JESUS IN NAHUM:
Addressing Destructive Patterns
Jesus is revealed in Nahum in judgment against continued sin addressing destructive patterns.
Nahum 1:15 Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace! NIV
How can it be called good news if it’s judgment against sin? If you’re the person being held at gunpoint you’re glad to see the police show up. The same water that lifted the people in Noah’s ark to safety is the same water that drowned those who mocked God refusing to get in.
The same blood of Jesus that speaks for us when we surrender to Christ is the same blood that speaks against us if we reject him.
There are consequences to disobedience.
Nahum 1:1 A prophecy concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum.. NIV
We recently looked at Nineveh in the book of Jonah as they repented of their terrible ways. Now Nahum is back on the scene of Nineveh some 150 years later. Let’s hear how it’s going for them after turning to God!
Nahum 3:1-3 Woe to the city of blood, full of lies, full of plunder, never without victims! …Many casualties, piles of dead, bodies without number, people stumbling over the corpses— NIV
Nineveh fell back into their old ways after the days of Jonah. The focal point of the entire book is the Lord's judgment on Nineveh for her oppression, cruelty, idolatry and wickedness. The book ends with the destruction of the city.
Nahum 1:7-8 The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him, 8 but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh... NIV
Shortly after Nahum’s prophecy, Nineveh fell in 612 BC.
We are all destined to repeat the history of our lives unless we reform the history of our minds.
You did not get into your problems alone? It took others to get you into that mess you are in. Then it only makes sense that it’s going to take others to get you out!
One of the central features of your design from God is your belly button serving as a constant reminder that you came into this world connected to somebody. This is God’s plan for how you are to live your life.
To break a cycle you build a circle.
It is the ability to choose that separates mankind from all other creative order. Birds fly south in the winter. Cows eat grass.
We suffer from being relationally impoverished when fears and insecurities inhibit our intimacy with others – hindering God’s design for community in our lives.
Community is rooted in very nature of God – Father Son & Spirit – 1 God Doctrine of Trinity reveals God is a community of love, communication, affection & respect.
God made us in his image & likeness to be in loving community with him & with each other.
For you to grow in your relationship w Christ you simply must be in loving, authentic, accountable, community w God’s people.
7 times in Gen 1 God says it is good. Of course it’s good. It’s paradise! Even in the perfectly structured atmosphere of paradise it is still not good for man to be alone.
GP4RL: Connect with God and connect with others more intentionally this week devoting yourself to a greater pursuit of community home, church and work.
THE MESSAGE BIBLE introduction to Nahum
The stage of history is large. Larger-than-life figures appear on this stage from time to time, swaggering about, brandishing weapons and money, terrorizing and bullying. These figures are not, as they suppose themselves to be, at the center of the stage—not, in fact, anywhere near the center. But they make a lot of noise and are able to call attention to themselves. They often manage to get a significant number of people watching and even admiring: big nations, huge armies, important people. At any given moment a few superpower nations and their rulers dominate the daily news. Every century a few of these names are left carved on its park benches, marking rather futile, and in retrospect pitiable, attempts at immortality.
The danger is that the noise of these pretenders to power will distract us from what is going on quietly at the center of the stage in the person and action of God. God’s characteristic way of working is in quietness and through prayer. “I speak,” says poet George Meredith, “of the unremarked forces that split the heart and make the pavement toss—forces concealed in quiet people and plants.” If we are conditioned to respond to noise and size, we will miss God’s word and action.
From time to time, God assigns someone to pay attention to one or another of these persons or nations or movements just long enough to get the rest of us to quit paying so much attention to them and get back to the main action: God! Nahum drew that assignment in the seventh century B.C. Assyria had the whole world terrorized. At the time that Nahum delivered his prophecy, Assyria (and its capital, Nineveh) appeared invincible. A world free of Assyrian domination was unimaginable. Nahum’s task was to make it imaginable—to free God’s people from Assyrian paralysis, free them to believe in and pray to a sovereign God. Nahum’s preaching, his Spirit-born metaphors, his God-shaped syntax, knocked Assyria off her high horse and cleared the field of Nineveh-distraction so that Israel could see that despite her world reputation, Assyria didn’t amount to much. Israel could now attend to what was really going on.
Because Nahum has a single message—doom to Nineveh/Assyria—it is easy to misunderstand the prophet as simply a Nineveh-hater. But Nahum writes and preaches out of the large context in which Israel’s sins are denounced as vigorously as those of any of her enemies. The effect of Nahum is not to foment religious hate against the enemy but to say, “Don’t admire or be intimidated by this enemy. They are going to be judged by the very same standards applied to us.” (Introduction to Nahum - The Message)
- What are some consequences your children receive if they disobey?
- What are some consequences you have encountered as a result of disobedience in your own life?
- How can you begin now to break a bad habit and form a good one?
- Pastor Lawrence spoke about how we must learn to build a circle if we are to break a cycle. Who will you connect with on this journey of choice and change?
- What does community mean to you?
- What will you do to purpose more intentional connections with others this week?