Nahum is one of the minor prophets and was called to send God’s message of Nineveh’s fall. It was an astonishing message given that the city was the largest in the world at the time. Nahum’s message was that God is a savior to those who trust in Him and a terrible judge to His wicked. The Lord explains why He is bringing judgment to the city:
Behold, I am against thee, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will burn her chariots in the smoke, and the sword shall devour thy young lions: and I will cut off thy prey from the earth, and the voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard.
Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not;
The noise of a whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the pransing horses, and of the jumping chariots.
The horseman lifteth up both the bright sword and the glittering spear: and there is a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcases; and there is none end of their corpses; they stumble upon their corpses:
Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.
Behold, I am against thee, saith the Lord of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame.
And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazingstock.
And it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon thee shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her? whence shall I seek comforters for thee?
It is important to keep in mind that this message is for a pagan empire. We can clearly see that God still has expectations of them and holds them accountable to those standards. He is concerned about the idolatry, violence, and oppression that ran rampant in the city. I believe we can also conclude that the people had the opportunity to repent and put their trust in the Lord.
Daniel tells us in chapter 4 that God sets rulers over the kingdoms of men as He pleases. God allowed Bashar al-Assad to take over and will remove him when He desires. We should ask ourselves: “What does God think of this nation and what is He doing with them?”
As we follow the events that occur in Syria we should remember that the Lord knows what is happening there and He is intimately involved. This was not an accident or a surprise for Him. In fact, this may be a sign of His judgment of the current regime and its downfall, if that should happen.
God cared enough for Nineveh to send Nahum there and preserve his prophecy as part of His special revelation to us. I believe that this means that Christians should also be concerned about a nation’s spiritual condition. We should pray for justice, peace, deliverance from oppression, the proclamation of the gospel, and the salvation of the kingdom. For those who are in or near those regions they should resist the evil being promulgated through those societies.
Believers should not lose heart at the tragedies that occur in Syria but look to God to manifest His power and glory. He is faithful and just and has all wisdom and understanding. Who else would you want in charge of the world?