The Book of Nahum: Evil Empires and Innocent Blood

Author: Naomi Zylstra — Host: Dylan KraayenbrinkPosted on: February 12, 2024

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The Book of Nahum: Evil Empires and Innocent Blood

READ: NAHUM 1:1-7; 2:1-10; 3:1-4, 18-19; ACTS 17:24-31

Sometimes I see all the bad in the world and I start to feel hopeless. With things like war and cancer in the world, does God even care? Well, the short book of Nahum in the Bible is a collection of poems that shows how God does address evil and does care about the bad things happening in the world. In it, the prophet Nahum tells about the coming downfall of one of Israel’s enemy nations: Assyria.

The Assyrians captured and ransacked Israel in 721 B.C. Eventually, the nation of Babylon would topple the Assyrians, including their capital city of Nineveh. The imagery of the fall of Nineveh in the book of Nahum is vivid and gruesome. The book talks about the city being cut down with the sword and people stumbling over the corpses. God’s righteous judgement is coming down because the city and empire itself was built on the blood of the innocent.

The book then contrasts the evil empire, and the judgment they will face, with the mercy God will show to His faithful remnant in Israel. Nahum 1:6 talks about how God’s wrath is pouring out like fire against the evil nation, and in Nahum 1:7, the very next verse, it talks about how God is a refuge to His faithful people who have humbled themselves before God.

For the prophet Nahum, the fall of the Assyrians alludes to how God will someday bring justice to all evil empires of the world. We are familiar with evil and oppression in today’s world—we see it all the time. The book of Nahum shows that God does not ignore this evil; He grieves it. And He promises to bring judgement and restoration to the whole world one day. We have already seen this restoration in part through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but we also look forward to the day Jesus will return to earth, and our loving God will destroy all injustice and restore creation under His perfectly just reign. • Naomi Zylstra

• Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the evil and suffering in the world? You can bring these feelings to Jesus in prayer anytime, and you can ask Him to show you how you can participate in the good work of His perfectly just kingdom here and now. (Isaiah 1:17; Micah 6:8; Mark 12:29-31)

• Have you seen a piece of restoration and justice that previews the restoration to come? What was it like? If not, you can ask Jesus to help you catch glimpses of the good work He is doing anytime.

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. Nahum 1:7 (NIV)