler wasasked, “Why hasn’t Godjudged the UnitedStates?”*His reply was, “BecauseGod has honored Hiscovenant ...
Genesis 12:33  “I will bless those whobless you, I will cursethose who treat you withcontempt, and all thepeoples on earth...
God has not judged theUSA yet because untilnow, we have blessedIsrael and His hand ofprotection has been on us.
This lesson teaches thatGod judges any nationthat departs from Hisway.
How This Lesson CanImpact Our Lives:This lesson will help us:1) understand God’sjudgment and2) pursue Hisrighteousness.
The book of Nahum isconsidered as one of the“minor prophets”.
In the Hebrew Bible the“minor prophet” bookswere written on one scrolland called the“Book of the Twelve.”
The Minor Prophets make up the last twelve books of the OldTestament:Hosea, Joel, Amos,Obadiah, Jonah, Micah,Nahum, Habakk...
Zephaniah, Haggai,Zechariah and Malachi.
The 12 books apparentlyacquired the nickname“Minor Prophets” becausethe written amount oftheir prophecies weresmaller than...
*In reality, there is nothing“minor” about theirprophecies and teaching.*They may be called theMinor Prophets, but theirme...
These twelve prophetslived through difficultand foreboding times andoften spoke of God’sjudgment and wrath.
*They called for justiceand declared God’smercy.*They also spoke of thelove of God and of hope.
*Individuals living in theNorthern Kingdom ofIsrael and in the SouthernKingdom of Judah wrotethe books.*Some were penneddu...
*God inspired all of themfor our growth andbenefit today.
*Next Sunday we willstudy Habakkuk.*On January 20th we willstudy Obadiah and*On January 27th we willcover Haggai.
*These short propheticbooks tackle major themesthat are especiallyrelevant for the churchand the world today.*Such is the ...
*Nahum contains amessage of judgmentagainst Assyria and itscapital city, Nineveh.*Assyria was asuperpower (like us) thatwa...
Focal Passages:*God Tempers Judgmentwith Mercy       Nahum 1:7-9,12-13*God Judges Evil      Nahum 2:8-13
*God Judges SinfulLeaders         Nahum 3:18-19 
Nahum 1:7-9,12-137 “The Lord is good,a stronghold in a day ofdistress;He cares for those whotake refuge in Him.
8 But He will completelydestroy Ninevehwith an overwhelmingflood,and He will chase Hisenemies into darkness.
9 Whatever you plotagainst the Lord,He will bring it tocomplete destruction;oppression will not riseup a second time.
12 This is what the Lordsays:Though they are strongand numerous,they will still be moweddown,and he will pass away.
Though I have afflictedyou, I will afflict you nolonger.13 For I will now breakoff his yoke from youand tear off yourshack...
Focal Passages:*God Tempers Judgmentwith Mercy       Nahum 1:7-9,12-13*God Judges Evil      Nahum 2:8-13
*God Judges SinfulLeaders         Nahum 3:18-19 
Nahum 2:8-138 “Nineveh has been likea pool of waterfrom her first days,but they are fleeing.“Stop! Stop!” they cry,but no ...
9“Plunder the silver!Plunder the gold!”There is no end to thetreasure,an abundance of everyprecious thing.
10 Desolation,decimation, devastation!Hearts melt,knees tremble,loins shake,every face grows pale!
11 Where is the lions’lair, or the feedingground of the younglions, where the lion andlioness prowled, and thelion’s cub, ...
12 The lion mauledwhatever its cubs neededand strangled prey for itslionesses.It filled up its dens withthe kill, and its ...
13 Beware, I am againstyou. This is thedeclaration of the Lordof Hosts. I will make yourchariots go up in smokeand the swo...
I will cut off your preyfrom the earth, and thesound of yourmessengers will never beheard again.”          Nahum 2:8-13
Focal Passages:*God Tempers Judgmentwith Mercy       Nahum 1:7-9,12-13*God Judges Evil      Nahum 2:8-13
*God Judges SinfulLeaders         Nahum 3:18-19 
Nahum 3:18-1918 King of Assyria, yourshepherds slumber;your officers sleep.Your people are scatteredacross the mountainswi...
them together.19 There is no remedy foryour injury; your woundis severe.All who hear the newsabout you will clap theirhand...
for who has notexperienced yourconstant cruelty?”          Nahum 3:18-19
About 150 years beforeNahum, God called Jonahto preach against Ninevehbecause the city’swickedness had“confronted” Him(Jon...
Even in Jonah’s day, theAssyrians were notoriousfor their brutality andcruelty.
Miraculously, theNinevites received Jonah’smessage and respondedwith sackcloth, ashes, andfasting (Jonah 3:4-9).
God saw that the peopleof Nineveh “had turnedfrom their evil ways”, soHe “relented” and did notsend judgment againstthem (...
Unfortunately, theNinevites soon returnedto their idols, crueltreatment of other nations,and wicked ways.
After Jonah, Assyria roseto prominence as asuperpower in ancientMesopotamia under thepowerful leadership ofTiglath-Pileser...
After this notorious king,the great Neo-AssyrianEmpire lasted for another115 years until theBabylonians and theMedes destr...
Sometime between 630B.C. and 626 B.C., Godgave Nahum a vision ofthe utter destruction ofthe city and the empireassociated ...
The message of Nahumwas that the Lord was“slow to anger,” but Hewould “not leave theguilty unpunished”(Nahum 1:3).
God revealed to Nahumwhat would happen toNineveh; because of theirsin, He would revisit Hisjudgment against thatgreat city.
The historical period ofNahum was evil bothoutside and inside ofJudah.
Not only did theAssyrians worship amultitude of gods, thepeople of Judah did notremain faithful to theLord either.
What Nahum did was tooffer hope to Judah andJerusalem that theoppression would endand God would comfortHis people.
The enemy, symbolizedby the city of Nineveh,would be utterly andtotally destroyed.It was!
Seven Lessons from theSeventh CenturyWhat can we learn fromthe seventh century B.C.?
*First, God’s people aresubjected to the powers ofthis world and must findways to be loyal to theLord within the context o...
*Second, the Lord issovereign over all nationsand kings.*He uses them for Hispurposes.
Proverbs 21:11 “A king’s heart is likestreams of water inthe Lord’s hand:He directs it wherever Hechooses.” 
*Third, no place onearth is inviolable.*If Jerusalem couldfall, every city isvulnerable.
*Fourth, divine protectionissues out of a faithfulrelationship with God.
*Fifth, God utilizesprophets to confrontHis people’s sins and towarn them of judgment.
*Sixth, God’s word cannotbe destroyed or stopped.*His word is truth and thetruth shall come to pass.
*Seventh, we shouldnever give up on theLord, even when thosearound us seemingly getahead by sinning.
*The Lord will makethings right in His timeand in His way.
Focal Passage:*God Tempers Judgmentwith Mercy       Nahum 1:7-9,12-13
Nahum 1:77 “The Lord is good,a stronghold in a day ofdistress;He cares for those whotake refuge in Him.”
In our focal passageNahum reminds us thatthe Lord is good.
This word good refers tomore than behavior; itpoints to God’swillingness to be faithfulto the covenant He madewith Israel ...
*God would be astronghold in a day ofdistress.*He would protect thosewho take refuge in Him.
We need to recognize thatGod is good beyond ourcomprehension.
We should rejoice and bethankful that God isfaithful to the newcovenant we have withJesus Christ (Heb. 9:15).
Hebrews 9:1515 “Therefore, Jesus is theMediator of the newcovenant”.
Nahum 1:8“But He will completelydestroy Ninevehwith an overwhelmingflood,and He will chase Hisenemies into darkness.”
While the Lord is a goodand merciful God Wholoves His people, we needto remember that He willtake vengeance on andjudge wi...
*Nahum points this outclearly; God wouldcompletely destroyNineveh.*God’s goodness does notprevent Him fromjudging wickedne...
*Because of His holiness,He will hold wickedpeople and nationsaccountable.*People and nations needto repent to avoid God’s...
*God will come like anoverwhelming flood, andHe will chase Hisenemies into darkness.*Darkness symbolizesGod’s judgment aga...
Nahum 1:9“Whatever you plotagainst the Lord,He will bring it tocomplete destruction;oppression will not riseup a second ti...
*Again, the point is thatGod will not allow thewicked to go unpunished.*Moreover, God isjustified in judging thosewho cons...
*He will bring their plansto complete destruction.*Trouble will not arise asecond time.
12 “This is what the Lordsays:Though they are strongand numerous,they will still be moweddown,and he will pass away.
Though I have afflictedyou, I will afflict you nolonger.13 For I will now breakoff his yoke from youand tear off yourshack...
The messenger formula,This is what the Lordsays (v. 12) signals theimportance of theprophetic message.
Irrespective of theirstrength and number,God’s enemies will bemowed down.
Believers should findhope in knowing God’spower and absolutesovereignty ensure He canprotect and deliver us, inspite of th...
*The bottom line is clear.*God will not let thewicked go unpunished.*But the good news is thatHe tempers His judgmentwith ...
However, let us neverpresume upon the mercyof God; we need tounderstand thatobedience in ourrelationship with God isnot op...
While this relationship isbased on grace and faithin Christ, we come to Godon His terms.
In order to have a healthy,growing relationship withGod,we must be obedient toHis Word day by day.
Aren’t you glad Godtempers His judgmentwith mercy?
James 2:1313 “For judgment iswithout mercy to the onewho hasn’t shownmercy. Mercy triumphsover judgment.”
Identify an example youhave experienced orobserved of God’sbringing forth judgmentand mercy at the sametime.
It is easy to becomediscouraged when evilappears to prosperaround us, but be assuredthat God will hold wickedpeople and na...
Nations should not bedeceived, thinking theirsins will go unpunished.
It is easy to see injusticeshappening all around us,and easy to becomediscouraged when we do.
Ask Him to give youboldness to livecourageously in the faceof evil, and compassionto warn evildoers of theirdanger.
Focal Passage:*God Judges SinfulLeaders         Nahum 3:18-19 
Nahum 3:18-1918 King of Assyria, yourshepherds slumber;your officers sleep.Your people are scatteredacross the mountainswi...
them together.19 There is no remedy foryour injury; your woundis severe.All who hear the newsabout you will clap theirhand...
for who has notexperienced yourconstant cruelty?”          Nahum 3:18-19
The Book of Nahum endswith a dirge, a sadrequiem for Assyria’sleaders.
For most of the book,Nahum reverberates withthe confusion and chaosof a battle.
*But here at the end, thebattle is over and the slowcadence of the funeralsong emerges.*The effect drives homethe utter de...
All that is left is thegraveside eulogy.
Nahum addressed theking in a taunt-likefashion:“King of Assyria, yourshepherds slumber; yourofficers sleep.”
Earlier Nahum comparedthe leaders of Assyria tolions (2:11) and locusts(3:17); but here he referredto the officers and lea...
A number of individualsare identified in the OldTestament as shepherds,and the Assyrian kingsliked to think ofthemselves a...
But the Assyrian leaderswere now asleep andslumbering, both of whichare metaphors forphysical death.
Without shepherds, theking’s people werescattered across themountains like sheepgone astray.
*The irony is that there isno one to gather themtogether again.*The great AssyrianEmpire had crumbled andfallen apart.
The people who oncedeported nations fromtheir homelands andplaced them in unknownforeign countries werenow refugees in lan...
*Assyria’s battle woundwas fatal.*There was no remedy forthe nation’s injury; it wastoo severe.
*There is no possibility ofrelief.*The wound was severe;it was incurable.*There would be norecovery. Nineveh wouldcease to...
*Notice the unusual andunexpected response tothe funeral dirgemetaphor.*Two images come tomind in contrast.
1) Pulling over to the sideof the road to allow afuneral motorcade to driveby unimpeded on its wayto the cemetery, to sitq...
2) Most everyoneremembers watching ontelevision the funeralprocession of PresidentJohn F. Kennedy.
Do you remember themournful drums beatingslowly as the caissoncarrying the casket slowlypassed by.
*Everyone was quiet,subdued, and respectful.*Even the TV newscasterswere speaking in hushedwhispers.
*The whole worldmourned the passing ofAmerica’s leader.*But that was not thescene depicted by Nahumfor the funeral of thel...
On the contrary, Nahumpredicted the intermentwould give rise to analtogether different affair.
Those who would hearthe news of thedestruction and end of theAssyrian Empire wouldnot mourn or bow in amoment of silence.
*Instead, they would claptheir hands; they wouldcelebrate!*The verb translated clapcan convey the sense ofrejoicing.
*Here the meaning iscloser to mockery.*The news that Ninevehhad fallen would be causefor gloating over themisfortune of th...
But lest we would chastisethose who would respondthis way, Nahum remindsus of the evil nature of theAssyrian Empire.
The last sentence of verse19 is an indictment of thewicked nature of Assyriaand her leaders.
By presenting the point asa question, Nahum driveshome the continuoussinfulness of Nineveh’sleaders, “Who has notexperienc...
The phrase constantcruelty can also betranslated unceasing evil.
There was no one in theancient Near East whohad not experienced thecruelty of the Assyrianleaders. No one.
*And what’s more, thecruel treatments were notisolated occurrences; theevil was continuous.*How cruel and evil werethe Ass...
*Nahum called Nineveh acity of blood (3:1), and theNinevites seemed to revelin this title.*Assyrian kings enjoyeddepicting...
Prisoners were shownimpaled with their feetand hands cut off.
In one gruesome scenethree stakes were erectedwith eight male headsskewered on each likehuman totem poles.
In another scene, twoprisoners are tied downwhile other Assyriansskin them alive.
The skins were laterstaked up on the besiegedcity’s walls for everyoneto see.
Kings sometimes wouldhang the heads of theirenemies on trees in theirgardens like Japaneselanterns.
The point is that the sinfulleaders of Assyria hadneglected theirresponsibilities and ledthe nation intowickedness.
*It is true that the peopleof Assyria were not totallyguiltless, but their leadersbore particularresponsibility.*Leaders a...
If the leaders are evil andwithout accountability,then it stands to reasonthat the nation willstruggle.
*Other nations wouldthen rejoice over God’sjudgment of Assyria.*For Judah, it meant Godhad delivered His people.
What say ye? “Believersshould pray for allnations and participate inthe governmentalprocess, contending forrighteousness i...
Biblical Truths:• Regardless of ourcircumstances, we cantrust in God’ssovereignty.
• Believers should holdtheir leaders accountableand call them to governaccording to God’s ethicaland moral truth.
• Believers need to realizethat disobedience to Godat any level will notprevail but will beexposed and severelypunished by...
In what ways do you, orwill you, pursue God’srighteousness?
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment
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01 January 6, 2012, Nahum 1-3 A Message Of Gods Judgment

  1. 1. NAHUM: A MESSAGE OF GOD’S JUDGMENT NAHUM 1-3 JANUARY 6, 2013FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI USA
  2. 2. Reference material: LifeWay Christian Resources of the SBC
  3. 3. JANUARY BIBLE STUDYGreatest Week in History:Luke’s Account of thePassion WeekJanuary 7-9, 9:15 - 11:30amCLC Dining RoomTeacher: Dr. Ivan Parke
  4. 4. Why this lesson isimportant:Many believers see Godonly in terms of theirpersonal relationship withHim; however, God is alsoconcerned about nations.
  5. 5. Therefore, just as Hejudges sinful individuals,God will judge wickednations.
  6. 6. This lesson serves as awarning thatdisobedience to God atany level will not prevailbut will be exposed andseverely punished by aholy and righteous God.
  7. 7. *God had chosen Jonahabout 150 years prior toNahum’s time to deliver amessage of "repent orperish" to the Assyrians inNineveh.*Surprisingly, they did!
  8. 8. But now, around 650 B.C.,instead of asking forrepentance, God choseNahum to take Hisfrightening message ofimpending doom toNineveh, their capital city.
  9. 9. Nahum ranks among thegreat communicators ofthe Old Testament and isconsidered the greatestpoet of the OldTestament.
  10. 10. Scholars hail his work as aliterary masterpiece thatcompares with the greatliterary works of allnations and of all times.
  11. 11. God always raises upindividuals with the giftsHe needs to accomplishHis purposes.
  12. 12. When He needed anincomparable poet withconsummate skill tocommunicate His comingjudgment against Ninevehand Assyria, He selectedand empowered Nahum.
  13. 13. Nahum’s words still ringtoday with the sureknowledge that those whooppose God will face Hisjudgment.
  14. 14. *Chapter 1 –We see that God hates eviland that Nineveh wouldexperience His wrath.
  15. 15. *Chapter 2 –Nahum’s prophesiesspeak of impending siegeand plundering (asfulfilled by theBabylonians in the not toodistant future).
  16. 16. *Chapter 3 –The plundering would bea punishment for their sinand could not be averted.
  17. 17. What can Christians learnfrom the book of Nahum?
  18. 18. Great, seeminglyinvincible nations fall:Hittites, Assyrians,Babylonians, Greeks,Romans, OttomanEmpire, British Empire,Nazi Germany, and the
  19. 19. Soviet Union, just to namea few.*We live in times ofpolitical and economicuncertainty and the USAcould easily fall just asother superpowers have.
  20. 20. Christians must remainfaithful to God regardlessof the political conditionsunder which we live(Luke 20:19-26;Rom. 13:1-7;1 Pet. 2:13-17).
  21. 21. The Sign of JonahMatthew 12:38-4138 “Then some of thescribes and Pharisees saidto Him, “Teacher, wewant to see a sign fromYou.”
  22. 22. 39 But He answered them,“An evil and adulterousgeneration demands asign, but no sign will begiven to it except the signof the prophet Jonah. 
  23. 23. 40 For as Jonah was in thebelly of the huge fishthree days and threenights, so the Son of Manwill be in the heart of theearth three days and threenights.
  24. 24.  41 The men of Ninevehwill stand up at thejudgment with thisgeneration and condemnit, because they repentedat Jonah’s proclamation;
  25. 25. and look—somethinggreater than Jonah ishere!” Matthew 12:38-41
  26. 26. Unlike Nineveh,Christians can avert finalpunishment for their sinsand be forgiven, althoughthey may suffer lasting,negative consequencesfrom their sins (e.g., social
  27. 27. diseases, unwantedpregnancy, lost jobs,weakened influence).
  28. 28. This Lesson Is About:How God judged Assyriaand its capital city,Nineveh, because of theirwickedness, rebellion, andacts of injustice.
  29. 29. *When Chuck Missler wasasked, “Why hasn’t Godjudged the UnitedStates?”*His reply was, “BecauseGod has honored Hiscovenant with Abraham”.
  30. 30. Genesis 12:33  “I will bless those whobless you, I will cursethose who treat you withcontempt, and all thepeoples on earth will beblessed through you.”
  31. 31. God has not judged theUSA yet because untilnow, we have blessedIsrael and His hand ofprotection has been on us.
  32. 32. This lesson teaches thatGod judges any nationthat departs from Hisway.
  33. 33. How This Lesson CanImpact Our Lives:This lesson will help us:1) understand God’sjudgment and2) pursue Hisrighteousness.
  34. 34. The book of Nahum isconsidered as one of the“minor prophets”.
  35. 35. In the Hebrew Bible the“minor prophet” bookswere written on one scrolland called the“Book of the Twelve.”
  36. 36. The Minor Prophets make up the last twelve books of the OldTestament:Hosea, Joel, Amos,Obadiah, Jonah, Micah,Nahum, Habakkuk,
  37. 37. Zephaniah, Haggai,Zechariah and Malachi.
  38. 38. The 12 books apparentlyacquired the nickname“Minor Prophets” becausethe written amount oftheir prophecies weresmaller than that of Isaiah,Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.
  39. 39. *In reality, there is nothing“minor” about theirprophecies and teaching.*They may be called theMinor Prophets, but theirmessages are indeed“major.”
  40. 40. These twelve prophetslived through difficultand foreboding times andoften spoke of God’sjudgment and wrath.
  41. 41. *They called for justiceand declared God’smercy.*They also spoke of thelove of God and of hope.
  42. 42. *Individuals living in theNorthern Kingdom ofIsrael and in the SouthernKingdom of Judah wrotethe books.*Some were pennedduring and after the exile.
  43. 43. *God inspired all of themfor our growth andbenefit today.
  44. 44. *Next Sunday we willstudy Habakkuk.*On January 20th we willstudy Obadiah and*On January 27th we willcover Haggai.
  45. 45. *These short propheticbooks tackle major themesthat are especiallyrelevant for the churchand the world today.*Such is the case with theBook of Nahum.
  46. 46. *Nahum contains amessage of judgmentagainst Assyria and itscapital city, Nineveh.*Assyria was asuperpower (like us) thatwas not on God’s path.
  47. 47. Focal Passages:*God Tempers Judgmentwith Mercy Nahum 1:7-9,12-13*God Judges Evil Nahum 2:8-13
  48. 48. *God Judges SinfulLeaders Nahum 3:18-19 
  49. 49. Nahum 1:7-9,12-137 “The Lord is good,a stronghold in a day ofdistress;He cares for those whotake refuge in Him.
  50. 50. 8 But He will completelydestroy Ninevehwith an overwhelmingflood,and He will chase Hisenemies into darkness.
  51. 51. 9 Whatever you plotagainst the Lord,He will bring it tocomplete destruction;oppression will not riseup a second time.
  52. 52. 12 This is what the Lordsays:Though they are strongand numerous,they will still be moweddown,and he will pass away.
  53. 53. Though I have afflictedyou, I will afflict you nolonger.13 For I will now breakoff his yoke from youand tear off yourshackles.” Nahum 1:7-13
  54. 54. Focal Passages:*God Tempers Judgmentwith Mercy Nahum 1:7-9,12-13*God Judges Evil Nahum 2:8-13
  55. 55. *God Judges SinfulLeaders Nahum 3:18-19 
  56. 56. Nahum 2:8-138 “Nineveh has been likea pool of waterfrom her first days,but they are fleeing.“Stop! Stop!” they cry,but no one turns back.
  57. 57. 9“Plunder the silver!Plunder the gold!”There is no end to thetreasure,an abundance of everyprecious thing.
  58. 58. 10 Desolation,decimation, devastation!Hearts melt,knees tremble,loins shake,every face grows pale!
  59. 59. 11 Where is the lions’lair, or the feedingground of the younglions, where the lion andlioness prowled, and thelion’s cub, with nothingto frighten them away?
  60. 60. 12 The lion mauledwhatever its cubs neededand strangled prey for itslionesses.It filled up its dens withthe kill, and its lairs withmauled prey.
  61. 61. 13 Beware, I am againstyou. This is thedeclaration of the Lordof Hosts. I will make yourchariots go up in smokeand the sword will devouryour young lions.
  62. 62. I will cut off your preyfrom the earth, and thesound of yourmessengers will never beheard again.” Nahum 2:8-13
  63. 63. Focal Passages:*God Tempers Judgmentwith Mercy Nahum 1:7-9,12-13*God Judges Evil Nahum 2:8-13
  64. 64. *God Judges SinfulLeaders Nahum 3:18-19 
  65. 65. Nahum 3:18-1918 King of Assyria, yourshepherds slumber;your officers sleep.Your people are scatteredacross the mountainswith no one to gather
  66. 66. them together.19 There is no remedy foryour injury; your woundis severe.All who hear the newsabout you will clap theirhands because of you,
  67. 67. for who has notexperienced yourconstant cruelty?” Nahum 3:18-19
  68. 68. About 150 years beforeNahum, God called Jonahto preach against Ninevehbecause the city’swickedness had“confronted” Him(Jonah 1:1-2; see 3:2-4).
  69. 69. Even in Jonah’s day, theAssyrians were notoriousfor their brutality andcruelty.
  70. 70. Miraculously, theNinevites received Jonah’smessage and respondedwith sackcloth, ashes, andfasting (Jonah 3:4-9).
  71. 71. God saw that the peopleof Nineveh “had turnedfrom their evil ways”, soHe “relented” and did notsend judgment againstthem (v. 10).
  72. 72. Unfortunately, theNinevites soon returnedto their idols, crueltreatment of other nations,and wicked ways.
  73. 73. After Jonah, Assyria roseto prominence as asuperpower in ancientMesopotamia under thepowerful leadership ofTiglath-Pileser III(745-727 B.C.).
  74. 74. After this notorious king,the great Neo-AssyrianEmpire lasted for another115 years until theBabylonians and theMedes destroyed the cityof Nineveh in 612 B.C.
  75. 75. Sometime between 630B.C. and 626 B.C., Godgave Nahum a vision ofthe utter destruction ofthe city and the empireassociated with it.
  76. 76. The message of Nahumwas that the Lord was“slow to anger,” but Hewould “not leave theguilty unpunished”(Nahum 1:3).
  77. 77. God revealed to Nahumwhat would happen toNineveh; because of theirsin, He would revisit Hisjudgment against thatgreat city.
  78. 78. The historical period ofNahum was evil bothoutside and inside ofJudah.
  79. 79. Not only did theAssyrians worship amultitude of gods, thepeople of Judah did notremain faithful to theLord either.
  80. 80. What Nahum did was tooffer hope to Judah andJerusalem that theoppression would endand God would comfortHis people.
  81. 81. The enemy, symbolizedby the city of Nineveh,would be utterly andtotally destroyed.It was!
  82. 82. Seven Lessons from theSeventh CenturyWhat can we learn fromthe seventh century B.C.?
  83. 83. *First, God’s people aresubjected to the powers ofthis world and must findways to be loyal to theLord within the context ofsubservience to others.
  84. 84. *Second, the Lord issovereign over all nationsand kings.*He uses them for Hispurposes.
  85. 85. Proverbs 21:11 “A king’s heart is likestreams of water inthe Lord’s hand:He directs it wherever Hechooses.” 
  86. 86. *Third, no place onearth is inviolable.*If Jerusalem couldfall, every city isvulnerable.
  87. 87. *Fourth, divine protectionissues out of a faithfulrelationship with God.
  88. 88. *Fifth, God utilizesprophets to confrontHis people’s sins and towarn them of judgment.
  89. 89. *Sixth, God’s word cannotbe destroyed or stopped.*His word is truth and thetruth shall come to pass.
  90. 90. *Seventh, we shouldnever give up on theLord, even when thosearound us seemingly getahead by sinning.
  91. 91. *The Lord will makethings right in His timeand in His way.
  92. 92. Focal Passage:*God Tempers Judgmentwith Mercy Nahum 1:7-9,12-13
  93. 93. Nahum 1:77 “The Lord is good,a stronghold in a day ofdistress;He cares for those whotake refuge in Him.”
  94. 94. In our focal passageNahum reminds us thatthe Lord is good.
  95. 95. This word good refers tomore than behavior; itpoints to God’swillingness to be faithfulto the covenant He madewith Israel at Sinai (Ex.19) and later with David.
  96. 96. *God would be astronghold in a day ofdistress.*He would protect thosewho take refuge in Him.
  97. 97. We need to recognize thatGod is good beyond ourcomprehension.
  98. 98. We should rejoice and bethankful that God isfaithful to the newcovenant we have withJesus Christ (Heb. 9:15).
  99. 99. Hebrews 9:1515 “Therefore, Jesus is theMediator of the newcovenant”.
  100. 100. Nahum 1:8“But He will completelydestroy Ninevehwith an overwhelmingflood,and He will chase Hisenemies into darkness.”
  101. 101. While the Lord is a goodand merciful God Wholoves His people, we needto remember that He willtake vengeance on andjudge wicked people andnations.
  102. 102. *Nahum points this outclearly; God wouldcompletely destroyNineveh.*God’s goodness does notprevent Him fromjudging wickedness.
  103. 103. *Because of His holiness,He will hold wickedpeople and nationsaccountable.*People and nations needto repent to avoid God’sjudgment.
  104. 104. *God will come like anoverwhelming flood, andHe will chase Hisenemies into darkness.*Darkness symbolizesGod’s judgment againstsin.
  105. 105. Nahum 1:9“Whatever you plotagainst the Lord,He will bring it tocomplete destruction;oppression will not riseup a second time.”
  106. 106. *Again, the point is thatGod will not allow thewicked to go unpunished.*Moreover, God isjustified in judging thosewho conspire againstHim.
  107. 107. *He will bring their plansto complete destruction.*Trouble will not arise asecond time.
  108. 108. 12 “This is what the Lordsays:Though they are strongand numerous,they will still be moweddown,and he will pass away.
  109. 109. Though I have afflictedyou, I will afflict you nolonger.13 For I will now breakoff his yoke from youand tear off yourshackles.” Nahum 1:12-13
  110. 110. The messenger formula,This is what the Lordsays (v. 12) signals theimportance of theprophetic message.
  111. 111. Irrespective of theirstrength and number,God’s enemies will bemowed down.
  112. 112. Believers should findhope in knowing God’spower and absolutesovereignty ensure He canprotect and deliver us, inspite of the wickedness inour culture.
  113. 113. *The bottom line is clear.*God will not let thewicked go unpunished.*But the good news is thatHe tempers His judgmentwith mercy.
  114. 114. However, let us neverpresume upon the mercyof God; we need tounderstand thatobedience in ourrelationship with God isnot optional.
  115. 115. While this relationship isbased on grace and faithin Christ, we come to Godon His terms.
  116. 116. In order to have a healthy,growing relationship withGod,we must be obedient toHis Word day by day.
  117. 117. Aren’t you glad Godtempers His judgmentwith mercy?
  118. 118. James 2:1313 “For judgment iswithout mercy to the onewho hasn’t shownmercy. Mercy triumphsover judgment.”
  119. 119. Identify an example youhave experienced orobserved of God’sbringing forth judgmentand mercy at the sametime.
  120. 120. It is easy to becomediscouraged when evilappears to prosperaround us, but be assuredthat God will hold wickedpeople and nationsaccountable in His time.
  121. 121. Nations should not bedeceived, thinking theirsins will go unpunished.
  122. 122. It is easy to see injusticeshappening all around us,and easy to becomediscouraged when we do.
  123. 123. Ask Him to give youboldness to livecourageously in the faceof evil, and compassionto warn evildoers of theirdanger.
  124. 124. Focal Passage:*God Judges SinfulLeaders Nahum 3:18-19 
  125. 125. Nahum 3:18-1918 King of Assyria, yourshepherds slumber;your officers sleep.Your people are scatteredacross the mountainswith no one to gather
  126. 126. them together.19 There is no remedy foryour injury; your woundis severe.All who hear the newsabout you will clap theirhands because of you,
  127. 127. for who has notexperienced yourconstant cruelty?” Nahum 3:18-19
  128. 128. The Book of Nahum endswith a dirge, a sadrequiem for Assyria’sleaders.
  129. 129. For most of the book,Nahum reverberates withthe confusion and chaosof a battle.
  130. 130. *But here at the end, thebattle is over and the slowcadence of the funeralsong emerges.*The effect drives homethe utter demise ofAssyria.
  131. 131. All that is left is thegraveside eulogy.
  132. 132. Nahum addressed theking in a taunt-likefashion:“King of Assyria, yourshepherds slumber; yourofficers sleep.”
  133. 133. Earlier Nahum comparedthe leaders of Assyria tolions (2:11) and locusts(3:17); but here he referredto the officers and leadersas shepherds.
  134. 134. A number of individualsare identified in the OldTestament as shepherds,and the Assyrian kingsliked to think ofthemselves as shepherdsas well.
  135. 135. But the Assyrian leaderswere now asleep andslumbering, both of whichare metaphors forphysical death.
  136. 136. Without shepherds, theking’s people werescattered across themountains like sheepgone astray.
  137. 137. *The irony is that there isno one to gather themtogether again.*The great AssyrianEmpire had crumbled andfallen apart.
  138. 138. The people who oncedeported nations fromtheir homelands andplaced them in unknownforeign countries werenow refugees in lands nottheir own.
  139. 139. *Assyria’s battle woundwas fatal.*There was no remedy forthe nation’s injury; it wastoo severe.
  140. 140. *There is no possibility ofrelief.*The wound was severe;it was incurable.*There would be norecovery. Nineveh wouldcease to exist.
  141. 141. *Notice the unusual andunexpected response tothe funeral dirgemetaphor.*Two images come tomind in contrast.
  142. 142. 1) Pulling over to the sideof the road to allow afuneral motorcade to driveby unimpeded on its wayto the cemetery, to sitquietly and respectfullywhile the hearse drives by.
  143. 143. 2) Most everyoneremembers watching ontelevision the funeralprocession of PresidentJohn F. Kennedy.
  144. 144. Do you remember themournful drums beatingslowly as the caissoncarrying the casket slowlypassed by.
  145. 145. *Everyone was quiet,subdued, and respectful.*Even the TV newscasterswere speaking in hushedwhispers.
  146. 146. *The whole worldmourned the passing ofAmerica’s leader.*But that was not thescene depicted by Nahumfor the funeral of theleaders of Assyria.
  147. 147. On the contrary, Nahumpredicted the intermentwould give rise to analtogether different affair.
  148. 148. Those who would hearthe news of thedestruction and end of theAssyrian Empire wouldnot mourn or bow in amoment of silence.
  149. 149. *Instead, they would claptheir hands; they wouldcelebrate!*The verb translated clapcan convey the sense ofrejoicing.
  150. 150. *Here the meaning iscloser to mockery.*The news that Ninevehhad fallen would be causefor gloating over themisfortune of the city.
  151. 151. But lest we would chastisethose who would respondthis way, Nahum remindsus of the evil nature of theAssyrian Empire.
  152. 152. The last sentence of verse19 is an indictment of thewicked nature of Assyriaand her leaders.
  153. 153. By presenting the point asa question, Nahum driveshome the continuoussinfulness of Nineveh’sleaders, “Who has notexperienced yourconstant cruelty?”
  154. 154. The phrase constantcruelty can also betranslated unceasing evil.
  155. 155. There was no one in theancient Near East whohad not experienced thecruelty of the Assyrianleaders. No one.
  156. 156. *And what’s more, thecruel treatments were notisolated occurrences; theevil was continuous.*How cruel and evil werethe Assyrian leaders?
  157. 157. *Nahum called Nineveh acity of blood (3:1), and theNinevites seemed to revelin this title.*Assyrian kings enjoyeddepicting their handiworkon reliefs in their palaces.
  158. 158. Prisoners were shownimpaled with their feetand hands cut off.
  159. 159. In one gruesome scenethree stakes were erectedwith eight male headsskewered on each likehuman totem poles.
  160. 160. In another scene, twoprisoners are tied downwhile other Assyriansskin them alive.
  161. 161. The skins were laterstaked up on the besiegedcity’s walls for everyoneto see.
  162. 162. Kings sometimes wouldhang the heads of theirenemies on trees in theirgardens like Japaneselanterns.
  163. 163. The point is that the sinfulleaders of Assyria hadneglected theirresponsibilities and ledthe nation intowickedness.
  164. 164. *It is true that the peopleof Assyria were not totallyguiltless, but their leadersbore particularresponsibility.*Leaders are to lead anation.
  165. 165. If the leaders are evil andwithout accountability,then it stands to reasonthat the nation willstruggle.
  166. 166. *Other nations wouldthen rejoice over God’sjudgment of Assyria.*For Judah, it meant Godhad delivered His people.
  167. 167. What say ye? “Believersshould pray for allnations and participate inthe governmentalprocess, contending forrighteousness in thepublic square.”
  168. 168. Biblical Truths:• Regardless of ourcircumstances, we cantrust in God’ssovereignty.
  169. 169. • Believers should holdtheir leaders accountableand call them to governaccording to God’s ethicaland moral truth.
  170. 170. • Believers need to realizethat disobedience to Godat any level will notprevail but will beexposed and severelypunished by a holy andrighteous God.
  171. 171. In what ways do you, orwill you, pursue God’srighteousness?

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