Nahum 1-3 He will repay with affliction those who afflict you

From Nahum 1-3

Nineveh once repented, but they have lapsed into wrongdoing after 100 years. We don’t know whether another prophet like Jonah was sent, perhaps there was. But they did not repent. This time they will be punished. The LORD does not hold back his wrath.

This post is part of my bible in a year series.

Passage and Comments

14 The Lord has given commandment about you:

“No more shall your name be perpetuated;

from the house of your gods I will cut off

the carved image and the metal image.

I will make your grave, for you are vile.”

15 Behold, upon the mountains, the feet of him

who brings good news,

who publishes peace!

Keep your feasts, O Judah;

fulfill your vows,

for never again shall the worthless pass through you;

he is utterly cut off. (Na 1.14-15)

It seems strange that the destruction of Nineveh is good news for Judah. From the end of verse 15 it says ‘never again will the worthless pass through you’. This is probably Nineveh. We can surmise that Nineveh in some manner persecuted Judah and this is part of the reason why they are being punished and why it is good news for Judah.

Story of Israel

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

This is what will happen to the enemies of the people of God, those who afflict them. It doesn’t always happen straight away. But the LORD remembers and he is faithful to his promises to bless those who bless his people, and curse those who curse them (Gen 12.3).

Story of Jesus

Jesus himself was persecuted. He was opposed and put to death on a cross. But on the third day God raised him to life appearing for many to see. Before he ascended he gave his followers the message about him to proclaim and they did. But like Judah during the time of Nineveh and later Jesus, they too were afflicted by their enemies.

Like what we have seen with Nineveh, Paul predicts the future punishment of those who afflict Christ’s people as well.

4 Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring. 5 This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— 6 since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. (2 Thes 1.4-10)

It is perhaps good to know that there is a time when Jesus will come again in judgment. He will bring everyone to justice ‘so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil’ (2 Cor 5.10)

Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights Reserved.