Nahum was a prophet who had a vision about the city of Nineveh—the same Nineveh Jonah went to preach to 150 or so years prior. Although the people of Nineveh repented of their sins in Jonah's day, their descendants returned to wickedness. Thus, God gave Nahum a vision that was to be written and prophesized to the people of Nineveh. The message was simple: Destruction was on the horizon. Nahum 1:2 states, "The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and vents wrath against his enemy". Verse 8 states, "with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will pursue his foes into the realm of darkness." Verse 9 states, "Whatever they plot against the Lord he will bring to an end". These verses paint a clear picture of God's thoughts towards Nineveh. Nineveh was God’s enemy. To be an enemy of God is to be in the absolute worst-case scenario. There is simply no worse place to be in. If the same God who controls the winds and waves, the God who commands lightning and thunder, and the God who has the power to loosen Orion's belt is your enemy, what are you to do besides lose? It's a dreadful thing for anyone to find themselves under God's wrath. It is imperative that we understand that we are not above being enemies of God today. Romans 8:7-8 reads, "The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God." Hostility towards God would make us enemies of God. So, our very own flesh makes us foes of God if we submit to its desires.
However, even though our flesh is hostile towards God, we are not in a losing battle. Nineveh also wouldn’t have been in a losing battle if they had turned away from their sins. Nahum 1:7 reads, “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him". Although our flesh is hostile towards God, we can trust God as our refuge away from our very own flesh. We can run to him in times of trouble—even if those troubles lie in the warring in our own minds and bodies. Too often we trust ourselves to rid ourselves of the flesh. But how can we trust what is already an enemy of God to rid us of ungodly things? We cannot depend on ourselves to walk away from fleshly desires. We must trust God to rid us of ourselves so that we may walk in the Spirit. If the people of Nineveh would have trusted God, they wouldn't have been his enemy. Yet, they decided to live in the flesh, which cannot please God. But there is something that can please God. Hebrews 11:6 states, "And without faith it is impossible to please God…” So, although our flesh cannot please God, our faith in him can.
Although we live in the flesh, a natural enemy towards God, we can be in right standing with God. Romans 8:10-11 reads, “But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”
Again, notice it is the Spirit, it is Christ, that allows us to die to ourselves, and not we ourselves. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to kill our enemy—the flesh—so that we can avoid being enemies of God. And once we are separated from our flesh, well, that is nothing short of good news! Then we can bring this good news to others as a testimony of God’s goodness and salvation just as Nahum 1:15, the final verse of chapter one states.
“Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace!”
(Nahum 1:15 NIV)
It is a beautiful thing to have peace away from the flesh and serenity with God. On the contrary, it is a terrible thing to be apart from God and to be his sworn enemy. Let us learn from Nineveh. Let us choose to be at peace with God. Let us choose to trust in God to rid us of ourselves. We don’t have to be God’s enemy—and I think it is only wise if we choose not to be.
I pray this message has blessed you. Have an amazing day and week. Take care!
Quin Arrington is a Christian Fiction and Nonfiction Author with books available at www.amazon.com/author/quinarrington