There is a book of the Bible called Nahum! Just near Micah and Habakkuk and Zephaniah. There is a prophet called Nahum – one of the Minor Prophets – he wrote a small book – a judgement decree against the great nation of Assyria – and especially against her great capital city, the seat of power – Nineveh. If we know much at all about the Bible we already know about Nineveh – the wonderful children’s story of Jonah and the Whale (I have never understood why we think it’s such a great children’s story?).
The destruction Nahum foretells was so comprehensive that nothing was left of this city that had existed in one form or another for 4500 years. Attacked in August 612BC, it was left as a pile of ruins and a heap of debris. One day a massive powerful empire – the next… crushed and in just a few short years Assyria no longer existed. Nineveh itself was a fortress city with 3 walls – the outer one was 10 storeys high and 20 meters thick. 3 chariots could drive around the top of the wall, side by side. The defensive towers were 20 storeys high. There was a 50 metre wide moat… the city was 17 kms in circumference. We know of the opulence of Egypt and maybe Babylon – Nineveh surpassed all other ancient cities in size and magnificence. [P] Obliterated! So complete was God’s wrath against Nineveh that it was only in the 19th century archaeologists finally found the site of Nineveh. Sledgehammer of God “1” … Nineveh the cockroach … “0”.
Do we care? Nahum tells us what happens when God acts according to his good and perfect character to judge and punish his enemies. This is how God responds to evil… not retaliation, not simple anger, but God’s character leads him to intervene in history to deal with evil. He will not allow evil to continue unchecked – the examples in the Bible where God deals with evil are signposts to the time when God will obliterate all evil permanently, decisively, completely.
Sermons © Rev David V Cole 2011 – please contact author for any use other than personal use.