Nahum 1:1–6 (NKJV)
1 The burden against Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
Nahum is given an assignment by the Lord to write an oracle against Ninevah, the capitol of the Assyrian Empire. This is the same Ninevah to which Jonah was sent to bring a message of repentance and salvation. Now, God is sending Nahum to speak judgment over Ninevah.
2 God is jealous, and the Lord avenges;
The Lord avenges and is furious.
The Lord will take vengeance on His adversaries,
And He reserves wrath for His enemies;
3 The Lord is slow to anger and great in power,
And will not at all acquit the wicked.
The Lord has His way
In the whirlwind and in the storm,
And the clouds are the dust of His feet.
4 He rebukes the sea and makes it dry,
And dries up all the rivers.
Bashan and Carmel wither,
And the flower of Lebanon wilts.
5 The mountains quake before Him,
The hills melt,
And the earth heaves at His presence,
Yes, the world and all who dwell in it.
6 Who can stand before His indignation?
And who can endure the fierceness of His anger?
His fury is poured out like fire,
And the rocks are thrown down by Him.
In this poetic written prophecy, Nahum describes the Lord’s care and defense of His people, describing His vengeance as furious and sure. God is speaking of His revenge on a nation that has oppressed, attacked, and defeated His people. Nahum then goes on to describe the powerful images of the Presence of God in action. Nahum shows the Lord as the Master over nature and the Earth. He walks through tornadoes and hurricanes. When He walks, His steps produce clouds. He can dry up the seas and rivers, vegetation withers, and the mountains shake and melt. No one can stand against His march to vengeance. Never find yourself on the wrong side of God’s wrath. He is an awesome force of judgment!