Nahum 1:5 – The fiery God


The latter part of Nahum 1:5 reads “and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.” The direct reference to the earth burning at the presence of the Lord is the reference to mount Sinai which was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly (Exodus 19:18).

Additionally, we can see in other parts of the scripture, that where God is, there is fire. God was present in the burning bush (Exodus 3:2). God was present in the pillar of fire (Exodus 14:19; Numbers 9:14-15), giving light in the darkness (Isaiah 9:2; Matthew 4:16), and guiding his people by going in front of them (Numbers 9:17-23, Deuteronomy 9:3). The Bible teaches us that the Lord is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29). He is a consuming fire in the context of his passionate jealousy that burns against those who follow after false and other gods (Deuteronomy 4:24). The LORD’s fire fell and consumed the acceptable sacrifice of his servant Elijah on mount Carmel, to show to all, that the LORD God was the living God (1 Kings 18:38). And when all the people saw this, they fell on their faces and proclaimed that the LORD God is God (1 Kings 18:39). Ezekiel in his vision see the fire infolding himself before God’s voice is heard (Ezekiel 1:4). The Son of God was seen in the midst of the fire when Shadrach, Mesach and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace (Daniel3:25). John the Baptist said that Jesus will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11) and on the day of the Pentacost, before the Holy Spirit came in to dwell in the disciples, there was seen on the disciples cloven tongues like as of fire (Acts 2:3-4). The two men on the road to Emmaus felt the presence of God as a sensation of “burning hearts” within themselves (Luke 24:32).

The earth burned (Exodus 19:18) and the Bible teaches us that it will burn again in the day of the Lord when he comes like a thief (2 Peter 3:10) to steal those who believe in him from the clutches of the evil one and this world where he has dominion (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Points to ponder:
Where God is, there is fire. When we believe in Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit of God to indwell in us, he sanctifies us by purifying us by the blood of Jesus. As fire consumes the dross from the silver, refining it, God the Holy Spirit burns up any unrighteousness (Psalm 66:10; Proverbs 17:3) as He is the the agent of our sanctification. The Lord is a passionate and purifying fire. Before the world burns and all its elements are laid bare (2 Peter 3:10), let us believe in Jesus, the fiery God, so that we can have the fiery presence of the Holy Spirit in our life to purify and perfect us. The earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein and we shall be burned as well, unless we have the burning Holy Spirit within our heart for God is a fiery God! Do you have the fire of God in you?

Nahum 1:5 (KJV)
The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.

2 Peter 3:10 (KJV)
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Matthew 3:11 (KJV)
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

Nahum 1:2 – The Jealous God


Nahum 1:2 reads God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth, and is furious; the Lord will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.”

Here prophet Nahum describes God as a jealous God and as one who takes revenge on his adversaries/enemies.

One one hand, jealousy is a vice when it is driven by covetousness and lust, while on the other, it is a virtue when it is driven by compassion and love. God’s jealousy is a godly (virtuous) jealousy (2 Corinthians 11:2), driven by compassion and love.

The two main contexts in the scripture, in which God is described as a jealous God are:
first, in the exclusivity of worship, and
second, in the defense of his people.

First and foremost, God commanded that we must not bow down to, nor serve any idols (Exodus 20:5), for he is a jealous God. We must not worship any other gods, for God is jealous (Exodus 34:14), and his name is Jealous (Exodus 34:14). He is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24) and his jealousy burns as fire (Psalm 79:5) consuming idolators and adulterers who go after things which are not God (be it our family, finance (work) or fun (pleasures)) (Deuteronomy 32:21) .

In the book of Nahum, the context of God’s jealousy stems from his compassion for his people (Joel 2:18), because the Assyrians had continually afflicted Judah, his people. As a jealous God, God is zealous to defend the people he loves against those who threaten and oppress them.

While God reserves his love for his people and friends, he reserves his wrath for their enemies, who are in turn God’s enemies. We know this because when Saul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus, Jesus did not ask him “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting the Christians?” but instead asked “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:4)

Points to ponder:
While god reserves his wrath for his enemies, he reserves his love for his friends, and Jesus called his disciples, not servants, but friends (John 15:15). Jesus said, greater love has no man than this, that he lays down his life for his friends and Jesus demonstrated such love that while we were still sinners (and enemies of God, deserving his wrath), he died for us.

God wants our exclusive allegiance to him for he commanded that we should worship no other gods for he is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14). God does not want us to be belong to someone else. He is jealous, not of you and me, but for you and me. Infact his name is Jealous and he is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14). He loves us and is compassionate toward you and me and will defend us against those who threaten and oppress us. God is jealous for and jealous over you and me.

Nahum 1:2 (KJV)
2 God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth, and is furious; the Lord will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.

Nahum (Overview)


Who was Nahum?
The Biblical book of Nahum was recorded by the prophet Nahum, whom the book refers to as an Elkoshite (1:1).

Where was Nahum from?
No one is certain as to the whereabouts of Elkosh. One theory suggests that this city, where Nahum was from, during the times of Jesus, came to be known as Capernaum, alongside the sea of Galilee for Capernaum means the village of Nahum.

When was the book of Nahum written?
It is a hypothesis that the book of Nahum was written sometime between 663 B.C. and 612 B.C. for Nahum refers to the fall of No Amon (or Thebes) in ancient Egypt (3:8) which happened in 663 B.C. while at the same time predicted the fall of Nineveh (Capital city of Assyria), which happened in 612 B.C., when the Babylonians overthrew Assyria.

Why was the book of Nahum written?
In 722 B.C., the Assyrians had taken the Northern kingdom of Israel captive and were pursuing to take over the land of Judah during the reign of king Hezekiah (701 B.C.). Once when the Assyrians had attempted to take Judah captive, God intervened miraculously and 185 thousand Assyrians in their camp were defeated by the angel of the Lord (Isaiah 37:36) and the evil king of Assyria, Sennacherib, returned to Nineveh. Now Assyria continued to pursue and oppress Judah. Not only did they afflict Judah, the Assyrians afflicted several other nations  and countries, as the book ends with the question as to “over whom has not the wickedness of the Assyrians passed over continually?” (3:19; Isaiah 37:18).

One one hand, while the book of Nahum may seem like it was written as a warning to the evil Assyrian kingdom, this book is more of a message of comfort of the Lord to the people of Judah. Jonah, the prophet had already brought the message of warning to the people of Nineveh, which they heeded and repented, a little over a century before Nahum. But the people of Assyria had returned to their violent, idolatrous, and evil ways and were oppressors of the people of God, when Nahum sees the vision of their utter destruction, a message that would bring comfort and solace to those who were being oppressed (such as Judah).  Nahum means “comfort (of Yahweh)” or “compassion” and the main theme in this book is that God is compassionate (slow to anger – 1:3) who will not afflict his people anymore for their own sins (1:12) by subjecting them longer under the hands of the oppressors (Assyria), but God will be the comfort of his people, as he takes revenge on those who have oppressed them (1:2).

What can we learn from it?
Chapter 1 portrays a JEALOUS God, while
chapter 2 and 3 portrays a JUDGING and JUST God.

There are a few key verses in this book and two of note are “Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.” (Nahum 1:15) and “For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.” (Nahum 1:13).

The first (Nahum 1:15) is a messianic prophecy that was fulfilled in Jesus, who brought good news to the earth, for the angels sang at his birth, “Peace on earth and goodwill to all men.” (Luke 2:14) and his feet walked the way to calvary’s mountain, who by his death on the Cross published a peace (Luke 1:17) that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7), completely destroying the wicked one (the devil) and utterly cutting him off i.e., destroying the devil and his works (1 John 3;8). Jesus brings freedom to all those who are spiritually in bondage in sin, by breaking the yoke from them and bursting their bonds in sunder. The Holy Spirit of Jesus is the comfort of God who is now sent unto us, when we believe in Jesus (John 14;16).

Points to ponder:
Do you have peace, that only Jesus can bring? Are you in comfort i.e., do you have the Comforter in you? Trust in the Lord and believe in Jesus Christ so that you may be comforted by his Holy Spirit and have the peace that passeth all understanding.

Nahum 1:13, 15 (KJV)
13 For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.

15 Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.