The next is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Earlier than quoting in print, please examine the corresponding audio for accuracy.
Nicholas Reid: God is gracious and compassionate. And each time we see God not performing in response to our requirements towards wickedness, towards evil, the reply just isn’t God just isn’t doing something. It’s at all times an expression constantly within the Bible when God is ready to carry destruction, it’s at all times an expression of his compassion, however there are limits to that. God does finally make all issues proper and I believe we’re seeing that being fleshed out within the e book of Nahum.
Nancy Guthrie: Welcome to “Help me Teach the Bible.” I’m Nancy Guthrie. “Help me Teach the Bible” is a manufacturing of The Gospel Coalition sponsored by Crossway, a not-for-profit writer of the ESV Bible, Christian books and tracks. Be taught extra at crossway.org. It’s my pleasure at the moment to be sitting within the workplace of Dr. Nicholas Reid. Dr. Reid serves as affiliate professor of Previous Testomony and historical Close to Japanese research at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando. Dr. Reid, thanks a lot for being prepared to assist us educate the Bible.
Reid: My pleasure. Thanks a lot for the invitation.
Guthrie: I knew that we had been gonna speak concerning the e book of Nahum as I got here to Orlando, and I jokingly informed a number of of my associates, I’m undecided if I’ve even learn the e book of Nahum. So I’m going to should stand up to hurry on it. And so it was nice after I obtained right here on Wednesday I obtained to chapel and also you had been talking in chapel on the e book of Nahum, so it was a pleasure to listen to you really educate on it earlier than we discuss easy methods to educate on it.
Reid: Yeah, I used to be making an attempt to be environment friendly in my work, however I believe it’s additionally, I like alternatives to attempt to assist individuals perceive that the entire Bible is theirs and the way they will relate to it as Christians.
Guthrie: The opposite factor I liked about that was that as you taught the e book of Nahum, it’s this brief little e book. I believe it’s a e book that maybe we’d wish to keep away from as a result of I don’t know, you’ve most likely performed the chances of, however the proportion of it about judgment, these aren’t typically our favourite books to show. However as you taught it the opposite day, I noticed the fantastic thing about God, the fantastic thing about Jesus Christ and what he’s completed. And it moved you too.
Reid: Yeah, it did. I believe a e book that’s written by a man whose identify means comforter, we wouldn’t anticipate it being a lot about judgment. And I believe a number of instances after we come to passages like this within the Previous Testomony, we skip over them as a result of we don’t perceive them. We learn them shortly as a result of we’re dedicated to our Bible studying plan.
Guthrie: I gotta examine off Nahum off on this. No, I didn’t perceive a phrase about it, however I can examine it off.
Reid: And we form of simply, , faux prefer it didn’t occur, proper? It’s very wealthy although. And it really I believe addresses many, many questions that we’re wrestling with as Christians but in addition our tradition as effectively. I imply, what’s God doing about injustice? What’s God doing about wickedness? What’s God doing about evil? And books like this when dealt with correctly, I believe could be actually, actually insightful and inspiring for the Christian.
Guthrie: Completely, and I’ve seen that now that I’ve gotten slightly bit initiated into the e book of Nahum. Why don’t we begin this fashion, Dr. Reid? The e book begins, “An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh.” So immediately we’ve a number of questions that come up. To begin with, what’s an oracle? It’s attention-grabbing that it’s regarding Nineveh and if we take into consideration the place have we heard of Nineveh earlier than, most of us are seemingly going to consider Jonah, the e book of the imaginative and prescient of Nahum, of Elkosh.
Loads of the prophets start with speaking about who was king in both Israel or Judah on the time of the prophecy. And it doesn’t inform us that, however we find out about all prophets. We’ve obtained to determine who had been they speaking to and was this prophecy extra for Israel or for Judah? And at what level by way of exile did this prophet prophesy. So assist us with the way you would possibly, in case you had been instructing by means of the e book of Nahum, possibly not writing about it in a commentary like I do know you’re doing, however somewhat instructing an grownup Sunday faculty class. It looks as if you’d spend possibly slightly little bit of time simply on verse one.
Reid:Completely. I believe the very first thing I might wanna do is be certain individuals perceive what Nineveh is. It’s proper that you simply join it with the e book of Jonah. And after we take into consideration Jonah, we regularly consider…you’ll hear these sermons and so they’re superb, however it’s how to not be a missionary or what to not do. And it’s actually extra about us and our relationship to the misplaced. However the e book itself is concentrated on one thing rather more profound.
Jonah’s lack of compassion highlights all of the extra God’s compassion, and it actually ends on that word. And so by seeing somebody who so reluctantly brings a message that ends in forgiveness or not destruction to a individuals, it highlights all of the extra the character of God and the goodness of God. What we all know from Exodus 34 God is gracious, however we additionally know that he doesn’t depart the responsible unpunished. And this actually ties in then to the e book of Nahum. That is the opposite facet. God is gracious and compassionate. And each time we see God not performing in response to our requirements towards wickedness, towards evil, the reply just isn’t God just isn’t doing something. It’s at all times an expression constantly within the Bible, when God is ready to carry destruction, it’s at all times an expression of his compassion. However there are limits to that.
God does finally make all issues proper. And I believe we’re seeing that being fleshed out within the e book of Nahum. It’s a e book concerning the Ninevites. The Ninevites are in fact, it’s one of many key cities in Assyria. So pondering in Northern Mesopotamia, Mesopotamia is the Greek phrase for land between the rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates. And Nineveh is near Mosul in Iraq. So proper round there, and there are two key excavation websites which were unearthed there. One they’ve not been capable of do a lot work at it due to an Islamic shrine that’s there. The opposite key web site is Kuyunjik and it’s there that we really, the British and others discovered about 30,000 cuneiform tablets and fragments, and the place we even have the well-known Ashurbanipal’s library.
Guthrie: You misplaced me there. What are you speaking about?
Reid: Ashurbanipal was a king of… an Assyrian king and so they discovered the place he had collected literary texts, divination texts, oracles, all of those kind of issues for his private so-called library. As he would go and conquer locations like Babylon, he would take their literature, he would take their assets and produce them dwelling and retailer them. And he would even put like a stamp on it that would come with a declare about him being king of the universe and stuff like this. So this materials was really discovered within the British Museum. And I believe that’s one factor I need to do with my college students and after I’m instructing the e book is assist individuals see, hey, this can be a actual place. This isn’t some kind of e book that’s telling you about one thing the place that you must go discover a headline involving some kind of bizarre occasion in our present historical past. We have to return and have a look at the assets, excavation reviews. And I do know not everybody can try this, however a trainer can actually carry that in in a number of moments and actually put some life into this e book.
One other factor that’s attention-grabbing too is Thebes is talked about in Chapter Three verse 8. There’s really a aid of the Assyrians destroying Thebes within the British Museum. And so when individuals start to see this although, they will kind of begin to wrap their minds round what sort of individuals had been the Assyrians. And in case you spend a lot time their artwork, you’ll start to grasp the reliefs. These are the issues that they might put of their palaces. So in case you consider your self as a captive, proper, you’ve been taken by the Assyrians and also you’re being walked into, paraded into this stunning, big palace. And there you’ll see all of their victories on the wall. There’s really been discovered, the one which’s coping with Thebes.
One other one is when.. the siege of Lachish. That’s a Judah city, southern city that’s talked about within the Bible. After we examine their artwork or we have a look at their artwork, one factor that they actually have a good time is violence. Flaying individuals alive, tearing individuals’s limbs off, all types of torture for these individuals who have been captive. Some individuals had been simply relocated, different individuals had been killed on the spot. Others had been taken earlier than the king and killed as effectively.
Guthrie: So assist us with the timeline right here. We’ve learn Jonah and we learn in there that folks repented. However we do additionally know that the day goes to return when the Ninevites, Assyria goes to return and take Israel off into exile or actually goes to beat them. And so then we come to Nahum and he’s… it’s a imaginative and prescient regarding Ninveh. So assist us with the timeline.
Reid: So normally Jonah is dated round, let’s simply say eight hundred B.C. The autumn of the northern kingdom Samaria, town really fell in 722 B.C. That is written to people who find themselves residing in exile and likewise those that are on the point of exile for the southern kingdom at 587, 586 is when Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians although. And we date this e book roughly between 663 and 612 for key causes. When Thebes is talked about as destroyed, we all know that occasion happened in Chapter Three verse 8, we all know that occasion happened in 663 and so when it says, “Are you better than Thebes that sat by the Nile” she was already destroyed on the time this e book was written. And but it predicts that Nineveh will fall. Nineveh falls to the Babylonians and the Medes in 612 B.C.
Guthrie: If I’m following you then we examine Jonah going to Nineveh, preaching to Nineveh, it’s about 80 years later. It’s a subsequent technology of Ninevites, Assyrians who are available in and defeat Israel. After which we’re possibly one other 80 to 100 years later now when Nahum is prophesying.
Reid: It may very well be 80 to 100 years with the autumn of the northern kingdom to 722 B.C. After which sure, we’ve about one other couple of generations earlier than this e book is being written.
Guthrie: So one massive query I had as I learn by means of Nahum was I used to be questioning who’s he prophesying to? And one purpose I ponder that as a result of I consider most books of prophecy that he’s chatting with the king of Israel or to the king of Judah and to the individuals of Israel and the individuals of Judah. But it surely virtually looks as if as you learn Nahum that he’s speaking to the Ninevites. Did prophets prophesy to the broader world and is that what Nahum is doing right here?
Reid: I believe sure and no. I believe he’s doing that, however I believe it’s also written for the individuals of God. And so whereas it’s a lot of it’s addressed on to the Ninevites, the message is essential for individuals residing in exile, trying round at their world and going, asking just like the psalmist, “why do the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer?” As a result of even within the northern kingdom, we all know that there would have been absolutely devoted remnant, those that weren’t bowing the knee to Baal, those that weren’t committing idolatry and different sins towards the Lord. And they’d have gone to exile too. And they’d have been wrestling by means of that as they tried to make new lives and so they’d seen their households uprooted, their households destroyed, their houses destroyed. They might have been looking on the panorama on this very highly effective, very good actually individuals is, they’re of their tradition and of their nation. They might have regarded round and questioned, “What’s going on God?” And so I believe that whereas it’s addressed to the Ninevites, I do assume it’s extra basically concerning the individuals of God.
Guthrie: We’re meant to overhear what he’s saying to the Ninevites and perceive that he’s promising them judgment. And it’s meant to carry consolation, as you stated, to our hearts.
Reid: Completely. And I believe that this is among the issues the place we need to watch out as we give it some thought, studying it as Christians, proper? This isn’t clearly directed instantly at us. We’re not the speedy meant viewers, and but it has implications. It teaches us a lot about who God is. I believe when individuals have a look at the world round them at the moment, you may at all times discover each time one thing unhealthy occurs, there’s some preacher who will get up and says one thing massively unhelpful about it’s because they did this or they did that. And that’s what I actually wanna encourage college students to get away from after they’re trying on the prophets is don’t have a look at it like we’re making an attempt to make use of this as a grid to grasp the world round us in these kind of methods,.
Every time God’s doing these distinctive acts of judgment, he at all times attaches a message to it that very clearly states what he’s as much as. I’m doing this since you did this. There’s at all times a message to it. You by no means discover that message connected to it when these individuals make these claims concerning the wickedness, the struggling on this planet. So the applying just isn’t discovered there. The appliance is discovered within the higher eschatological truths that take care of God’s character and take care of God’s kingdom.
Guthrie: So talking of God’s character, let’s dive into Nahum and positively Nahum 1. I discovered it actually attention-grabbing as I learn it, what number of sentences on this first group of verses have the little phrase, “The Lord is.” We’ve obtained, “The Lord is a jealous and avenging God.” “The Lord is avenging and wrathful.” “The Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies.” After which one other facet of him right here slightly bit or one other side of it, “The Lord is slow to anger and great in power.” “The Lord will by no means clear the guilty” and we will proceed occurring. “He rebukes the sea.” “The mountains quake before him.”
So it’s starting with an image of who God is. After which we get to verse 7 and right here’s this wonderful assertion within the midst of listening to all about this judgment, which many individuals and together with many trendy individuals at the moment would say a superb God wouldn’t do a few of these issues. However we get to this assertion in verse 7, “The Lord is good.” That’s the place you turned emotional as you preached this on Wednesday, to see within the midst of all of this, to see his goodness. So why do you assume Nahum begins his e book this fashion with all of those statements about who the Lord is in himself?
Reid: Sure, it’s written and it’s chatting with the Ninevites. Sure, it’s for an meant viewers that’s speedy and sure, it’s related for us, however it’s about God. And that’s the reason it takes this, the Lord is that this, and the Lord is that as a result of that’s the place we… that’s the best consolation we will get, is to seek out out… discover God’s character, to grasp God’s character within the face of struggling. It doesn’t actually assist to know that God’s highly effective in case you don’t know that God is sweet. Verse 7, “The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble. He knows those who take refuge in him.” With out that verse, this entire passage would lack a lot. There wouldn’t be a lot consolation to know that God is highly effective, God is mighty, God is nice. All of these issues are vital and so they’re good to know, but when he’s not good, if he’s not who he says he’s, if he’s not constantly, basically, at all times and without end good, then there’s little consolation in a God who could make the mountains quake.
Guthrie: You realize, I’ve seen this shut up, Nicholas. As you could know, my husband and I’ve misplaced two youngsters and we take care of lots of people who’re combating understanding the sovereignty of God in the course of loss. And this reality that you simply’re presenting from this obscure prophet, Nahum is precisely what they should hear as a result of sure, they should know that God is sovereign, but when he’s all highly effective and he’s not good, how do we all know he’s gonna use that energy for our good? We’ve no religion in that. And if he’s good, however he doesn’t have any energy to hold out that goodness, that’s no good both. So it’s really a really stunning and important image of God we’re being offered proper initially of this e book.
Reid: Completely. His energy is crucial as effectively. His energy is crucial as a result of we all know that he could make good on his guarantees. His goodness tells us that we will belief him and take him at his phrase. His energy says that he can obtain it. We are able to all make guarantees that we intend to maintain, however we lack the flexibility. There’s an issue with that, however the issue just isn’t kind of our intention. And so it’s our lack of power, our lack of skill. With God, he’s not like that. He’s at all times capable of obtain his functions. And people functions are at all times good as a result of we all know that he’s a superb God. And so it’s really a e book of very important consolation.
Guthrie: This week while you taught on this or preached by means of this, your part you took was Nahum, Chapter 1 verses 1 by means of 15. So simply assist us as we strive to consider if we had been going to show by means of this e book, would we most frequently simply attempt to do it in a single whack and have one level or in case you had been going to divide it as much as educate by means of it, how would we do it?
Reid: That’s a extremely nice query. You realize, I’ve heard displays on all of the minor prophets, increase, increase, increase and one-offs summarizing the entire message.
Guthrie: Watch out what you say subsequent as a result of I’ve performed that.
Reid: And people are very invaluable, however one I believe needs to be cautious to not get caught within the lure of all people’s sinful, they get judged, God works issues out and. Such as you don’t need it to develop into the identical message week after week after week the place the individuals form of really feel beat up and the consolation begins to lose its impact. So I typically consider, as useful as that’s for orientation, I do assume, , taking them in chunks, , possibly spend slightly bit time on the minor prophets after which go someplace else after which spend a while within the minor prophets and go someplace else somewhat than simply going by means of it.
The way in which I educate prophets, I educate Isaiah to Malachi is I rearrange them in response to, not into their canonical order, however their historic order so far as we all know. So we take care of the Neo-Assyrian prophets collectively. We take care of the Babylonian prophets collectively, the put up exilic prophets collectively. And the explanation why I do that’s I really feel like they…after we learn them, they appear like a bunch of books that had been simply form of dropped in there and we don’t know what to do with them. So the historic context and to assume, okay, Nahum is prophesying not too far faraway from Zephaniah. You realize, these books belong collectively. Which is concerning the day of the Lord tying in very a lot with what we’re seeing in Chapter 1. There’s a number of references to Isaiah in right here. So learning in Isaiah and Nahum collectively, these are very invaluable workouts as effectively.
By way of really instructing by means of the e book, , you may do three classes on it. I might form of possibly assume, , 2 and three might additionally go collectively. They actually tie properly collectively, the concept that the Lord is towards you in Chapter 2 and in Chapter Three being tied collectively properly. So I believe 1 is foundational and I wish to hold it separate so that you simply get God’s character, God’s actions and God’s kingdom or his victory. After which we see that being fleshed out in time and house with the Ninevites in Chapters 2 and three.
Guthrie: So we talked about this one assertion that the Lord is sweet. That stands out to us in Chapter 1. If we’re instructing by means of this e book, we’re most likely going to make a lot of that. Slightly bit later, as Chapter 1 involves a detailed, we learn one thing that abruptly sounds acquainted to us and maybe you may share with us what alternative that provides us to current the gospel by means of the e book of Nahum. The final verse says, “Behold upon the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news.” And abruptly we expect, wait a minute, I’ve heard this earlier than. “who publishes peace. Keep your feasts, oh Judah. Fulfill your vows for never again shall the worthless pass through you. He is utterly cut off.” So inform us what Nahum is making an attempt to speak right here after which how this will get used elsewhere within the scriptures.
Reid: That is actually a reference to, or an echo of Isaiah 52 simply earlier than the Struggling Servant music in Isaiah Chapter finish of 52 and thru 53. And the half that Paul doesn’t point out however I’m positive is in view when he quotes it in Romans Chapter 10 about the necessity to ship preachers. Individuals should hear the message. In the event that they’re gonna hear the message, somebody has to inform them the message. And it’s about sending individuals to proclaim the excellent news. And what Isaiah 52 describes the excellent news, it’s the excellent news of salvation and all of those nice issues connected to that. But it surely’s that your God reigns is the kind of the important thing word of that.
And I believe that that then actually ties properly along with what Nahum is saying. Within the historical world, they didn’t flip open their telephones, in fact, they didn’t get a telephone name, they didn’t get a textual content message or see it on Twitter that this world occasion or present occasion occurred. Messengers would journey round and provides information. And that is describing that course of the place it’s such as you’re ready to listen to of the battle. Everybody that you simply love has gone out and also you’re ready for the information to return dwelling. Will they arrive dwelling? What has occurred? Did we win?
And when a messenger comes and brings a excellent news right here, it’s describing their toes as stunning. That’s what Paul’s speaking about. That’s what Isaiah 52 is speaking about. And actually, surprisingly, that’s what that is speaking about right here in Nahum is that the gospel isn’t just that you simply and I get a move on our sin. It’s that our God reigns and he invitations us into his kingdom and the entire sin, the entire struggling, the entire sorrow will sooner or later be performed away with in God’s good kingdom.
And so I attempted to explain it like this. It’s not simply God’s defeat of the sin that’s on the market within the evil that’s on the market, however it’s additionally the sin that’s in right here in our hearts as a result of all of us wrestle with that as effectively. We need to develop in our religion. And as we’re rising in our religion, we regularly understand how little we’re rising in our religion. In our sanctification, we’re struggling and we proceed to be beset by sample sins. And this message about the excellent news that God is victorious over all issues, brings us hope that he’s not simply bringing us into his kingdom and giving us a move on our sins, however he has a purpose, a vacation spot the place we’ll obtain the fullness of what Christ died to provide to us.
Guthrie: Once I learn that verse, I can’t assist however assume additionally that he’s saying that is excellent news. And a part of the excellent news is the destruction of his enemies. And I believe for lots of Bible lecturers, this may be exhausting for us generally. We’re actually pleased to pluck out the components of prophets and in every single place else within the Bible that celebrates a salvation. However the different facet of the coin that God is in reality going to destroy his enemies is more durable for us. And it’s additionally exhausting for us if we take into consideration, okay, if he’s going to destroy evil, effectively all I’ve to do is look within the mirror and I see evil in myself. However I believe that’s what makes this little passage in Nahum such an incredible alternative. As a result of we will say for God’s people who find themselves getting this excellent news, it’s not that they didn’t need to be, because the phrase says, “utterly cut off.” It’s not as a result of they had been undeserving of that and we glance ahead and we understand there’s one who’s going to expertise the entire judgment that you simply and I, for our evil deserve, and he’s going to be minimize off in our place upon the cross. He’s gonna expertise all of the judgment we deserve. So it’s not like we haven’t performed something worthy of that judgment. It’s simply we’re seeing an image right here of judgment both falls on those that’ve dedicated the evil or it falls on Christ.
Reid: Completely. And I believe, , at the same time as you get to the books and in Chapters 2 and three, “I am against you.” “My God.” Okay. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And I do love your level. What you’re saying right here is we don’t wanna have the posture of they’re unhealthy, we’re good and God’s on our facet. He’s gonna struggle our battles. It’s seeing that we deserve it and but Christ’s redemption is so full and free that it’s as if these issues are now not true of you anymore. And when the brand new heavens and the brand new earth, they may stop to be. I imply you consider Revelation 21 and 22 “nothing unclean,” “no liars,” none of those… , lists all these sins and in case you begin elevating your hand, you’re gonna elevate your hand at just about all of them if not all of them if your self effectively. And none of these individuals will get to inherit the life.
And it’s, I believe the explanation why it expresses it in that manner is as a result of the redemption is so full and so full within the new heavens and the brand new earth, that these issues are now not true of us anymore as a result of we’re in Christ and he’s in us. So, yeah, you don’t ever need to take the posture of the world’s unhealthy and we’re good. We deserve it and so they don’t. And I believe that this offers us a number of hope as a result of we do know that God will make all issues proper. And I believe this makes it in a tradition, in a context that’s asking questions on God’s supposed inaction. I believe that is one in all our greatest solutions is even after we don’t see it, God is at work and we all know he’ll make all issues proper.
Guthrie: And I believe these we’re instructing at the moment want that. Don’t you assume? I’m enthusiastic about proper now we’re going by means of a time during which a lot extra consciousness and motion concerning issues like sexual abuse even within the church and in establishments, oppression, sexual, each sexual violence and simply sexual, we’d name it oppression by the highly effective is coming to mild and being handled. Perhaps we glance round and we expect however is justice actually being performed? Or I take into consideration Wednesday after I was on my technique to Orlando, I used to be studying a Fb put up by a buddy and it was simply giving an account of an individual of shade in my county and her expertise of going to court docket and the way she was handled in comparison with the one who just isn’t an individual of shade and the way that particular person was handled in court docket. And, , in fact, I don’t know all of the information however as you learn it you simply assume this isn’t proper and also you surprise, we cry out with the Bible how lengthy, how lengthy till every little thing is about proper? It appears to me that Nahum has a solution for the individuals we’re instructing who’ve these exact same questions.
Reid: Completely. And it’s really a constant factor we see within the prophets and elsewhere within the Bible. Every time God’s kingdom is coming, it’s coming and bringing justice. Now, the priority for justice just isn’t above the gospel. It doesn’t supplant the excellent news of the gospel. We predict, , we consider what’s the position of the church. All of these issues are vital, however you don’t wanna put social justice or issues like that forward of the gospel and the proclamation of the gospel. However we do additionally wanna see the fullness of what the gospel means and the way it speaks to all of those points and the way God will sooner or later…his kingdom will endure without end and ever. We’re not informed all of the why about why God selected for sin to enter into the world, to permit these items to happen. We’re not informed all of the solutions about that, however we’re informed the tip, you get to kind of peek on the final chapter and know that it’s all going to work out for his goodness and for his glory. And so our process is now to study to belief as we wait and as we glance and we ask how lengthy.
One other key a part of this chapter is the echo of Exodus 34 in verse Three of Chapter 1 specifically. “The Lord is slow to anger and great and power.” Usually we anticipate to listen to the Lord is gracious and sluggish to anger, abounding in steadfast love. However right here Nahum skips over the abounding in steadfast love and as an alternative says nice in energy after which highlights and focuses the final a part of Exodus 34 the place he says, “The Lord will by no means clear the guilty.” And I believe he’s doing this as a result of it’s rooted in God’s character that God will decide, however that God can also be gracious. And this goes again to the purpose you had been making earlier. That’s all sin as judged. It’s both judged in us or it’s judged in Christ.
And so he’s highlighting that different half that the Lord is nice in energy, the Lord will not at all clear the responsible. And also you’re form of asking this. If you learn it in Exodus, I believe the best way we take care of an Exodus is we go, okay, I like the primary half. I can ignore the second half and we’ll simply memorize the primary half, proper? And never speak concerning the second. Isn’t this nice? God is gracious. You’re probably not allowed to try this right here in Nahum. Nahum says, “No, not so fast. I’m not going to let you do that.” And it’s a must to kind of then grapple with what does it imply that he’s, “will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.” I get slightly scared, proper? And rightly so.
And I believe what we see right here is that if we take a step again, we bear in mind what was the context the place this was initially given with Exodus 34 this revelation, Moses, that is put up the golden calf. It’s put up Sinai, put up the golden calf, 33 God says, “I’m not gonna go up with you, but I’ll send my presence, an angel, I’ll send with you.” Moses is like, I’d somewhat rot within the desert with you than go up with an angel to the promised land. And in Chapter 34, he’s wrestling with God and he’s asking God, “Please show me your glory.” And I believe we are inclined to fixate on, effectively, what did he see? God stated, , “you can’t see my face, but you can see my backside” and we’re all…we’re fixated on, effectively, what was this imaginative and prescient like? And I’m positive that was wonderful as Moses was hid within the cleft of the rock and God’s glory, God’s goodness passes by. I’m positive that was wonderful, however I actually assume the main focus of God’s glory, there’s the message that we’ve a God who’s gracious and sluggish to anger, abounding in steadfast love. However who not at all leaves the responsible and punished. And in case you’re pondering by means of that, effectively how do you sq. that? How does he stay simply and gracious? And there you have got the cross. Romans 3, God present me your glory and also you get an outline of the cross, a God who’s simply and the justifier. And so actually I believe that that is…there are quite a few methods you may get to the gospel simply within the first few verses.
Guthrie: Completely. Properly, let’s transfer to Chapter 2. In Chapter 2 in my ESV, it’s headlined the destruction of Nineveh and it’s a really vivid, you virtually really feel like Nahum was transferred into the longer term to really see it as a result of it’s such a vivid description. It’s like, like in verse 3, “The shield of his mighty men is red. His soldiers are clothed in scarlet. His chariots come with flashing metal on the day he musters them.” “Nineveh is like a pool whose waters run away. “Halt! Halt!” they cry.” After which later you’ve obtained these declarations, “Desolate! Desolation and ruin!” So simply speak with us slightly bit about what’s occurring in Nahum Chapter 2.
Reid: Properly, you’re given a vivid, as you’re saying, a really vivid image of the destruction of Nineveh after which a woe that follows after that in Chapter 3. And I believe what it’s expressing right here is actually on the one hand, it tells what’s going to occur to Nineveh. However we will additionally have a look at these passages and see one thing too concerning the higher judgment. There’s at all times this restoration and judgment being blended collectively within the prophets, the place on the one stage, there’s the speedy kind of viewers that it’s chatting with. You’re gonna come again into the dominion. That is the restoration side. You’re gonna come again into the dominion, you’re gonna come again into the land. Properly, that’s true and so they do come again into land. For those who hold studying, there are all these wonderful issues concerning the lion laying down with the lamb. And people issues aren’t realized but in time and house. They’re nonetheless ready for that. They have a look at the rebuilt temple and so they weep as a result of it’s form of pathetic in comparison with the one they used to know.
So whereas it speaks…. the restoration speaks to them returning to the land, you’re nonetheless ready for extra. And I believe too, right here after we see these judgment passages as effectively, the identical kind of precept’s occurring. It’s chatting with the destruction of Nineveh in very vivid phrases. And but it is also giving us one thing of an image of an eschatological judgment that has taken place rooted in God’s character. So you may consider it like this, Meredith Kline talked about intrusions the place you form of have these eschatological moments which can be key. They’re weighted with significance, the place you see judgment coming in time and house in a manner that we don’t usually expertise.
You possibly can consider the Previous Testomony with the going into the land. You possibly can consider even in Ananias and Sapphira in Acts. How many people would have been struck down in the same state of affairs? However God doesn’t at all times trigger us to see the judgment that our sin deserves in time and house. And I believe that right here we’re given an image of the judgment on wickedness that ought to in a method encourage us as a result of we all know that God will defeat wickedness, however in one other manner, it’s kind of, it ought to stir us to motion, to trigger us to comprehend what we deserve, to comprehend what Christ suffered. “I am against you.” That’s gospel language proper there. You consider the blessing to trigger his face to shine upon you when he’s crying out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” It’s as if God has turned his again upon him. God is towards him in his anger. And so I believe that these passages converse to how we obtained our redemption, but in addition to those eschatological realities of judgment.
Guthrie: You’re mentioning verse 13 in Chapter 2 the place you learn, “Behold I am against you, declares the Lord of hosts.” Once I was studying by means of Nahum and got here to that, , I had two preliminary responses. To begin with, I attempted to permit myself to really feel what it will be like if that’s what had been being stated to me. And I form of assume that as a trainer, if I used to be instructing Nahum, I believe I’d… , generally we rush very fast to peace, rush very fast to grace, forgiveness. It looks as if it is perhaps efficient as a trainer to permit individuals to a minimum of think about what this implies, what it will be wish to have the God of the universe towards you.
After all, that’s the actuality for thus many who we all know and love, this terrifying actuality that God is towards them due to their rejection of the salvation that he has provided to them by means of his son. So it appears to me in instructing this week we might allow them to really feel that, however then we’d need to resolve it. And naturally, I simply couldn’t assist however assume you talked about going to the cross of Jesus saying, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken..” Or in a way, God, the daddy has turned away from him. However I can also’t assist however take into consideration Romans 8, while you get to the Romans Eight and we get this unbelievable promise, if God is for you who could be towards you. So I simply surprise what you’ll do with this in instructing it.
Reid: One of many the explanation why we don’t like judgment passages is as a result of it kinda checks our pulse. Do I actually consider that there’s judgment past this life? And that’s a tough factor. For those who consider what the Bible says about everlasting judgment, that’s a really exhausting factor to understand and take into consideration. And particularly while you begin enthusiastic about individuals . It’s one factor to assume, okay, there’s gonna be judgment on the market. If you begin enthusiastic about individuals you’re keen on and look after throughout us, it’s virtually overwhelming.
However I do assume that these are within the Bible for a purpose. And we must always pause and we must always cease and we must always mirror and we must always share the gospel all of the extra and we must always pray all of the extra due to these truths. However then such as you stated, it’s stunning. We see the examples of that on the cross with God’s rejection of Christ on the cross. But additionally I really like you bringing out Romans Chapter 8, “If God is for us who could be against us?” And actually that’s Nahum. Nahum is fleshing out God defeating the enemies of the individuals of God. And if God is for you, then who could be towards you?
But it surely’s a key factor I believe that ties collectively 2 and three and that is most likely how I might attempt to educate it. As you see it in 13, “I am against you.” After which in Chapter 2 verse 13, “I am against you.” After which Chapter Three verse 5, “Behold I am against you, declares the Lord of hosts.” That actually I believe may very well be an anchor to tie these two chapters collectively. Stroll by means of the tragedy, stroll by means of the judgment, stroll by means of the wickedness that’s being handled. However then attending to the gospel and remembering that if we’re in Christ, nobody can ever trigger God to be towards us.
Guthrie: You went to verse 5 in Chapter 3, which says, “Behold, I am against you, declares the Lord of hosts,” and he continues, “And I will make nations look at your nakedness and kingdoms at your shame. I will throw filth at you and treat you with contempt. Make you a spectacle. All who look at you will shrink from you and say, “Wasted is Nineveh. Who will grieve for her?”” As I learn a few of these issues, some phrases leap out at me. Take into consideration nakedness, disgrace, a spectacle. I imply, what’s a higher spectacle than a unadorned Messiah taking all of our disgrace upon himself hanging on a Roman cross.
Reid: These had been realities for warfare within the historical Close to East. We all know that they might have been taken to captivity and bare. So that you consider not solely you’re standing there with the entire destruction round you, additionally you’re bare. You don’t have any garments on. Within the historical Close to East, there would’ve been sexual abuse associated to those conditions. Battle was as it’s at the moment, brutal. And so it’s getting at this disgrace, the spectacle. However these are additionally the identical issues that God informed to his individuals. These are comparable, it’s not very same wording, however it’s the identical comparable concepts when he was speaking to Israel, to the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom. And I believe that that’s additionally a useful factor for us to comprehend, this isn’t about race, this isn’t about ethnicity, that is about sin.
It additionally helps make sense of the conquest of the land. The identical judgment that the individuals residing within the land and Joshua obtained is similar judgment that the individuals of God obtained. If it was ethnic, it wouldn’t have labored that manner. It might have been totally different. And so once more, I believe this speaks to one thing in our tradition. These are the identical judgments that the individuals of God confronted after they had been residing within the land and had been sinful. They had been thrust out and but there was a hope, a restoration for them accessible. It talks about it in Chapter 1, “Though I afflicted you…” that is Chapter 1 verse 12, “Though I afflicted you, I will afflict you no more. And now I will break his yoke from off you and will burst your bonds apart.” In order that they’re experiencing the implications of their sin in time and house in life, however there’s hope, consolation and restoration. Right here they’re experiencing the implications of their sin in time and house, however there isn’t any hope or consolation being left.
Guthrie: So in Chapter 3, the headline is Woe to Nineveh. I assume I usually take into consideration a few of these woe passages all through the Bible being meant to name somebody to repentance. However we actually, I believe, get the sense in Chapter Three right here, that whereas it is perhaps a name to repentance, it appears clear that Nineveh just isn’t going to repent. Is that how we learn Chapter 3?
Reid: We don’t know. In God’s windfall, some people might need responded, might need repented, we don’t know. So there’s actually the likelihood that there would’ve been a remnant, however on the entire, we’re not gonna see a nationwide repentance like Jonah. We’re not going to see a complete metropolis flip to the Lord like Jonah. The time has handed for that. And in order that’s why while you look by means of Chapters 1, 2 and three, there’s a consistence message of lack of hope. However but, the hope was connected in fact to Jonah, he’s like, “In 40 days the city is gonna be destroyed.” It’s the worst sermon ever. And but it was efficient.
So there’s at all times a historic contingency connected to those prophecies that the Lord is gracious. And in case you do repent, in case you do flip to him by religion, then there’s restoration and hope. However from the passages you learn of Nahum, the sense is the time of compassion, the time of mercy and charm has handed and destruction is coming. And that’s precisely what we noticed, 612 town was destroyed and so they by no means actually had been the willpower after that, that they had been up till this level.
Guthrie: So for the one who is considering instructing Nahum, are there any explicit assets that you’d suggest to us to get a superb deal with on it?
Reid: I normally suggest individuals begin by means of the standard suspects of a few of the good commentaries. So that you would possibly consider The New Worldwide Commentary on the Previous Testomony and that’s… O. Palmer Robertson wrote on Nahum. I believe that’s a superb work. World Biblical, I might normally form of begin checking these round. After which as I’ve questions, I might attempt to discover latest commentaries, latest tutorial works which have a superb bibliography.
Everytime you wanna do analysis, one of the simplest ways to construct a bibliography is to learn one thing present and see what they’re studying after which simply hold chasing down the footnotes within the bibliographies. There are a variety of books which can be useful on the prophets general. “[inaudible 00:43:15] Introducing the Prophets,” I believe is the title. “The Christ of the Prophets” by O. Palmer Robertson. He’s obtained the lengthy model after which the marginally shorter model. The abridged model continues to be very, very massive. So these are some good assets. And making an attempt to consider easy methods to responsibly contextualize Nahum as Christian scripture, I believe is among the key issues and one of the tough duties. However the fantastic thing about doing that’s as soon as you start to wrap your thoughts round easy methods to deal with one prophet like this one, for instance, as Christian scripture, the identical ideas are relevant to different books within the Bible and different sections within the Bible.
Guthrie: I believe most likely most of our listeners will know what you imply while you say that by way of making use of Nahum as Christian scripture, however might you spell it out for us slightly bit clearly?
Reid: Yeah. As we stated earlier than, it was written to a special viewers initially and but it nonetheless belongs in our Bible. And so how can we as Christians see Christ on this? How can we see warnings on this that educate us about our sin, reveal who we’re. How do we discover hope? How can we kind of discover a few of the solutions to the questions we’re asking in each day life? As like we had been saying earlier, while you’re trying round and also you’re going, “God, I’m praying, I’m doing everything I can. I think. Trying and yet I’m not seeing the needle being moved very much.” And I believe that this e book, when thought-about as a Christian e book, provides us a number of hope. We’re referred to as to not go trigger God’s kingdom to return. We’re given the chance to be devices in it’s coming, but in addition to proclaim it.
He doesn’t say, “Go, hey my people, I’m gonna muster you. I’m gonna bring you along and you go achieve my purposes in and of yourselves.” As a substitute he says, “Behold upon the mountains, the feet of those who brings good news.” And Paul picks this up and sees this as the decision to ship individuals to the nations to take the gospel, the excellent news that our God reigns. And that’s clearly very relevant to Christians.
Guthrie: Would you shut this fashion? Would you converse on to those that is perhaps getting ready to show Nahum and provides them a phrase of instruction or encouragement?
Reid: I believe that one factor I might encourage you to do is hold making an attempt and hold working at it and wrestling with it. Attempt to really feel the load of what the passage is saying such as you had been saying, dwell on it. Typically it’s good to kind of soften and say, “we’re gonna go through a hard passage, but we’re gonna see hope in this.” Typically it’s good to kind of undergo by means of it slightly bit and to kind of be hemmed in from each course. I believe one other encouragement that I might have is a few of the particulars are exhausting to grasp, particularly in case you’re newer to this.
My encouragement can be is that the massive image could be very apparent and contextualize that massive image within the context of what we all know in the remainder of the Bible. And that then provides us an anchor to essentially educate the Bible, educate Nahum specifically, responsibly and hopefully successfully to the glory of God. So I might say in case you’re one thing and it’s slightly bit odd, it’s okay to say, “I don’t fully understand this, but here’s the bigger picture and this is what’s going on.”
I believe individuals recognize that mental honesty, that humility, which is a mannequin for our youngsters, for our college students and for anyone that we’re serving is for us to say, “I don’t know. I don’t quite understand what’s going on in this verse. Here are some possibilities, but what I do see is how it fits into this bigger picture of what God’s doing.” I believe that might be my best encouragement.
Guthrie: That’s an incredible phrase for all of us as lecturers. Thanks, Dr. Reid for serving to us educate the e book of Nahum. I’m grateful to you.
Reid: Thanks a lot for having me. It’s been nice enjoyable.
Guthrie: You’ve been listening to “Help me Teach the Bible,” a manufacturing of The Gospel Coalition sponsored by Crossway. Crossway is a not-for-profit writer of the ESV Bible, Christian books and tracks, together with the expository commentary quantity seven which features a very useful part on the e book of Nahum. Be taught extra about Crossway’s gospel-centered assets at crossway.org.