In our study of Nahum chapter two, we will see what happens when a nation turns from trusting in God to trusting in themselves. This prophecy was fulfilled in the historical Battle of Nineveh in 612 BC when Babylonians and Medes came against the city. There are lessons in here for us (as Christians) as well as for the nation of Israel.
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An attacker advances against you, Nineveh. Guard the fortress, watch the road, brace yourselves, marshal all your strength!
In chapter 1, God mostly spoke to the people of Judah to reassure them that He was going to handle the Assyrians. Now, He is speaking directly to the people of Nineveh to proclaim judgment on them. God is almost mocking them as He tells them to trust in their own strength (which they have already been doing).
The Lord will restore the splendor of Jacob like the splendor of Israel, though destroyers have laid them waste and have ruined their vines.
God had used the Assyrians to correct the people of Judah but now it was time for God to deal with them. In dealing with them, He would restore His people. Many times, God will use people that we may not expect (those that do not know Jesus) to bring correction upon His children but, even so, He will not forsake us.
The shields of his soldiers are red, the warriors are clad in scarlet. The metal on the chariots flashes on the day they are made ready; the spears of pine are brandished.
The people of Nineveh had placed great trust in their military power. They loved the color red and had armored chariots to scare the people they came against.
The chariots storm through the streets, rushing back and forth through the squares. They look like flaming torches; they dart about like lightning. He summons his picked troops, yet they stumble on their way. They dash to the city wall; the protective shield is put in place.
We see how the people of Nineveh trust in their military as they rush to defend the city against God. The scene is now set for God to display His power in the face of the most feared army of the day. It is much the same today as many nations threaten the country of Israel but it will be a great opportunity for God to show that He takes care of His people.
The river gates are thrown open and the palace collapses.
In the Battle of Nineveh, the Tigris River reached flood stage and actually took out a section of the wall and caused the collapse of the palace. This can serve to remind us that God is in control of all things and He can even make the rivers do His will.
It is decreed that the city be exiled and carried away. Its slave girls moan like doves and beat upon their breasts. Nineveh is like a pool, and its water is draining away. 'Stop! Stop!' they cry, but no one turns back.
"Huzzab" means "fixed" and here we see that this "fixed" city has been removed by the hand of God. Its people mourned as they were taken captive.
Plunder the silver! Plunder the gold! The supply is endless, the wealth from all its treasures! She is pillaged, plundered, stripped! Hearts melt, knees give way, bodies tremble, every face grows pale.
The Assyrian military machine had plundered much of the world around them and so the city of Nineveh was rich. All of this treasure was captured and taken at the time of its fall. The people must have watched in horror as they were dealt with in the same manner that their army had treated their neighbors.
Where now is the lions' den, the place where they fed their young, where the lion and lioness went, and the cubs, with nothing to fear? The lion killed enough for his cubs and strangled the prey for his mate, filling his lairs with the kill and his dens with the prey.
A lion feels secure in its den as nothing would dare to enter it and the same was true of the city of Nineveh. That city is now gone and the prophet asks them where their city is now.
'I am against you,' declares the Lord Almighty. 'I will burn up your chariots in smoke, and the sword will devour your young lions. I will leave you no prey on the earth. The voices of your messengers will no longer be heard.'
God declares that it is He that is bringing the armies against Nineveh. It is the Lord that is judging the city and its inhabitants.