THINK: Have you ever been jealous of someone-or for someone? If so, you know the discomfort this feeling can bring. Jealousy can be an extremely destructive and hurtful emotion when harbored by ill-motivated human hearts. However, when the Bible refers to God being "jealous" (1:2), it takes on a different meaning in light of His pure and perfect motives. Rather than being destructive, God's jealousy expresses passionate protection for His people. And yet, that also implies ultimate doom and destruction for all who make themselves enemies of God and His Word. Rest assured, though, that while God justly repays people for their rebellion and hostility toward Him and His followers, He rescues and redeems all who entrust their lives to Him.
RESPOND: What was Nineveh, and what was God's message for the city? (See 1:1 note.) What prophet had preached to Nineveh in the past, what happened at that time, and how had things changed by Nahum's time? (See 1:1 note.) When it says, "The LORD is a jealous and avenging God" (1:2), what does that mean for God's people and what does it mean for their enemies (1:1-8)? (See 1:2 note.) Why is the Lord "slow to anger" (1:3)? (See 1:3 note.) What schemes were the Assyrians plotting (1:9-12)? (See 1:9 note.) What was the good news in 1:15? (See 1:15 note, subpoint 1.) How does the reference to God's good news apply to us today? (See 1:15 note, subpoint 2.) Who would eventually attack and destroy Nineveh? (See 2:1-13 note.) How did comparing Assyrians to lions (2:11-12) relate to how God would judge them? (See 2:11-12 and 2:13 notes.) Why is Nineveh called "the city of blood" (3:1ff)? (See 3:1 note.) What immoral behaviors characterized Nineveh (3:4), and how do these make a person spiritually vulnerable? (See 3:4 note.) What does Nineveh's example reveal about the fate of people and nations that make themselves God's enemies (3:5ff)? (See 3:5 note.) What ultimately happened to Nineveh? (See 3:19 note.)
PRAY: Give thanks to God for how He defends His faithful people and for His justice on those who defy Him. Thank Him for His mercy and forgiveness to those who turn from their defiant ways and surrender to His care.
ACT: Demonstrate patience and love to everyone you encounter, particularly those who may disregard God and make things difficult for you. Start friendly conversations with anyone you can so you can build relationships and earn the opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus with them.