INTRODUCTION & SUMMARY OF
NAHUM & HABAKKUK
OVERVIEW OF NAHUM
OVERVIEW OF HABAKKUK
If Jonah had a counterpart in his message to Nineveh, it was Nahum. In contrast to the merciful message that God gives Jonah, Nahum is given a message that the bloody and wicked city will soon find herself exposed and ashamed. These two prophets go together, like offered grace and threatened judgment. Jonah preached repentance to the great city (800-750B.C.) while Nahum declared its impending fall not long before it occurred (612B.C.).
Much like the poetic book of Job, Habakkuk asks why God permits the existence of evil. A sensitive soul, he sighs over the suffering of his Jewish brethren at the hands of a wicked enemy. When the Lord announces that the cruel Chaldeans will bring more punishment, the prophet cries out “How long?” (1;2-4,13,14).
A JEALOUS GOD? The Hebrew term qanno is related to the root word that can mean “to be eager, zealous for, or even to be furious for”. One of God’s names is Jealous (Ex 34:14). God’s jealousy for His people is a claim for exclusive allegiance rooted in His holiness and His role as their Creator and Redeemer. We tend to associate jealousy with a self-serving emotion that usually results from feelings of inadequacy. God’s jealousy, in contrast, proceeds from His holiness. Because He alone is the Holy One, He will tolerate no rival.
KEY VERSE “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 darkness. Whatever they plot against the LORD he will bring to an end; trouble will not come a second time.”
God replies that Habakkuk should proclaim His word and wait patiently and trustingly for the final deliverance (2:4). “The just shall live by faith” (v.4) is adapted by the Apostle Paul as a clarion call for the new covenant doctrine of justification by faith (Rom. 1:17, Gal. 3;11). Encouraged by his word from heaven, the prophet pronounces woes on the wicked (2:5-19). And ascribes glory, power, and mercy to the Lord in His holy temple (2;20-3:116). He concludes with a pledge of absolute devotion to the Lord God, despite every adversity he may face (3:17-19). Listen to the profound questions that Habakkuk brings to God, and realize that you can also bring your complaints and inquiries to Him. Listen to God’s answers and rejoice that He is at work in the world and in your life despite all of the atrocities that surround us.
KEY VERSE “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14
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What does this tell us about humanity?
Three basic questions form this section.
What do these books tell us about God? These books plainly convey that God is in control of the world despite the apparent triumph of evil. They also depict God as the one who will redeem His people. That despite their difficulties He is right there and will see them through their difficult circumstances.
These books both help us see the plight of humanity. But they also leave room to question why bad things happen. It is a fundamental part of the human experience to not only suffer but to question that suffering, but also to see that we have a role in helping to alleviate the suffering others.
How do we apply this to our lives? It is one thing to question suffering and why evil exists. It quite another to step in and say what can I do to help alleviate the suffering of those around me. How can I be a part of the solution instead of just complaining and adding to the problem?
WHAT IS MY STORY? (THOUGHTS):
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OVERVIEW OF HABAKKUK A JEALOUS GOD? If Jonah had a counterpart in his message to Nine- veh, it was Nahum. In contrast to the merciful messag...