God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth, and is furious; the Lord will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. – Nahum 1:2 KJV.
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That Jehovah has been in existence before the creation of the world is not in argument. Whatever name anyone may wish to call Him, every human being agrees to the existence of a great one who is behind all that has been happening in the world, though He is called by different names. Many agree that He exists but not many actually know Him and this probably accounts for the many ways in which people trigger His anger.
The Israelites officially met Jehovah through Moses, only when they were getting ready to leave Egypt. Though Jehovah had appeared to their fore-fathers like Abraham in one way or the other, many of them never really knew the personality they were relating with. They just knew Him as the god that intervened in their situation and they were left better for it, just as it is with most people after them, and till today. He eventually introduced Himself to Moses as JEHOVAH, after admitting that He only appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, with them not really knowing Him for who He really is – Exo. 6:1-3. Moses therefore can be said to know Jehovah better than his ancestors, and because of the goodness that He has promised and shown to the Israelites and the number of times that He had been patient with their transgressions since their departure from Egypt, he and the Israelites saw the side of Jehovah that was good but did not bother exploring what He could also be, if they triggered His anger.
This compassionate and merciful image is what they chose to have of Him just like most people who relate with Him today. Though this is not a wrong impression of Him, it is an incomplete picture of who He truly is as most people have grown into the belief that Jehovah always does good things and cannot be associated with any action that may be classified as bad. That is probably why those who relate with Him throw caution to winds in a manner that leaves the impression that He is being taken for granted. Whichever word you may use to describe his action when His anger has been triggered, it will definitely leave the transgressor with a “bloodied nose” as Jehovah is not that “always nice” god that people, Christians inclusive believe He is. Had they been presented with the full picture of who He is, most people would have been more cautious when relating with Him.
The Prophet Nahum provided a small opportunity to see who Jehovah is from a perspective, different from the personality that Christians and their leaders have chosen to portray. In his prophecy to the Israelites who were in captivity in Assyria, he revealed the two sides of the personality of Jehovah which should help any wise person have a productive relationship Him. This is the focus of today’s Devotional with the above foundation scripture. He revealed the following about Jehovah;
- That Jehovah can be jealous – Nahum 1:2a. To be jealous is to be envious of another person’s achievements and advantages. Jehovah Himself admits this characteristics of Himself even though He does not expect human beings to be envious of one another – Exo. 20:5, 17. The one who gives greater or preferred attention or appreciation to any other but Jehovah is already triggering His jealousy and such should be ready to receive the appropriate reward that from someone who is jealous and who in this case will be Jehovah – Gen. 4:1-8.
- That Jehovah takes revenge on His adversaries – Nahum 1:2b. Revenge is the act of inflicting hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong suffered from such. Though Jehovah does not want his adherents to seek revenge, he on His own part will go out of His way to hurt anyone whose actions He considers to have hurt His personality.
- That Jehovah reserves wrath for His enemies – Nahum 1:2c. The one who does anything to reduce the stature or influence of Jehovah in this realm will always be considered as the enemy of Jehovah. The Prophet Nahum says there is a store where wrath is stored from which Jehovah will serve all those He considers as enemies. He may not want you to harbour anger against fellow beings but that does not stop Him from keeping a warehouse filled with wrath to be poured on His enemies.
- That Jehovah is slow to anger but is great in power – Nahum 1:3a. That Jehovah is not reacting instantly and as may be expected to the transgressions of someone is not to say that He is weak or will tolerate such. The delay in His reaction is simply because His anger builds slowly. The timing between the transgressions of an individual and the reaction of Jehovah may be long but should not be the reason for anyone to doubt His ability to bring all works to judgement – 2Pet. 3:8-9.
- That Jehovah will never acquit the wicked – Nahum 1:3b. The scriptures reveal that a thousand years for man is like one day to Jehovah. That his reaction is not coming within the timing of men does not imply that He will not come because He does not operate with the timing of man – Psa. 90:4.
As much as all the above should be sufficient to guide anyone who is relating with Jehovah, away from His anger, Prophet Nahum also took his time to reveal some traits of Jehovah that many would love to relate with, but which will be further discussed in the second part of this Devotional. Meanwhile it is important for Christians to note that these divine instructions applies to the relationship of man with fellow human beings and the relationship between Himself and man, but does not apply to how Jehovah relates with man. The earlier Christians know this, the more they better their chances of avoiding His anger and wrath. May God teach us to know Him better so that we can have a smoother relationship with Him in Jesus name. Amen.