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Comfort in Vengeance

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This past Sunday we finished our series in Nahum, our second book in “The Book of the Twelve.” As we considered Nahum 3, we looked at comfort and vengeance. Those are not two words we normally associate with one another. In fact, our experience with vengeance of our own or another person’s is the opposite of comfort. It is frightening, perhaps chaotic, out of control, and uncomfortable. Because of sin, it is unjust. But, it is different for the Lord. “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19 quoting Deuteronomy 32:35)

In Nahum, though, we see the Lord’s vengeance justly and righteously pronounced on the ancient city of Nineveh. The atrocities and cruelties perpetrated by the Assyrians upon God’s people and others are visited back on them by the Lord. This is just because their sin is met with the response by the Lord that it deserves. And, in his response we see God as a mighty warrior who displays his glorious power by defeating his evil enemy and saving his people from afflictions brought on by an evil people. This message of vengeance is the good news of comfort that we find in the book of Nahum. Nahum 1:7 is the answer to the question in Nahum 3:7. For those who take refuge in the Lord, he not only relents from destroying them, he brings them into his family, lavishes his love upon them, and turns his might to fight for them. That is how one finds comfort in vengeance.

You can listen to the sermon here. Additional resources are available at:

The Good News of God’s Vengeance: Nahum’s History and Literary Style

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth: Daniel Block’s Answer to a Feminist Reading of Nahum 3

Community Group Discussion Questions:

  1.  What constitutes a “culture of death”? Are there any ways that the country you live in is similar to Nineveh?
  2. Why did Nahum call Nineveh a prostitute? What constitutes spiritual or political prostitution today?
  3. Why did God condemn sorcery? What are some more subtle forms of sorcery being practiced today?
  4. Does the country you live in seem invincible today? Why should Christians not put their hope in nations and states and leaders?
  5. Nineveh was ripe for judgment; Nahum compared Assyria to figs. What makes metaphors and parables effective in expressing truth? What metaphor could you use with your friends to speak of the imminence of judgment?
  6. Why does “too big to fail” not apply when God brings judgment on an institution or a country?
  7. What attributes of God do we learn about through reading the book of Nahum?
  8. Where is the gospel in the book of Nahum? What are the bad news and the good news in the book of Nahum?