The book of Nahum is not a popular Old Testament and the author is not one of the Major Prophets because the book is very short in length—only three (3) chapters. However, there is a powerful message that can build our confidence in the character and power of God. Nahum predicts and describes Nineveh’s fall. Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, a powerful empire during ancient times. The Assyrians were cruel and ruthless enemies of God’s people. But Nahum said:
“The Lord is slow to get angry, but his power is great, and he never lets the guilty go unpunished. He displays his power in the whirlwind and the storm. The billowing clouds are the dust beneath his feet.” -Nahum 1:3
Few people can stare into the face of such raw power as that of the Assyrian empire and come away unimpressed. Nahum did so only because he had seen a far greater power—the power of a God whose wrath could shatter rocks. If God was angry, how could Nineveh stand? Nahum’s absolute confidence in God is underlined throughout his book. Nahum sounds unintimidated, almost lordly. He spoke with confidence because he knew God’s character.1
Like Nahum, there’s a sense of boldness and unintimidating confidence when you know a far greater power—the power of a God that spoke the Universe into existence, which we marvel at to this day. Yet, this same powerful God is a loving Father who delights in caring for us and obligates Himself to protect and provide for His people…those who trust and obey Him as their Lord and Savior.
Those who are confident in God’s power and love are not intimidated by others who parade themselves as equal in power to the only living and true God of the Universe. So, like Nahum, we can speak with confidence because we know God’s character.
Too often we fret over the guilty—those who take advantage of others—exploitation, extortion, and oppression. Too often we give up and retreat disheartened by the pain caused when the guilty go free. Too often we compromise our values and succumb to the influence of those guilty of promoting immorality, hatred and injustice. Too often we are guilty of being entertained by the slanderous remarks about those trying to enhance the quality of life for the poor and disadvantaged. Too often we are guilty of joining forces with those who devise plans to set themselves up as the great powers that be—do not fret over the guilty, neither be afraid. Trust in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Remember, the LORD is slow to anger and great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished. Therefore, make sure you’re not among the “guilty.”
More important, if you find yourself among the guilty, there’s a way out. Jesus Christ. He died on the Cross among the “guilty” although He was innocent. He was crucified with the guilty so that everyone could be declared “not guilty” although we all deserve the penalty of sin. Yet, God’s love is so incomprehensible that He made it as easy as ABC for us…. Admit/Acknowledge your guilt (I am a sinner). Believe in your heart that His Son, Jesus Christ died for our sin, and that He rose from the dead. Confess (declare) with thanksgiving by faith He is your Savior and Lord by asking Him to come into heart, take control of your life and change you from the inside out. It’s that simple to start your journey to learn more about God and become confident in His character just as Nahum. As a result, you won’t have to fret over the guilty.
1NIV Student Bible Journal