There are 12 books that have been given this title of “Minor Prophets”
These 12 books cover a period of roughly 400 years.
ILLUSTRATION: It’s hard to find a good sequel.
As a kid I can remember when the first Toy Story came out.
It caused many of us to swing our doors open a little faster just to see if we could catch them in action.
When Toy Story 2 came out, I couldn’t wait to see it!
And then there was number 3… then 4… and now it sounds like they may be coming out with another!
A few years later I can remember being captivated by middle earth in the Lord of the Rings trilogy
It just got better and better as we made our way through the movies
And then we were all disappointed when they tried to grab a little more cash in the next trilogy they came out with “The Hobbit”
Whether it is a movie series or a good book, there can be a feeling of nostalgia and either satisfaction or disappointment with what follows the first installment.
As we have made our way through the minor prophets, we mentioned that the very first book chronologically that we came to was the book of Jonah.
It was around 780 BC - Jonah preached to Nineveh
God has promised to bring Judgment to this wicked nation.
It was a nation that was the direct enemy of Israel.
They had persecuted and killed many Israelites in horrific ways.
And God had given Jonah the job of preaching a message of coming destruction to the people of Nineveh.
But as we found in our study of his book, Jonah didn’t want to go… and it wasn’t because he didn’t want to preach the message.
It was because he knew just how longsuffering God is… and he didn’t want to give them a chance fro God to extend His mercy to a nation Jonah despised.
Well, we know exactly what happened, Jonah preached, the people repented and God gave mercy.
It was a beautiful picture of God’s grace to those that do not deserve it!
And right around 780 BC, Nineveh experienced the mercy of God in His longsuffering toward them, rather than destruction of their country.
But it didn’t take long for Assyria with Nineveh it’s capital city, to return to it’s old ways.
They turned back to their wickedness.
They turned back to their false god’s
Their focus was on conquering and persecuting the nation of Israel.
720 BC - Assyria destroyed the northern Kingdom
700 BC - 2 Chronicles 32:20-23, God destroyed a large portion of the Assyrian army
Sennacherib and the Assyrian army were wiping out the cities of Judah and they came to the holy city of Jerusalem.
As they were preparing to take it out, Hezekiah, one of the few godly kings of Judah, and the prophet Isaiah, fell on their faces before the Lord and begged God to spare them.
2 Chronicles 32:20–22 KJV 1900
20 And for this cause Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz, prayed and cried to heaven. 21 And the Lord sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword. 22 Thus the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all other, and guided them on every side.
God halted the unstoppable Assyrian army
But by the time we come to the book of Nahum, Assyria had reestablished itself as the world power.
660 BC - The book of Nahum is written.
Nahum was a contemporary of Habakkuk, Zephaniah, and Jeremiah… all of who probably came on the scene toward the end of Nahum’s ministry.
Nahum’s name means “comfort”
But as you study the 3 short chapters, you find pronouncement of total destruction.
So how could a book about destruction bring comfort?
It is because of who the prophesied destruction was coming to.
Nahum is comforting Isreal by telling them their greatest enemy Assyria would be defeated.
Nahum 1:1 KJV 1900
1 The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
120 years prior, God had shown mercy to the nation of Nineveh… but now we have reached the sequel to the story.
And it was a sequel of the coming judgment to Nineveh.
And this time, there would be no repentance by Nineveh
There would be no staying of God’s wrath.
But to those who were hearing this prophecy from Nahum, they must have had a laugh amongst themselves.
Because at this moment, Nineveh was untouchable.
Their power was overwhelming
Their ability to conquer seemed limitless
There was no other nation that could hold a candle to the military might of Assyria!
It was an unbeatable enemy!
What Nahum was prophesying was impossible.
No man or army could defeat Assyria!
But the judgment that was coming would not be at the hand of some mere man.
It would come at the behest of Almighty God!


EXPLANATION: Right off the back, Nahum declares the judgment that Nineveh was about to receive
Nahum 1:2–3 KJV 1900
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. 3 The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, And will not at all acquit the wicked: The Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, And the clouds are the dust of his feet.
This wicked and evil nation had been all the time God was going to give them.
While God is slow to anger, His longsuffering had come to an end, and now judgment was going to be poured out on the nation of Assyria.
As a way of reminder to the children of Israel God gives Nahum 1:7
Nahum 1:7 KJV 1900
7 The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; And he knoweth them that trust in him.
For years the nation of Judah had been under the persecution and unjust taxation of the Assyrians.
They had watched as it seemed that the wicked and evil was winning.
They must have wondered, where is God in our time of weakness?
How long would they have to remain in bondage?
And it’s as if God pulls back the veil in this verse and let’s them know, “I haven’t forgotten you!”
“I may not have delivered you out of your difficult situation yet, but I am your stronghold as you go through it and you can trust Me!”
And God had kept track of all those that had stood against Him and His people
Nahum 1:11–13 KJV 1900
11 There is one come out of thee, that imagineth evil against the Lord, A wicked counseller. 12 Thus saith the Lord; Though they be quiet, and likewise many, Yet thus shall they be cut down, when he shall pass through. Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more. 13 For now will I break his yoke from off thee, And will burst thy bonds in sunder.
Some believe the wicked counselor was the king of Assyria
Others believer it is referring to the evil military leader Sennacherib.
Whoever it may have been, God was making clear to Israel that He was going to take care of those wicked leaders who had opposed His people, Israel!
God made clear, He knows who the enemy is.


EXPLANATION: God is telling Israel, “If you think Nineveh’s persecution toward you was hard… wait until I reign judgment on them!”
Nahum 2:13 KJV 1900
13 Behold, I am against thee, saith the Lord of hosts, And I will burn her chariots in the smoke, And the sword shall devour thy young lions: And I will cut off thy prey from the earth, And the voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard.
It is a dangerous place to be, to find yourself as the enemy of God!
God declared to Nineveh, “I am against thee”
He would repeat His position down in v.5 of chapter 3!
Nineveh would soon find that while the grace and mercy of God is sweet, the judgment of God is fierce.


EXPLANATION: In chapter 3, Nahum deals with the fact that God’s judgment is final.
Nahum 3:19 KJV 1900
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?
God makes clear that their would be no recovery for Nineveh
He emphasizes this reality in Nahum 3:8-10
Nahum 3:8–10 KJV 1900
8 Art thou better than populous No, That was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, Whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was from the sea? 9 Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was infinite; Put and Lubim were thy helpers. 10 Yet was she carried away, she went into captivity: Her young children also were dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets: And they cast lots for her honourable men, And all her great men were bound in chains.
Just as Assyria had destroyed No-Amon or Thebes, Ethiopia, and Egypt, God would bring total destruction upon the nation of Assyria!
There would be no rebuilding.
In fact, it wasn’t until the 1980’s that any remnants of the city of Nineveh was even discovered.
When God brings down His hand of judgment, it is definite and it is final.
And in 612 BC, God used a nation called Babylon to wipe Nineveh off of the map.
For Israel it was a comfort and reminder that no matter how big your enemy is
No matter how bad things may seem
God is still in control, you can trust Him, and He will win the war!
ILLUSTRATION: You were guilty.
You were condemned.
Based upon your works, you were declared unrighteous and worthy of the penalty
Romans 3:23 KJV 1900
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Romans 6:23 KJV 1900
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The accuser had you pin pointed and you were destined to burn because of your sins!
There was no escape, no loopholes, no second chance to do better.
Revelation 20:12–15 KJV 1900
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
That was were you were headed!
You were condemned and rightfully sentenced!
Judgment was coming and it would be fierce and it would be final.
If it were not for Romans 5:8
Romans 5:8 KJV 1900
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Titus 3:5 KJV 1900
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Ephesians 2:8–9 KJV 1900
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Romans 5:21 KJV 1900
21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Jesus defeated the unbeatable enemy in your life when He died on that cross!
He gave you the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ!
Romans 3:24 KJV 1900
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Romans 3:28 KJV 1900
28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
Acts 13:39 KJV 1900
39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Jesus did what the Law could never do… He paid your payment for all of eternity!
He defeated the ultimate enemy of sin in your life!
But that isn’t the end of the story
APPLICATION: Christian, we still have any enemy.
Every day you must go toe to toe with that enemy
And yet the sad reality is that many in the church know more defeat at the hand of this enemy than we do victory.
At times it can feel like it is an enemy that is impossible to overcome.
We chalk up our struggles to the devil himself
But the reality is the devil is not omnipresent like God… He cannot be in multiple places at once.
So saying “the devil made me do” is nothing more than a copout answer.
No, the enemy that we are facing everyday is our sinful flesh.
It is wicked, it is evil, and just like the nation of Nineveh, it desires to serve other gods!
Paul knew all about this enemy when he wrote Romans 7:18-24
Romans 7:18–24 KJV 1900
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
If you know Jesus Christ as your Savior, your eternity is sealed in heaven!
But when your soul got saved, your flesh didn’t join in that decision!
And every day your sinful flesh is seeking to take you back to your sinful ways!
Galatians 4:9 KJV 1900
9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Galatians 5:1 KJV 1900
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Paul says, “when you got saved Jesus defeated your greatest enemy and you are no longer under the bondage of sin!”
But here is what we do, we get in our flesh and we go back over and pick back up that bondage and put it back on.
And that bondage is where your guilt lives
It’s where your failures live
It’s where your insecurities live
It’s where your defeat lives!
And today, I want to remind you from the prophet Nahum, Nahum 1:7
Nahum 1:7 KJV 1900
7 The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; And he knoweth them that trust in him.
You don’t have to live under that bondage anymore!
Romans 6:1–2 KJV 1900
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Galatians 5:16 KJV 1900
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Friend, if you have gone back to the weight of sin in your life, confess it today!
1 John 1:9 KJV 1900
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Don’t be mistaken about the mercy and longsuffering of God like Nineveh was!
God will judge sin and there are consequences for our sins!
As a loving Father, He will correct you if you continue without repentance
Hebrews 12:6 KJV 1900
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.


So today, will you see the bondage you’ve gone back to, and will you turn from them to Christ?
Hebrews 12:1 KJV 1900
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Jesus has defeated your impossible enemy… He has already won the war!
So instead of going back and living in bondage, choose today to walk in the light of His victory in your life!
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