Opening Prayer

Thank you, Lord God, that there is no challenge or turmoil that you are unable to see me through—and through which you cannot bring yourself glory.

Read NAHUM 1

A prophecy concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.

The Lord’s Anger Against Nineveh

The Lord is a jealous and avenging God;
    the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath.
The Lord takes vengeance on his foes
    and vents his wrath against his enemies.
The Lord is slow to anger but great in power;
    the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished.
His way is in the whirlwind and the storm,
    and clouds are the dust of his feet.
He rebukes the sea and dries it up;
    he makes all the rivers run dry.
Bashan and Carmel wither
    and the blossoms of Lebanon fade.
The mountains quake before him
    and the hills melt away.
The earth trembles at his presence,
    the world and all who live in it.
Who can withstand his indignation?
    Who can endure his fierce anger?
His wrath is poured out like fire;
    the rocks are shattered before him.

The Lord is good,
    a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him,
    but with an overwhelming flood
he will make an end of Nineveh;
    he will pursue his foes into the realm of darkness.

Whatever they plot against the Lord
    he will bring[a] to an end;
    trouble will not come a second time.
10 They will be entangled among thorns
    and drunk from their wine;
    they will be consumed like dry stubble.[b]
11 From you, Nineveh, has one come forth
    who plots evil against the Lord
    and devises wicked plans.

12 This is what the Lord says:

“Although they have allies and are numerous,
    they will be destroyed and pass away.
Although I have afflicted you, Judah,
    I will afflict you no more.
13 Now I will break their yoke from your neck
    and tear your shackles away.”

14 The Lord has given a command concerning you, Nineveh:
    “You will have no descendants to bear your name.
I will destroy the images and idols
    that are in the temple of your gods.
I will prepare your grave,
    for you are vile.”

15 Look, there on the mountains,
    the feet of one who brings good news,
    who proclaims peace!
Celebrate your festivals, Judah,
    and fulfill your vows.
No more will the wicked invade you;
    they will be completely destroyed.[c]


  1. Nahum 1:9 Or What do you foes plot against the Lord? / He will bring it
  2. Nahum 1:10 The meaning of the Hebrew for this verse is uncertain.
  3. Nahum 1:15 In Hebrew texts this verse (1:15) is numbered 2:1.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished.’1 Reflect on how these qualities interact.

Think Further

Nahum begins with a hymn describing various qualities of God (vv. 2–7). This means bad news for Nineveh, God’s enemies who ‘plot against’ him (vv. 8–11); but good news for Judah, God’s people who ‘trust in him’ (vv. 7, 12–15). One quality burns hot and strong: words like ‘avenging,’ ‘vengeance,’ ‘wrath,’ ‘indignation,’ and ‘fierce anger’ portray a God who is clearly good and angry! This is uncomfortable reading for many of us. How do we reconcile this wrathful figure with our God of love? God’s wrath must be understood as ‘the holy revulsion of God’s being against that which is the contradiction of his holiness.’2 God’s anger isn’t opposed to his holiness but flows out of it. It is holy anger.

God’s anger comes with an unwavering commitment to justice. When Paul commands, ‘Do not take revenge,’ he adds, ‘Leave room for God’s wrath.’3 We are not to take justice into our own hands but must pin our hopes on a God who will not leave the guilty unpunished. God is slow to anger and his anger isn’t manifested in an irrational or impulsive outburst. Even with his enemies and evildoers, God remains patient, ‘not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.’4 Yet, this slowness is neither indifference nor impotence, for God is also ‘great in power’ (v. 3). Lord Acton wrote, ‘Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’5 Paul, writing to the Ephesians, warned, ‘Be angry but do not sin.’6 Human anger does often lead us into temptation and sin, but God’s absolute power is governed by his absolute goodness: ‘The Lord is good’ (v. 7). God is both angry and good!


‘Anger done right is a great good. It says, “that’s wrong” and acts to protect the innocent and helpless … God, who is good and does good, expresses good anger for a good cause.’7

Closing prayer

Thank you, Lord God, for being the Rock of my salvation—for today and for eternity.

Last Updated on May 2, 2024 by kingstar

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