Nahum was a prophet who was also sent to Nineveh, the city that repented when Jonah finally obeyed God and preached to them, warning them about coming destruction.
The Ninevites listened to Jonah and did the very thing God asked. Yet, in Jonah, we find that he is disappointed in God's decision to spare them.
Nineveh is called "the bloody city" in Nahum 3:1 because large numbers of people that had been conquered were massacred there.
And God spared them?! That's correct.
He kept their city from being obliterated when they repented under the preaching of Jonah. But then Nahum comes along more than 100 years later with the same message.
By this time they had returned to their idolatry and cruelty to an even greater extent. They were now in a battle against God. (Nahum 2:13a)
The time for their repentance was over. They would now receive the judgment they deserved.
At the beginning of the book of Nahum we read the words,
"The burden of Nineveh, the book of the vision of Nahum." (Nahum 1:1)
In this prophet, Nahum, we see a much different attitude. This "minor" prophet had a burden. It was his job to let this evil city know that their period of grace was about to come to an end.
The books of Nahum and Jonah end in a question.
In Jonah, we are left wondering about Jonah's fate, yet we know Nineveh has been saved.
In Nahum, the prophet remains fervent in his burden and vision while it is declared to Nineveh that there is "no healing" available for them.
Nahum 3:19 There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?
At this end, we know that Nineveh is no longer repentant but rejects the warning. The description of their destruction is given and occurs in exact detail in 612 BC. Notice the comparison of these 2 prophets.
Jonah - warned the people out of obligation yet desired to see them destroyed.
Nahum - carried a burden for the wicked people of Nineveh.
Even though Nahum knew that they were going to be destroyed, he still preached his message. He never gave up. If perhaps there was one or two individuals that he was able to save, would it have been worth it? Yes! Even though the city as a whole ignored the warning, what if God saw a faithful few that were still holding onto hope? If God sent us to a place that seemed hopeless, where our voice was ignored, would we continue with a burden and vision?
Notice more comparisons between the burdens of Jonah and Nahum.
Jonah had pity... for a plant! (Jonah 4:6-11)
Nahum had passion... for a wicked city. He was a committed preacher
Jonah flees. Nahum fights.
Think of these 2 men and their attitudes towards their calling. Think of their message. Think of their character. Which one represents you? Or are you a little bit of both?
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