Nahum, Psalm 114
Nineveh plays a major role in the message of the books by Jonah and Nahum. The difference in tone between these two books towards this city, the capital of Assyria, could be not more stark. While Jonah prophesied in the mid-8th century B.C. (700’s), Nahum is widely considered at the mid to late 7th century B.C. (600’s). In Jonah, Nineveh represents a soft-hearted people that hear God’s warning of judgement and repent. In Nahum, Nineveh will be destroyed by the jealous God of wrath (see Nahum 1:2). Though God is gracious, as Nineveh should already well know, God will not endure their evil, to the comfort of their neighbor’s Israel. It is interesting how quickly a city can change for good or for ill. Nineveh had been incredibly evil during Jonah’s day, yet in a matter of days turned to God and was spared. In just a few generations, Nineveh became so wicked God intends desolation and ruin to come swiftly (Nahum 2:10). The messages of Jonah and Nahum give us reason for humility in our spiritual victories, for we see how easily and quickly sin infects a people, but also optimism for what God can do in an even shorter period of time through even mediocre proclamation, like Jonah’s. May we relate to Chicago with both radical hope in the God that saves, and proper fear that our people, the church, would forsake our God. It only takes a generation. So may we be like the generation of Ninevites that turned to God upon the hearing the word, instead of those that took God’s words for granted.