Title: Mercy and Justice
The prophet Nahum is telling of the destruction of Nineveh and fall of Assyria. It is “The description of the divine justice, and its judicial manifestation on earth.” (Keil and Delitzsch 9)1 God had spared them almost 100 years earlier because of their repentance upon hearing the message from Jonah. Sadly, Nineveh quickly fell back into their sin and wickedness. God, who had been “slow to anger,” is going to punish Nineveh. “The forbearance of God had been extended to Nineveh a century earlier in response to her repentance (Jonah 3:10); But it was forfeited by her subsequent history of ruthless evil making way for God’s judgment instead.” (Gaebelein 462)2
1. “The Lord is slow to anger and great in power.” That is not to say that “His long-suffering is not from a want of power.”(Fausset 612)3
2. God’s slowness to anger is “an emanation from His love and mercy.”(Keil and Delitzsch 9)4
3. God’s desire is that no one should perish, but all come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) “He [God] is long-suffering and patient… because of His desire that people repent. This was exhibited in His sending Jonah to Nineveh, about 100 years before Nahum prophesied.” (Walvoord and Zuck 1497)5
4. “And the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.” God is Holy. And being holy He can not leave sin unpunished. As can be seen in Psalms 96:13 God will judge the earth.
5. “In the whirlwind and storm is His way,” The Lord is powerful and majestic. “The power and majesty of God are evidenced most dramatically in the forces of nature.”(Gaebelein 462)6 it is incredible to realize that “for all their grandeur, however, these mighty forces are dwarfed in the presence of the Lord, whom the highest heavens can not contain.” (Gaebelein 462)7
6. “And clouds are the dust beneath His feet.” This is another reference to the power, and majesty of God. Isaiah 66:1 talks about the earth being the foot stool to God’s feet. One commentator says “the tempest is but the disturbance caused as he marches by, and the dark storm clouds are stirred by his feet.” (Gaebelein 462)8
Big Idea: God judges the wicked.
God’s mercy and justice are important to understand. They go hand in hand. He can not be a loving God without the mercy. On the other hand, He would not be a Holy God without being just. God desires that all come to repentance. He is reaching out to you right offering salvation. However, if you do not accept the salvation He offers, and keep on sinning…you are His enemy and you will be judged for you sin.
1 Keil and Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on The Old Testament Vol. 2, p. 9-10.
2 Frank E. Gaebelein, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Vol. 7, p. 462.
3 A.R. Fausset, A Commentary Critical, Experimental, and Practical on the Old Testament Vol. 2, p.612.
4 Keil and Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on The Old Testament Vol. 2, p. 9-10.
5 Walvoord and Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 1497.
6 Frank E. Gaebelein, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Vol. 7, p. 462.
7 Frank E. Gaebelein, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Vol. 7, p. 462.
8 Frank E. Gaebelein, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Vol. 7, p. 462.