The Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.
About 150 years after the time of Jonah (see March 21), Nahum prophesied about the fall of Nineveh. This city was the capital of what was now the vast Assyrian Empire.
With the great river system that connects the Mediterranean region to the Indian Ocean, Nineveh had access to enormous wealth. In trade and business, the Assyrians accumulated gold, silver, and copper from all over their empire.
But the Assyrians also exploited the people they ruled. The Bible tells of how Assyria pillaged ten of the tribes of Israel and took them away as slaves, leaving the two tribes of Judah and Simeon as its vassals. This injury to God’s people was never undone.
Though Jonah had preached God’s grace to Nineveh and the people had repented back then, the Assyrians had grown proud and corrupt as they expanded their empire. Nahum preached that Nineveh would fall, and in the end Assyria reaped what it had sown. A bitter civil war saw Nineveh sacked by its former subjects.
Through Nahum, God told his people that they needed to trust in him rather than the ways of the world. The storms of war brought low the greatest empire at that time, and the guilty did not go unpunished. God alone “is good, a refuge in times of trouble.”
Lord, your power overwhelms us. Keep us away from sin, and turn our hearts continually to you. Let us find refuge in you always. Amen.