From Lynda Lindsey
O king of Assyria, your shepherds slumber; your nobles lie down to rest. Your people are scattered on the mountains with no one to gather them. Nothing can heal your wound; your injury is fatal. Everyone who hears the news about you claps his hands at your fall, for who has not felt your endless cruelty?
The Lord is slow to anger and great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. ... 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 make an end of Nineveh; He will pursue His foes into darkness. Nahum 1:3(a); 7-8
The king of Nineveh to his people regarding Jonah’s prophecy: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish. ... He (God) had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction He had threatened. Jonah 3:8-9; 10(b)
God, through the prophet Nahum, delivered a resounding judgment on the evil, wicked country of Assyria. Nineveh, the capital, was condemned as a city of blood, compared to a wanton, lusting harlot whoring against the poor, preying on the helpless, committing unspeakable atrocities in war to gain more and more plundered riches. A generation or so before this, God’s final judgement, the people of Nineveh had repented under the prophet Jonah’s preaching. But the country had turned back to its cruel, sinful practices. God, His patience at an end, decreed that Assyria’s wound was fatal.
God, slow to anger and abounding in love, is also just. Wickedness, evil, corruption, cruelty, may seem to go unnoticed, but omniscient God sees, hears, and knows. Though the rulers of our earth may devise ungodly, unholy, unspeakable evil, God will allow no one to thwart Him forever; His judgement will come to wrongdoers. God, our God, is a jealous and avenging God who is King over all, whether people or nations acknowledge Him or not; and sovereign kings have sole authority to do with their subjects and kingdoms as they wish.
God’s vengeance, never a welcome topic of discussion, is especially difficult in today’s “I’m ok you’re ok lets all just accept one another as we are” society. The question is often asked, “Why would I want to follow a destroying, vengeful, judgmental God?” A better question to ask is, “Why would I want to follow a God who allows evil, sinful and wicked people and nations to flourish forever?” The Lord is good. He is a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him. But His patience will not last forever before He pursues His enemies into darkness. Sobering thought.