Nahum 1:6 has two questions, which are Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? and it describes how God’s fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.
Malachi 3:2 asks the same questions in the context of who can stand before God when he appears, and it goes on to tell us that he is a refiner’s fire. The indignation of the Lord is on sin and not the sinner and all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23) and unless the sanctifying Holy Spirit is poured into us as a purifying (refining) fire, we cannot stand before the Holy God.
God’s fury is poured out like fire, implying that it is a consuming fire which will devour all those who are wicked. The Assyrians were a wicked and proud nation and God was not willing to be stand still when Judah (God’s people) was oppressed, for he is a jealous God (Hebrew 12:29; Deuteronomy 9:3; Deuteronomy 4:24). Prophet Nahum brings the word of the Lord that Nineveh (Assyria’s capital) will burn as fire devours the bars (of the gates) (Nahum 3:13) just as God’s fury was poured out, as fire, upon the two wicked cities, Sodom and Gommorah, that were wicked and evil (Genesis 19:24). The rocks are thrown down by God is also transliterated as the rocks rent asunder which is what happened when God passed by the mountain on which his prophet servant Elijah was asked to stand (1 Kings 19:11). At the presence of the Lord, mountains are rent asunder and his word is like a hammer that breaks forth the rocks (Jeremiah 23:29).
Points to ponder:
As God passes by our mountainous issues and problems of life, they simply are broken and rent asunder. When his word comes to us like a hammer, anything that is hard against us is broken down as rocks hit by a hammer. When we believe in Jesus Christ, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of God, who purifies and refines us. Who can stand before God’s indignation? Who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? No one unless they have been sanctified by the Holy Spirit refining fire of God and made upright by believing in Jesus Christ. Can you stand before God?
Nahum 1:6 (KJV)
6 Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.