But] There will the fire devour you, the sword will cut you off. It will devour you like the locust. Here we see pictured the anger of God. This terrible, personal, thorough, irresistible anger. Individuals today are in danger of this anger. All through the scripture you see it. Flee from the wrath to come. Avoid the anger of God whose patience is outraged, whose grace is turned aside.
The twin sins that will always call forth the wrath of God are pride and impenitence. When a nation or a person walks in pride and counts himself sufficient, saying he is able to handle his own affairs and run his own life, that nation, that person is doomed.
When God shows mercy but that man or that nation remains impenitent, then comes the blazing wrath of God. What, then, is the message of Nahum to our own hearts? Well, there is an interesting application here that is both national and individual. On the national level it is a message of comfort to us today. Just as Nahum's word brought comfort to a nation that was threatened by this godless, cruel foe, we have a somewhat similar facing us.
For the interesting thing is that in the Bible the Assyrians were not only the people who were actual enemies of Israel, but they were also a type of a people yet to come who would threaten the peace of the earth and would play an important part on the stage of world history in the last days. The Assyrians in prophecy are a picture of the Soviet Union and the Communist nations, the peoples of the north.
If you want an interesting study, I suggest you compare Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39, with this prophecy of Nahum.
You notice in verse 13 of chapter 2 of Nahum God says,. And when Ezekiel opens his great prophecy against the king of the north, the Gog of the Land of Magog as he calls him, he opens with these very words:. This is the word of comfort to us that predicts God's judgment and destruction of the peoples of the north on the mountains of Israel. Now there is an individual application as well. To those who think that God is only a God of love and never of wrath, let them learn from Nahum that a God who is never angry is a God who cannot love. Did you ever think of that? God's wrath comes from his love.
It is because God loves that he is angry; because of love that wrath must blaze forth. You can prove that to yourself. What moves you to anger? Isn't it almost always when something or someone you love is threatened or injured? It may be yourself. We all love ourselves. What makes us angry? Somebody injures us and because we love ourselves, we get mad at them.
Or someone injures our child and our wrath blazes forth. And if you cannot get angry when you hear or see injury and injustice, it is proof that you are not capable of love, for the one who cannot be angry is the one who cannot love.
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If you can read stories of atrocities and oppression and the awful traffic in body-destroying and soul-destroying drugs and narcotics among young people and never be moved to burning anger, then I tell you there is something wrong with you. You are incapable of love. If God cannot smite, if he cannot destroy in vengeance, then he has no capacity for love. It is certainly true that God loves the sinner but hates his sin, as we sometimes say.
But that is only part of the story. The Bible tells us that if a man loves his sin and holds on to it at all costs, refusing the grace of God, then he becomes identified with his sin. And eventually, the wrath of God against his sin is also directed against the sinner. I remember reading of a man who was convicted of stealing, but he argued before the judge that the sentence was unjust; he said it was not he who stole, it was his arm, and so it was unfair for the judge to sentence him to the penitentiary, he could only sentence his arm.
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Actually, he thought the judge should let him off because his arm had done the stealing and not him. The judge resolved the issue by sentencing the arm to thirty years in jail saying if the man wanted to accompany it, that was up to him. We become identified with that to which we cling and this is what the Bible pictures. It is time to reassert that God has this capacity for anger, time again to warn men to flee from the wrath to come. Men have been saying that if you would only talk about a God of love, you could fill the churches.
If only you would appeal to men about a God of love, they would turn from their wickedness and be drawn to him. But the facts prove exactly the opposite. For the last thirty years or more the message of the wrath of God has been almost totally absent in Christian pulpits. People have talked about a God of love.
But that has been interpreted in the minds of men as a God of permissiveness; one who will let you do anything and get away with it. As a result, the churches are emptier than ever before and instead of turning toward God, men have defied God, refusing to believe in God and turning away from him. You cannot just preach the God of wrath without the God of love, but the wrath of God grows out of his love, is a manifestation of his love.
As Charles Spurgeon said, "He who does not believe that God will punish sin, will not believe that he will pardon it through the blood of his Son. Well, Nahum tells you that too, back in chapter 1, verse The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. No man who turns to God will ever experience his wrath. This complaint that God is a God of wrath seems to picture him as being vengeful without reason, as being determined upon the destruction of men, but it is never so.
God only destroys, only exercises his wrath when men have rejected his love. There is a way of escape and there has been all along. We need not face the wrath of God.
Book I, Cantos iii, iv & v
No one needs to. God's whole purpose has been to call men's attention to that way so that they might take it. And that way is given here: "He knows those who take refuge in him. I remember years ago when my children were small, and one of my daughters and I had a disagreement one day and I spanked her hard. I was angry and she was crying and I did not know what to do after I spanked her as she still seemed to be unrepentant. But all of a sudden she ran and threw her arms about my neck. Now what was I to do? Continue to beat her? Oh, no! I could not have lifted a finger against her because she had taken refuge with me.
God knows those who take refuge in him and for those his heart of love is always open. They will never know his wrath. That is what the scriptures say. As the Lord Jesus put it, "He who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
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Our Father, we thank you that you know them that trust in you. God grant to us the wisdom and the simple good sense to believe you and to give up an attempt to try to evade your love and your grace; to feel that somehow we can get away with it, that somehow we will escape, that somehow we will be an exception. Lord, make us to understand that the very persistence and unchangeability that guarantees we will never escape is the same persistence that prompts your grace and reminds us that he who turns to you shall never come into judgment but has passed from death into life.
We thank you in Christ's name. For permission to use this content, please review RayStedman. Subject to permissions policy, all rights reserved. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
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The LORD takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet. Bashan and Carmel wither and the blossoms of Lebanon fade. The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it.
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Who can endure his fierce anger? His wrath is poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before him. He cares for those who trust in him,. Although I have afflicted you, O Judah , I will afflict you no more. I will destroy the carved images and cast idols that are in the temple of your gods. I will prepare your grave, for you are vile. The gods have found their paragons. When half-bloods Harruq and Qurrah Tun pledged their lives to the death prophet Velixar, they sought only escape from their squalid beginnings.
Instead they become his greatest disciples, charged with leading his army of undead. Raised and trained in seclusion at a secret fortress on the edge of the northern wilds of the Kingdom of Ashai, a young warrior called Rezkin is unexpectedly thrust into the outworld when a terrible battle destroys all that he knows.
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