Nahum 2:1 – The scatterer has come up against you. Man the ramparts; watch the road; dress for battle; collect all your strength. For the Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob as the majesty of Israel.
Jonah and Nahum are different to the other minor prophet books in that the prophesy is not directed at Israel or Judah but at the foreign city of Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. The prophets themselves were sent roughly 100 years apart and the outcome of the two are poles apart. During Jonah’s time, Nineveh, as we know, repented but it is obvious that this only lasted a generation or two. The Assyrians soon fell back into their old ways and returned to being completely ruthless with no moral compass at all.
The Lord may have used them once to punish Israel but they had gone too far and now they thought they could take Judah also. So, a question was asked, “What do you plot against the Lord? He will make a complete end; trouble will not rise up a second time.” They would soon feel the power of Almighty God, for ‘the Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies’ (1:2). The brutality of the Ninevites was about to come to an end and they were forewarned to ‘man the ramparts; watch the road; dress for battle.’ They will never have experience anything in battle like what was coming for ‘he will pursue his enemies into darkness.’
We know that God is long-suffering and in Jonah’s time the Lord showed pity to the Assyrians but his tolerance had come to an end. Where God showed compassion, Assyria showed cruelty; they were proud of their atrocities and arrogant of their power. That pride and arrogance were about to feel the full weight of God’s sovereign power, for he has sovereignty over all people and all nations and he will always avenge his own.
The name Nahum means ‘comfort’ and his message was two-fold – destruction for Nineveh and deliverance for Judah.
Thus says the Lord, “Though they are at full strength and many, they will be cut down and pass away. I will break his yoke from off you and will burst your bonds apart. Behold, upon the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace!”
The courier would soon arrive and announce to the people of Judah the good news that Nineveh was no longer a threat and they did not have to live in fear, for God was still on their side.
God stands with his people and when we stand with him our freedom is assured and our fear is assuaged. Christ the Messiah came as the courier of good news and as the restorer of peace. His death brings us freedom from the yoke of sin and our bonds have been burst apart.
The battle still continues but God remains on and by our side.