HASTA LA VISTA, BABY!

I never had Spanish in school, but I'm hoping that the translation means something like, "So Long!" Plus, I'm hoping that Hasta La Vista is Spanish. I actually did have a few weeks of Spanish in the eighth grade. One of the students' mother though she would teach us a new language. The school agreed that we Thornfield boys and girls could use some culturing. So, she would come in and teach us an hour a week. After about three weeks she realized there was no hope for us and she quit.

Anyhow, today we will take a glimpse into the Book of Nahum. I do mean "glimpse" because that's about all their is to it. You have heard of places that if you blink while driving through you miss the place? Well, that's Nahum.

"The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies." (Nahum 1:1-2)

If you get the feeling that this is not going to be a book filled with uplifting Bible verses, you are correct. The book is concerned with only one thing, and that is the denouncing of the city Nineveh. Yes, the city that had turned to God in the Book of Jonah. The actual destruction does not happen until after this book is written. The city was destroyed in 612 B.C.E.. It is my understanding that it was destroyed by flooding.

The prophet speaks of the battle of Nineveh using graphic language. Nahum seems very eager to gloat. The Assyrians, (Nineveh was the capital of Assyria) oppressed Israel and Judah mightily. In the book the Lord declares "I am against you" on repeated occasions. The idea here is, God will punish any nation that has exploited his people and treated them cruelly. Israel's enemies are God's enemies, and God is more powerful than the mightiest empire.

Of course, when we look back on these books dealing with the prophets can we not conclude that God allowed these other peoples and empires to oppress Israel and Judah? Clearly, the prophet, here and in most cases, is not blaming the Lord for any of this. If any thing these prophets remind us, prophets such as Nahum, all empires are subject to God's reign. God is Lord of all. No matter how powerful the empire the reign of that empire seems limited.

Well, that's about all their is for this study today. There is plenty more to come on Monday as we take a look at Habakkuk. Join me then. -Pastor Rick


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