Scripture Focus: Nahum 1.7-8, 15
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.
15 Look, there on the mountains,
the feet of one who brings good news,
who proclaims peace!
Celebrate your festivals, Judah,
and fulfill your vows.
No more will the wicked invade you;
they will be completely destroyed.
Reflection: Invading Darkness — Hope of Advent
By John Tillman
Nahum is a contemporary of Jeremiah and Zephaniah. Nahum wrote approximately 150 years after Jonah’s message to Nineveh.
The repentance of the Assyrian capital of Nineveh after Jonah’s preaching may not have lasted long, but Jonah’s own country of Israel, never repented at all. As a result of Israel’s refusal to repent, 30 years after the repentance of Nineveh, God used the Assyians to conquer Israel in judgment.
After pouring over Israel like a boiling pot, leaving only scattered remnants, the Assyrians remained a terrifying force which darkened the horizons of Judah. Judah had lived under their threats and attacks for many decades.
But Nahum’s message is to Judah and unlike many of the smaller books of prophecy in the Old Testament, Nahum has mostly good news. His message is one of hope and relief from suffering. The Assyrians were a terrifying force which darkened the horizons, threatening Judah.
Nahum writes to call Judah to rejoice that their great oppressor will soon be overthrown and punished for the excessive violence of the campaign against Israel.
We too, face a dark oppressive world dominated by sin and under the sway of evil spiritual powers. Like Paul, we fight and contend with sin within ourselves and with dark powers of the spiritual realm. With Paul we say, “Who will deliver us from this body of death?” (Romans 7.20-26) And, also, “Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6.12-13)
There is hope for us on the horizon. Light will break the darkness.
In Advent we anticipate and celebrate Christ’s triumph over the spiritual darkness in the world around us. We also celebrate the triumph of Christ over the spiritual darkness of sins within us that still seek to master us.
Let us pray with the words of Nahum:
The Lord is good.
In trouble he is our refuge.
He will come to overwhelm our oppressors and our accuser, Satan.
He will invade with light the darkness of the world and of our hearts.
Help us to run on the mountains, proclaiming your good news.
May we carry with us the peace he offers freely.
Divine Hours Prayer: The Request for Presence
For God alone my soul in silence waits; truly, my hope is in him. — Psalm 62.6
– Divine Hours prayers from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle
Nahum 1 (Listen – 2:24)
Luke 17 (Listen – 4:22)
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