Judgment Belongs to the Lord: Nahum, Part 1

George Marshall - 6/11/2023


Call to worship: Isaiah 52:1-10

Text: Nahum 1:1-15


Nahum receives a vision from God. God arrives in glorious mastery of his creation, jealous, avenging, wrathful, and ready to judge those who would stand against him, to steal his glory. Yet, the master of all, the one who can pursue his enemies into darkness, is a stronghold for those who take refuge in him. Nahum is a master artist, a deft poet. His subject will one day bring the full weight of his wrath on those who oppose him, but in an act anticipating this final judgment, God utters destruction for Assyria and comfort to Judah - at least, a Judah that takes its refuge in the Lord of the day of trouble. It's great news for some, but devastating news for all those standing in opposition to a holy and just God.

Sermon Outline:

  1. Opening credits (1:1)
  2. The main feature (1:2-8)
  3. The previews (1:9-15)


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Nahum 1:1-15. How is poetry different from "normal" language? What makes something poetic? If you were to write a poem describing God's character and presence, what might you include? What images would you use to give comfort? What images would you use to warn about the danger a holy God presents? Who is this book written to?
  2. Read Exodus 34:6-7, Micah 7:18-20, Jonah 4:2. How does Nahum's presentation of God's character relate to the message he has to give? What is similar, and what is different, in these other presentations of God's character? How is God's wrath related to his justice? What do you make of God being described as "avenging" (multiple times!)? What is his vengeance a response to?
  3. In vv. 1:2-8, who does Nahum present as God's adversary? Who or what is God prepared to defend or protect? As the passage moves into the "previews", who is identified as the adversary? Who is God committed to protect or defend? Is this good news for Israel?
  4. What should be the take-away from this passage for us as Christians? What warning should we read? What hope is offered? What do we learn about God's character and activity? How should Nahum 1 affect our mission as individuals? As a church?
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