When someone begins to study the Bible, inevitably there will come a time when that person begins to get a sense of who God is. We hear so much about who God is from others, it is refreshing to put those preconceived notions out of our minds, and come to the Scriptures as a clean slate. Each book of the Bible has some significant overall point it is trying to teach, and each of those lessons teach us about who God is. For example when we read Genesis, we are learning that our God is a powerful creator and covenant-maker. To guide our thoughts today, let us consider what the book of Nahum has to say about the nature of God.
Nahum was a prophet who's book is all about judgment. But this judgment is not upon a sinful Israel as so many of his contemporaries, but it is upon a foreign empire called Assyria. The Assyrians are used by God through providence to punish a sinful Israel, but they have not repented of their great wickedness and sin. Another prophet from an earlier time called Jonah was sent to them before and their entire capital city repented of their sins and thus were spared from God’s wrath. Now though, their time of reckoning was upon them. Throughout this book, God introduces Himself in a very clear way. He did not come as a loving, forgiving, patient God, but a vengeful and just God.
Notice how God describes Himself through the prophet Nahum: “Jealous” (1:2), “Avenger” (1:2), “Furious” (1:2), “Slow to anger” (1:3), “Great in creative and destructive power” (1:3), “Good” (1:7), “Knows those that trust in Him” (1:7), “Against the unrighteous and sinful” (2:13; 3:5). By the end of these three short chapters, the readers would clearly be able to identify that God was opposed to their lifestyle and choices, and needed to be respected.
This is a similar thought to the recurring theme of the book of Proverbs: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). For any nation, or any individual, to truly make wise decisions, it needs to be based on the reverent fear of the Almighty. God is waiting to introduce Himself to you in His book.