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A Word Picture: God's Good Judgment Revealed

Nahum  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  39:52
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Scripture Reading
Opening Prayer
Introduction
Exposition One (1:15)
Nahum 1:15 ESV
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.
One scholar rephrases the verse like this:
The Books of Nahum, Habakkuk and Zephaniah Introduction: The Announcement of Accomplished Judgment Means Joyful News for Judah (2:1 [Eng. 1:15])

Look! Take note! The messenger who brings the word of salvation and deliverance has appeared! See him on the ridge of the nearby mountains? He has run a long distance bringing the glad tidings!

So basically, here is the situation. A messanger has appeared on the mountains and his message is clear.
Salvation has come, the good news is that salvation from the oppressor has arrived.
There is a focus specifically on “the feet” of the messanger
Haste at which the messenger arrives
He has come to “publish peace”
Shalome
Good health and the fulness of blessing in the wholeness of life
The command here is clear. keep you feasts = celebrate your festivals
Celebration is in order at the news that Assyria has fallen
Is it right to celebrate?
The Books of Nahum, Habakkuk and Zephaniah Introduction: The Announcement of Accomplished Judgment Means Joyful News for Judah (2:1 [Eng. 1:15])

I built a pillar over against his city-gate, and I flayed all the chief men who had revolted, and I covered the pillar with their skins; some I walled up within the pillar, and some upon the pillar on stakes I impaled, and others I fixed to stakes round about the pillar; many within the border of my own land I flayed, and I spread their skins upon the walls; and I cut off the limbs of the high officers, of the high royal officers who had rebelled. (lines 89ff.)

Many captives from among them I burned with fire, and many I captured alive. From some I cut off their hands and their fingers, and from others I cut off their noses and their ears … and the eyes of many men I put out. I made one heap of the living, and another of the heads, and I bound their heads to vines round about the city. Their young men and maidens I burned in the fire.

So is it right? Yes, it is right to celebrate God’s deliverance through judgment of those who inflict evil and oppression on others
Is it right? Yes, it is right to celebrate deliverance from slavery…deliverance from evil…deliverance from sin...deliverance from death
Nahum is quoting Isaiah here who is also quoted by the Apostle Paul in Romans 10:14-15
Romans 10:14–15 ESV
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
The Apostle openly connects the deliverance given here to the deliverance given through Christ. This by extension connects the judgment poured out on Nineveh to the judgment poured out on Jesus at the Cross
Notice that Paul emphasizes the messenger

I. God is the only source of deliverance which He provides through judgment. (1:15)

Notice in our verse here that God’s deliverance is final
never again shall the worthless pass through you, he is utterly cut off”
Notice that the call is to celebrate and proclaim the deliverance granted by God
The Books of Nahum, Habakkuk and Zephaniah Introduction: The Announcement of Accomplished Judgment Means Joyful News for Judah (2:1 [Eng. 1:15])

So this message of Nahum is a glorious one! Deliverance shall come from the oppressor of God’s people by the sovereign intervention of God, even though the sin of God’s people had brought them into their calamitous state. How glorious will be that coming deliverance.

Exposition Two (2:1-7)
Nahum 2:1–2 ESV
1 The scatterer has come up against you. Man the ramparts; watch the road; dress for battle; collect all your strength. 2 For the Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob as the majesty of Israel, for plunderers have plundered them and ruined their branches.
The coming seige is announced
The scatterer - Could refer to God Himself but in the context seems to refer more directly to an opposing ruler who matches or out matched the ferocity of the Assyrian ruler.
This scatterer is but a tool in the hand of the Almighty
Four imperitives
“Man (or guard)” “watch” “dress” “collect”
These challenge the Ninevites to try and withstand the coming onslaught
(3) Contrast between “majesty of Israel” and Judah is not between northern and southern kingdoms but rather between the united kingdom at its height vs the condition now
This restoration is only made complete in Christ
Nahum 2:3–4 ESV
3 The shield of his mighty men is red; his soldiers are clothed in scarlet. The chariots come with flashing metal on the day he musters them; the cypress spears are brandished. 4 The chariots race madly through the streets; they rush to and fro through the squares; they gleam like torches; they dart like lightning.
In these verses we see that instruments of God’s good judgment approaching the city
Illustration - Movie scene where the massive army comes over the hillside in rows. Organized and ready to attack.
This scene shows the unstoppable might of the army God uses to bring about His good judgment
Nahum 2:5 ESV
5 He remembers his officers; they stumble as they go, they hasten to the wall; the siege tower is set up.
He- is the king of Assyria
The resistance of the defense is pointless. They have no chance to prevent the coming onslaught
Just as the Assyrians has no chance of escape, none shall escape the coming judgment by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Nahum 2:6 ESV
6 The river gates are opened; the palace melts away;
Ancient Greek historian - Diodorus Siculus - Recorded rains that caused catastrophic flooding that destroyed two miles of the city wall
The palace “melts” was figurative for its total destruction that was to follow.
Nahum 2:7 ESV
7 its mistress is stripped; she is carried off, her slave girls lamenting, moaning like doves and beating their breasts.
“the mistress” is referring to the city itself
Assyria made the policy of deportation a thing
Now they will be deported themselves.

II. God’s judgement of the wicket is complete, inescapable, and final (1-7)

Respond by fleeing sin
Respond by recognizing the wickedness of sin
Respond by seeking to mortify our flesh
Exposition Three (2:8-10)
Nahum 2:8 ESV
8 Nineveh is like a pool whose waters run away. “Halt! Halt!” they cry, but none turns back.
Like a toilet
Nahum 2:9 ESV
9 Plunder the silver, plunder the gold! There is no end of the treasure or of the wealth of all precious things.
Nahum 2:10 ESV
10 Desolate! Desolation and ruin! Hearts melt and knees tremble; anguish is in all loins; all faces grow pale!

III. There is no legacy left after God’s judgment (8-10)

Exposition Four (2:11-13)
Nahum 2:11 ESV
11 Where is the lions’ den, the feeding place of the young lions, where the lion and lioness went, where his cubs were, with none to disturb?
Nahum 2:12 ESV
12 The lion tore enough for his cubs and strangled prey for his lionesses; he filled his caves with prey and his dens with torn flesh.
Nahum 2:13 ESV
13 Behold, I am against you, declares the Lord of hosts, and I will burn your chariots in smoke, and the sword shall devour your young lions. I will cut off your prey from the earth, and the voice of your messengers shall no longer be heard.

IV. God may use instruments for His judgment but God is the Judge

Be Humbled
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