Nahum 3 has the prophet continuing to paint the picture of destruction for Nineveh and Assyria. Nahum takes a tour of the city and sees the busy place before God’s judgment comes. “Woe to the bloody city….The crack of the whip, and rumble of the wheel, galloping horse and bounding chariot”! He sees it is a busy city which is busy with violence, deception, and idolatry. And God’s not going to sit idly by and watch this sinful behavior go unnoticed. He will take action.
Nineveh wasn’t merely living in sin within their own world. They were impacting many other nations and people as well. Nineveh “betrays nations with her whorings, and peoples with her charms”. It was bad enough that Nineveh indulged in this sin for herself; it was worse that she led the nations within her influence into violence, deception, and idolatry. For this, the judgment of God was coming. How we live matters. How we impact others is partially on our shoulders. We have to be responsible and accountable in how we live.
Nineveh hears the words none of us should ever hopefully experience; “I am against you”. Nahum repeats this phrase, first said in the last chapter. In that mention, the emphasis was on the military defeat of Nineveh. Now, the emphasis is on the humbling of city. God is going to bring Nineveh to her knees. Nineveh walked in pride, and as a result the Lord was against them. God does not tolerate pride, which is all about thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought and ultimately putting ourselves in God’s place of authority in my life. How much better to be humble and receive the grace of God!
“All who hear the news about you clap their hands over you”. Because Nineveh was so known – even renowned – for its violence and cruelty, no wonder Nahum sees the nations applauding when the city is judged and destroyed. God will be victorious. We can count on that. He will not be mocked. We can take comfort in knowing that the judgments of the Lord are faithful and true. We don’t need to envy those who do evil or attempt to take judgment against them ourselves. God is more than able to take care of them and us, each according to His promise.