God Is Serious Business

A report on the problem of Nineveh, the way God gave Nahum of Elkosh to see it:

2-6 God is serious business.

He won’t be trifled with.

He avenges his foes.

He stands up against his enemies, fierce and raging.

But God doesn’t lose his temper.

He’s powerful, but it’s a patient power.

Still, no one gets by with anything.

Sooner or later, everyone pays.

Tornadoes and hurricanes

are the wake of his passage,

Storm clouds are the dust

he shakes off his feet.

He yells at the sea: It dries up.

All the rivers run dry.

The Bashan and Carmel mountains shrivel,

the Lebanon orchards shrivel.

Mountains quake in their roots,

hills dissolve into mud flats.

Earth shakes in fear of God.

The whole world’s in a panic.

Who can face such towering anger?

Who can stand up to this fierce rage?

His anger spills out like a river of lava,

his fury shatters boulders.

7-10 God is good,

a hiding place in tough times.

He recognizes and welcomes

anyone looking for help,

No matter how desperate the trouble.

But cozy islands of escape

He wipes right off the map.

No one gets away from God.

Why waste time conniving against God?

He’s putting an end to all such scheming.

For troublemakers, no second chances.

Like a pile of dry brush,

Soaked in oil,

they’ll go up in flames.

A Think Tank for Lies

11 Nineveh’s an anthill

of evil plots against God,

A think tank for lies

that seduce and betray.

12-13 And God has something to say about all this:

“Even though you’re on top of the world,

With all the applause and all the votes,

you’ll be mowed down flat.

“I’ve afflicted you, Judah, true,

but I won’t afflict you again.

From now on I’m taking the yoke from your neck

and splitting it up for kindling.

I’m cutting you free

from the ropes of your bondage.”

14 God’s orders on Nineveh:

“You’re the end of the line.

It’s all over with Nineveh.

I’m gutting your temple.

Your gods and goddesses go in the trash.

I’m digging your grave. It’s an unmarked grave.

You’re nothing—no, you’re less than nothing!”

15 Look! Striding across the mountains—

a messenger bringing the latest good news: peace!

A holiday, Judah! Celebrate!

Worship and recommit to God!

No more worries about this enemy.

This one is history. Close the books.