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Assyria’s Turn. The Book of Nahum. Review of Last Week. King Hezekiah – the Reformer, the Mediator King Manasseh – the “apprentice” king Ruled for 55 years Feared Assyria’s power Made Judah a vassal state again Blended religions in Judah Repented, tried to reform things but the
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Assyria’s Turn The Book of Nahum
Review of Last Week • King Hezekiah – the Reformer, the Mediator • King Manasseh – the “apprentice” king • Ruled for 55 years • Feared Assyria’s power • Made Judah a vassal state again • Blended religions in Judah • Repented, tried to reform things but the • people ignored his actions and policies.
King Amon • Ignored his Dad’s reform attempts • Encouraged pagan practices • Reigned for only 2 years –assassinated. • King Josiah • One of the best kings of Judah • Purged the cities of idols • Sent men to repair the Temple with • money collected from the people. • Book of the Law was found & read to the • king. Josiah repented & inquired of God. • Gathered the people, read the Law, • celebrated the Passover. • How did Josiah die?
The Book of Nahum: A Different Focus • The book of Nahum is different from the other prophetic books that we’ve studied so far. Rather than Israel or Judah being the focus of the prophet’s words of warning and judgment, it is Assyria who is being addressed. • Assyria is being called to account for their savagery and their increasing evil. Human sacrifice, skinning captives alive, dashing babies against rocks—Assyria had become drunk with power.
The Book of Nahum: Poetry With a Punch • As you read the prophet Nahum notice how he packs vivid images into short phrases. Through him, God will paint a fearsome picture of the Babylonian army that is poised to destroy Nineveh (the capital of Assyria). • Nineveh (and Assyria) fell to the Babylonians in 612 B.C. The city was so completely destroyed that it has never been inhabited since. Within a few centuries it was covered by sand and remained a lost city until archaeologists discovered it in 1845.
The Book of Nahum: Vengeance is Mine • Nahum was a prophet of doom for Assyria but a prophet of comfort to the people of Judah. Through Nahum, God is reminding all nations that He is in control and that evil will not win in the end. • The word “vengeance” occurs frequently in the Bible. When we use this word (or “revenge”) we speak in terms of “getting even.” “Vengeance,” when it refers to God has a different meaning. It is a legal term that means “righting wrongs.” • God doesn’t “get even” with people…why? • God corrects the wrongs of a sinful people!
The Book of Nahum: How It Organized • Nahum, chapter 1 is a description of God. • Note all the different references to the Lord. • As you read this chapter, ask yourself how all this • talk of God might comfort Judah. • Nahum, chapters 2 & 3 are songs against Assyria. • As you read these chapters, note the main images • and themes of the Lord’s message against Assyria.
Nahum 1: God is in Control How does Nahum describe God in verses 2-6 and 8? God is slow to anger and great in power. He doesn’t leave the guilty unpunished but seeks vengeance on them. How does Nahum describe God in verse 7? God is a refuge in time of trouble to all who trust him. What images does Nahum use to describe God in vs. 3 – 6? What can we conclude about God from this? Images of a whirlwind & a storm, a wind drying up the seas and rivers, fire and earthquake. God is in control & rights the wrongs of this world.
Nahum 1: God is in Control What can Judah look forward to? Nahum 1:12 – 13: Freedom when Assyria is destroyed. Nahum 1:15: Peace, faithful worship, & freedom from invasion. What do Nahum 1:5, Isaiah 52:7 and Romans 10:15 share? In Romans 10:15 whom does this image describe? They all use the same image of the feet of those that bring good news. In Romans 10, Paul uses this image to identify the preachers of the gospel.
Nahum 2: Destruction from the Babylonians In what way was water a tool of judgment against Assyria? Nahum predicted that a flood would overwhelm Nineveh and would cause the place to collapse. According to historians, the Babylonians dammed up the river outside the walls and later released the water to cause a flood that destroyed the wall protecting the city. What image did Nahum use to describe Assyria’s past power? Lions. (verses 11 – 12) Because God was against Assyria, what would happen (v. 13)? God would destroy the “young lions.”
Nahum 3: Assyria’s Sins How does the writer describe the scene of an Assyrian conquest? (verses 1 – 3) Assyrian armies roared through the cities with horses & chariots, splattering blood & leaving piles of corpses. How were Nineveh’s fortresses like ripe figs? (verse 12) Nineveh’s fortresses would fall as easily as ripe fruit falls from a tree.
Nahum 3: Assyria’s Sins How were the cities’ leaders like grasshoppers or locusts? (verses 15 - 17) The Assyrians were stripping the wealth from nations they conquered. Then they would also suddenly disappear like locusts, and no one would know where they went. How would the rest of the world respond to the news of Nineveh’s destruction? (verse 19) With great joy.