08/04/15 A Jealous and Avenging God

READING: Nahum 1-3

TEXTS AND APPLICATION: Yesterday’s reading challenged us to consider who God is — He is much different than the false idols of the ancient world. Today’s reading, the short book of Nahum that announces coming judgment on Nineveh, likewise reminds us who God is. It’s a picture of God we seldom discuss and perhaps don’t like: 

Nahum 1:2-3  The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is fierce in wrath. The Lord takes vengeance against His foes; He is furious with His enemies. The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will never leave the guilty unpunished.

God is obviously a God of love (1 John 4:8). He loved us so much that He sent Jesus to die for us (John 3:16). He really is “slow to anger,” patiently and graciously calling us from our sin and back to Him. I’m sure all of us can talk about times when God was incredibly gracious with us. 

On the other hand, God does have a line in the sand. He had granted grace to Nineveh over a century earlier under the preaching of Jonah, but not this time. 

Yes, God’s loving, but He’s also fierce in His wrath. Yes, He’s gracious, but He also takes vengeance on His enemies. God may choose to hold back His anger for a time, but He is a jealous God; He does not share His glory with anyone, and He certainly does not tolerate idolators. The wicked may seem to prosper now, but He will not allow the guilty to escape His punishment. 

I suspect that we North American believers do not suffer from fearing God too much; if anything, we fear Him too little. We bank on His patience and ignore His judgment. Nahum’s short book should awaken us to the foolishness of this tendency. 

PRAYER: “God, forgive me when I do not fear You enough. Forgive me, Lord, for taking Your patience for granted. Remind me that You require me to love you supremely, to reject all other false gods, and to take refuge in You.”    


TOMORROW’S READING: 2 Kings 22-23; 2 Chronicles 34-35




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