In our study, we look at God's justice being poured out on the city of Nineveh and the Assyrians. Although this prophecy has already been fulfilled, there are still lessons in it for us today. We will see how the United States of today is in danger of the same type of judgment that was carried out on the Assyrian empire.
In the book of Jonah, we saw that the prophet presented the Word of God to the city of Nineveh and the entire city repented and turned to God. The sad fact is that it did not last long and so we see what happens to a people that turn their backs on God.
"An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite." NIV translation
We remember that the word oracle actually means "burden" and "judgment" and so we know that this book is going to be a judgment from God on the city of Nineveh. We are introduced to the prophet but there is actually little that is known about him. He was evidently born in the northern kingdom of Israel but moved to Judah at an early age where he evidently lived in the city of Elkosh. The prophet's name actually means "comforter" and that might seem strange but we must understand that he was sent to give this message of judgment not to the Assyrians but to the people of Judah. They were afraid of the Assyrians because of their reputation for brutality and oppression. So, Nahum brings comfort in the fact that God is going to deal with the Assyrians, therefore there is no need to fear.
"The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies." NIV translation
The prophet begins by reminding the people of Judah about the nature of God and the fact that He is a jealous God. The way to make an enemy out of God is to put anything before or above Him and that is exactly what the Assyrians had done. For too long, we have only heard about the fact that God loves us and have forgotten that, with that love, comes jealousy. That jealousy is the fact that God desires a people that is devoted exclusively to Him. Just as a man/woman would not like their boyfriend/girlfriend to date other men/women, God does not want a people that "plays the field" of belief. We either trust in Jesus or trust in something else. Those who trust in something else will surely face the coming wrath of God.