God Is Serious Business
1A report on the problem of Nineveh, the way God gave Nahum of Elkosh to see it:
2-6 God is serious business.
He won’t be trifled with.
He avenges his foes.
He stands up against his enemies, fierce and raging.
But God doesn’t lose his temper.
He’s powerful, but it’s a patient power.
Still, no one gets by with anything.
Sooner or later, everyone pays.
Tornadoes and hurricanes
are the wake of his passage,
Storm clouds are the dust
he shakes off his feet.
He yells at the sea: It dries up.
All the rivers run dry.
The Bashan and Carmel mountains shrivel,
the Lebanon orchards shrivel.
Mountains quake in their roots,
hills dissolve into mud flats.
Earth shakes in fear of God.
The whole world’s in a panic.
Who can face such towering anger?
Who can stand up to this fierce rage?
His anger spills out like a river of lava,
his fury shatters boulders.
7-10 God is good,
a hiding place in tough times.
He recognizes and welcomes
anyone looking for help,
No matter how desperate the trouble.
But cozy islands of escape
He wipes right off the map.
No one gets away from God.
Why waste time conniving against God?
He’s putting an end to all such scheming.
For troublemakers, no second chances.
Like a pile of dry brush,
Soaked in oil,
they’ll go up in flames.
A Think Tank for Lies
11 Nineveh’s an anthill
of evil plots against God,
A think tank for lies
that seduce and betray.
12-13 And God has something to say about all this:
“Even though you’re on top of the world,
With all the applause and all the votes,
you’ll be mowed down flat.
“I’ve afflicted you, Judah, true,
but I won’t afflict you again.
From now on I’m taking the yoke from your neck
and splitting it up for kindling.
I’m cutting you free
from the ropes of your bondage.”
14 God’s orders on Nineveh:
“You’re the end of the line.
It’s all over with Nineveh.
I’m gutting your temple.
Your gods and goddesses go in the trash.
I’m digging your grave. It’s an unmarked grave.
You’re nothing—no, you’re less than nothing!”
15 Look! Striding across the mountains—
a messenger bringing the latest good news: peace!
A holiday, Judah! Celebrate!
Worship and recommit to God!
No more worries about this enemy.
This one is history. Close the books.
1A prophecy concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
The Lord’s anger against Nineveh
2 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.
3 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.
4 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.
5 The mountains quake before him
and the hills melt away.
The earth trembles at his presence,
the world and all who live in it.
6 Who can withstand his indignation?
Who can endure his fierce anger?
His wrath is poured out like fire;
the rocks are shattered before him.
7 The Lord is good,
a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him,
8 but with an overwhelming flood
he will make an end of Nineveh;
he will pursue his foes into the realm of darkness.
9 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 fulfil your vows.
No more will the wicked invade you;
they will be completely destroyed.[c]