What is God like?
Secular – Touched by an Angel / Twice in a Lifetime
· Soft selling faith – Marshmallow God – soft and fluffy
· Things always work out
o All good – regardless of faith – what about set apart?
o Few negative consequences
o Imbalanced view of God
** Rebekah and the dentist
o skewed view of good and bad!!
o Goodness does not mean painless – its means in our ‘long-term’ best interest!
Biblical – Gentleness and Terror – same God!
· Nadab and Abihu Leviticus 10:1-2 Then, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. N So fire went out from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. Touched by an Angel
· Ananias & Saphira Acts 5:4-5 "While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things.
· Jonah – spared Jonah, spared Nineveh… but wrath retrained is wrath reserved – Nineveh (both real and symbolic of this world) ultimately fell… God’s wrath though restrained will fall on the evil of this world!
· Longsuffering – Garden, Noah, Exodus, King David….
Personal - Balanced view of God… Goodness, sacrifice of Christ
… Awesomeness, Power, Punishment ultimate
terror, respect invoke – passion for people
Bridge - Nahum wrote after the fail of Samaria (NK, Israel) (663 BC), Judah was on the same path, they needed a balanced understanding of God – worship of Baals, Ashra
Jeremiah 32:35 'And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.'
– syncretism, bring God’s wrath, the Terror of God, faithful to faithfulness – the God of gentleness and longsuffering.
NKJ Nahum 1:1 The burden against Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
2 God is jealous, and the LORD avenges; The LORD avenges and is furious. The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies;
3 The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, And will not at all acquit the wicked. The LORD has His way In the whirlwind and in the storm, And the clouds are the dust of His feet.
4 He rebukes the sea and makes it dry, And dries up all the rivers. Bashan and Carmel wither, And the flower of Lebanon wilts.
5 The mountains quake before Him, The hills melt, And the earth heaves at His presence, Yes, the world and all who dwell in it.
6 Who can stand before His indignation? And who can endure the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, And the rocks are thrown down by Him.
7 The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.
I. Who is Nahum – prophet,
· style indicates schooled
· right down to business
· Elkosh – probably in Judah… warning
II. God - Yahweh is a Holy and Transcendent and Terrifying God vv. 2-6
a. The Terror evoked by God v. 2-3a
i. Terms used vengeance, wrath, anger, power, jealous, furious
o è Adversaries – perishing / the lost – subjects of wrath Struck to the Core!!
Sodom and Gomorrah - Gen 19:28 Then he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain; and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land which went up like the smoke of a furnace.
29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot had dwelt.
ii. A passionate God! – passionate for his people
b. The Power demonstrated by God v. 3b-5
i. Over storms and clouds – polemic against Baal and Pagan deities
1. (Yahweh vs. gods of Nineveh, Baal…) (v.3b)
ii. Sea and Rivers… Jonah, Jesus (v. 4a)
iii. Beauty in nature…plains and mountains (v.4b) images
iv. Mountains and hills (v. 5a) images
v. The World and its inhabitants (v. 5b) **Vastness of Sovereignty
c. The Final Frightening Question (v. 6)
i. NO ONE!! – OVER ALL!
ii. Yahweh is an Awesome and terrifying GOD!!
“Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it. The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping God may wake someday and take offence, or the waking God may draw us out to where we can never return.” (Annie Dillard)
III. Yahweh is a good, gracious and benevolent God (v. 7)
a. We see the goodness of God (v. 7a)
i. God is good, and all that He does is good (He is the standard) Fair? Answer?
Touched by an Angel (Cancer)
Moses – friend, no promise land – death burial
b. We see the care of God (v. 7b)
i. Note: the goodness of God does not disallow the inevitability of trouble – Amos 3:2 "You only have I known of all the families of the earth; Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities." ** PARENTS
c. We see the intimacy of God (v. 7c) (Hosea @ the window)
Hosea 1: 9 I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim. For I am God, and not man-- the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath.
i. God has a special intimate relationship with those who trust in him.
Terror – Recognizing TNT
Express the Power
Terror – Kid / window
Be Good Stewards
Goodness- God is the Standard (not to human measure)
Knows his children
Terror – Witness / Vocab.
Goodness – Witness / Vocab.
A.W. Tozer: “Do good in thy good pleasure unto us O Lord. Act toward us not as we deserve, but as it becomes thee, being the God that Thou art. So we shall have nothing to fear in this world or in that which is to come. Amen.”