Judgment Belongs to the Lord: Nahum, Part 3

George Marshall - 6/25/2023


Call to worship: Revelation 15:1-4

Text: Nahum 3:1-19


Nahum continues to share God's oracle concerning Nineveh and Assyria's fate. Beginning with a woe concerning the bloody city, God puts judgment in perspective, focusing on the victims of Assyria's policies. Following are three taunts that reflect on Assyria's claims to power. Though strong, Nineveh will fare no better than its victims. Though sure of its military dominance, it will find no refuge in the day that the tables turn. Despite its long reach, its presence and impact will evaporate. And in the end, no one remains to mourn Assyria's downfall. All her victims rejoice to be free of her. So will God do to every empire that sets itself up against God's glorious and just reign.

Sermon Outline:

  1. Woe - God versus city (3:1-7)
  2. Taunt - God versus empire (3:8-17)
  3. Dirge - God versus king (3:18-19)


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Nahum 3:1-19. What other city or cities are described in Scripture in ways similar to Nahum's in 3:1-7? How are these cities related to Nineveh, to God's conflict with sin/evil, to the "grand narrative" of Scripture? How is this message of woe intended to comfort Judah? How should it (should it?) comfort us as believers? How do you react to the prospect of judgment having a "public" element, an element of shame, and not just guilt judged? What difference is there between retributive justice and restorative justice? What kind of judgment does God engage in here?
  2. How is Thebes a good example of how God will respond to Nineveh/Assyria's military ambition (3:8-12)? How is the example of Thebes an encouragement for Jerusalem and Judah? How might this be read by Nahum's contemporaries? How might it have been read differently during Judah's exile? After her exile and return to the land? What encouragement should it offer to believers? What would Nineveh's drunkenness indicate (since literal drunkenness is unlikely)?
  3. What element of irony is present in Assyria's military preparedness (3:12-15)? Does the description of Assyria's military/strategic weakness reflect Assyria in Judah's present? In Judah's future? If this oracle is about Nineveh, but written to Judah, what is the takeaway for Judah from this taunt? What are some New Testament passages that speak to the topics of readiness, preparation, discipline, watching, waiting, guarding, protecting?
  4. What area of imperial confidence is God targeting in 3:12-17? What does this say about Assyria's ability to sustain itself as a nation/empire? In what should Judah place its trust? In what should we trust? How does this impact our lives as disciples? As those "on mission"?
  5. Review 3:18-19. What personal and possessive pronoun stands out? Why does Nahum target the king in these verses? How is the king related to the evil of Assyria? What message is found here for the actual audience (Judah, Jerusalem) of this final message?
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