Nahum’s chief contribution to the prophetic books is to make it clear that the political and economic disaster that has come to Israel is God’s punishment or disciplining of Israel. This is seen not only in economic woes, but also in environmental problems.
Are contemporary political, economic, and natural disasters punishments from God? There is no shortage of people willing to declare that particular disasters are signs of God’s wrath. Unless we have joined the ranks of the prophets of Israel, we should be very reluctant to declare God’s wrath in the events of the world. Does God himself reveal the reasons for disasters, or do we draw conclusions on our own? Are the modern-day declarers of God’s punishment forged as prophets by years of suffering alongside those afflicted, such as the prophets of ancient Israel?
Prayer: Jesus, in the face of disaster, help me not to draw conclusions about why it’s happening. Help me instead to respond to disaster with love. Amen.
For Further Exploration: Read God’s Punishing Hand at Work (Nahum 1:1-12; Habakkuk 3:1-19; Zephaniah 1:1-13) from the Theology of Work Bible Commentary.
Author: Theology of Work Project
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