18th June 23 – Nahum

18th June 23 – Nahum

Our reading this morning is about a slightly different aspect of fatherhood!  We think of love, and provision.  But another part of fatherhood, perhaps, is protection – physical care for your children in the face of those who might hurt them.

Nahum 1:7-15 God’s care for those who trust him and judgement on Nineveh

Have you ever heard a sermon on Nahum before?  It’s interesting looking at these books we don’t talk about very often.  But sometimes it’s really hard.  I read this book, all 3 chapters of it, and just thought, “ouch!”  This is not a nice book!  It’s not an easy read, it doesn’t gel with the notion of God loving and accepting everyone.  Instead, God is a God of holiness and of justice.

Assyria the embodiment of human evil and terror, as Nazi Germany would be to the Jews of the second world war.  Judah had lived through almost a century of this, during which time Jonah had preached and we will hear a bit more about that in a couple of weeks time.  But you might remember that after Jonah warned them, Assyria turned from their wickedness.  Unfortunately it didn’t last long and here they are back to their old ways; oppression, cruelty, ruthless military actions, not just to Judah but to many neighbouring peoples.

The judgement pronounced by the prophet Nahum was deserved.  God had offered warnings through Jonah, had offered second chances, and they had not repented.  This judgement is the wrath of a God who is “slow to anger” – but that anger has now been aroused.  The love of God for innocent people leads him to step in where those innocent people are being hurt.

We are going to watch a short video this morning.  It’s cheating a bit but this is a really hard book!  As we watch it together, the question we are always asked to look out for at college is, “What is the good news?”  Keep that question in mind.




There are still places where war, violence, oppression and injustice are rife.  Where people mistreat one another.  Where God is grieved by the death of the innocent.  And I thought this morning that we could spend some time in prayer for those places.  These prophets spoke a revolutionary idea at the time – that the God of Israel was interested and had power over other parts of the world, even where they did not acknowledge him.  So we acknowledge God’s work in Ukraine, in Ethiopia, in China and in Brazil, just to give us focus, although we might want to widen our thoughts beyond these specific situations.  We are going to break into groups and pray for these situations in the world, coming alongside our brothers and sisters and asking God to intervene to bring justice.

I will give each group an information sheet to tell you what is going on in that place, have a look at it and then spend some time in prayer together, either aloud or quietly.  These are reports from ‘human rights watch’.


As we draw our prayers to a close let us sing together using those words of Nahum that are echoed in Isaiah – “How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news”.