Behold, I am against you, declares the LORD of hosts, and I will burn your chariots in smoke, and the sword shall devour your young lions. I will cut off your prey from the earth, and the voice of your messengers shall no longer be heard.
Grace in Christ Jesus means that God is for me (Romans 8:31). It is a good thing to be forgiven in Christ, especially when I read a passage like this one where God is setting judgment against a people who have rejected Him. In the case of the prophet Nahum, it is the pagan city of Ninevah. This is the same city that had repented under the barely perceptible ministry of the reluctant Jonah. But now they have hardened against God as a society. And God is preparing to judge them in unique and sovereign ways.
God is against Ninevah. He would burn up their war chariots. This was the battle technology that had given them the edge all though out the ancient middle east. But this was not going to be the case any more. God was destroying their military power. He went after their symbols. The lion was a motif the Assyrians used in battle and in national monuments. But their "young lions" (warriors) were about to be devoured by the avenging justice of a holy God. They would prey on other nations no more.
God was also going to cut off the Assyrian communication network. With it they managed a far-flung empire. But no longer would the messengers bring reports to Ninevah. The Assyrian empire would go the way of the dust of ruin. They would torment Israel no more. And it was because God was for Israel, even as He judged a people that had rejected Him in Ninevah.
These are terrible words to read..."I am against you". And when scripture shows us this side of God, we should learn and respect His mercy in Christ even more!
- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13