All Roads Lead To Jesus - Nahum

Nahum – King Jesus Inaugurates a Peaceful Kingdom
Reading: Nahum 1, Romans 5:1

You know it’s going to happen. You sit there in your seat as the movie screen glows in front of you. You just tortured your psyche for the past 2 hours as the killer has terrorized everyone on screen and in the movie theater. You wonder why you actually paid to scare yourself half to death. But finally, it seems, the hero has vanquished the monster. They have dealt the death blow and now our hero lays there panting next to the bloody body of the killer.

But you know what is coming next. We all know what is coming next. We start to yell at the screen, “It’s not dead! Get out of there! Stab it again! Finish it off.” You know that the monster has one last move to make. It’s coming back to life and it’s going to finish someone off. There is always a final battle.

How is it possible that horror movies still scare us when the monster comes back to life for one last gasp? We know it’s coming and yet we still jump out of our seats when it happens. It seems like evil is never dead and there is always another enemy to vanquish.

The Kingdom of Judah must have felt this same horror as they heard of the prophet Nahum speak about their next-door enemies living in Nineveh. The Assyrians were a brutal people with a brutal military. They showed no mercy and took pleasure in not just killing their enemies but in the way in which they would kill them. The Assyrians had been visited by Jonah about 100 years before Nahum preached. At that time, they repented of their sins. But that was then, and this was now. Evil was coming for them and there would be no peace.

Assyria attacked, defeated, and decimated the Northern Kingdom of Israel. They so thoroughly destroyed the ten northern tribes that the pages of history would never write about them again in any significant way. Now, Assyria had set their sights on Judah. The monster was coming for them and Judah had every reason to be afraid.

But God had made promises through his covenant. He had promised to set up an eternal kingdom through the tribes of Judah and the throne of David. He had promised to dwell with his people in this kingdom of peace and that his people would dwell with him. Assyria would not be allowed to destroy Judah. God was determined to preserve a remnant so that he could fulfill his promises.

Nahum wrote words of comfort to Judah as he relayed God’s plans for Assyria. God would do to Assyria what Assyria had done to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. And that is exactly what happened. Babylon burnt Nineveh and Assyrian Empire to the ground.

The Kingdom of Judah was preserved for a time. They must have found confidence in the words of Nahum. As Nahum described the wrath of God and what plans he had in store for Assyria he writes, “trouble will not rise up a second time.”

These words are important because they sum up the thoroughness of God’s judgment and action against the evil forces of this world. These words are an echo from Eden as God promised that the seed of the woman, who would be revealed as Jesus Christ from the line of David and the tribes of Judah, would crush the head of Satan. Satan would not rise up a second time just as Assyria would not rise up a second time.

The only chance that peace has is for the enemy of peace to be utterly destroyed. There can be no remnant of evil if we are to ever experience the kind of peace that God has in store for a New Heaven and Earth. The monster does not come back to life in the Kingdom of God.

Jesus has inaugurated a peaceful kingdom. Much of his teaching is centered on the concept of the Kingdom of God and how we enter into that Kingdom. A central concept to the Kingdom of God is peace with God and peace with others. When the angels announced the birth of Jesus which was in itself an announcement that the Kingdom of God was coming to Earth, they said, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those on whom His favor rests.” The Kingdom of God announced peace and Jesus secured that peace when he vanquished the monster of sin and death when he died on the Cross and rose again.

The peace that we have with God through Jesus Christ was secured as Jesus soaked up all of the wrath of God on a Cross of judgment. The Assyrians experienced in part what Jesus took on in full. The words of Nahum point forward to Jesus in this way; because of what Jesus has done because he has defeated sin and death, trouble will not defeat us a second time.

The idea of peace in the Bible can mean several different things. Peace is the absence of war and destruction. It can mean a right relationship between God and His people. It can speak of peace as a quality between people. Sometimes it is used as a term of serenity. None of these aspects of peace are possible without the annihilation of the monster of Satan, sin, and death.

In just the same way that we hold our breath in the movie theater as the monster begins to show signs of life, we would have to hold our collective breath if there were any way for Satan to spring back from the mortal wound he was dealt as Jesus came up out of the grave.

We often do find ourselves holding our breath when evil is done to us or when we see it being done to others. Let’s face it, this world is broken. It seems like the Assyrians are still coming at us even though we have been promised that when God is through with them that there won’t be a second victory. This is because we live in between the inauguration of the Kingdom that will bring peace and the consummation of that Kingdom. When Jesus died, rose, and ascended he inaugurated the Kingdom of God.

Right now, Jesus as our King is putting all of his and our enemies under his feet. When he has finished, he will come again for a final judgment of the world and complete restoration and recreation of the heavens and the earth. This promise is as sure as the promise God made to Nahum and the people of Judah that evil will not have a second chance.

2020 is one of those years were the monster keeps waking back up. Just as soon as we think we’ve seen the last of the monster another video pops up online, or a new story breaks of unspeakable horror, or we end up in a political discussion with a friend. The monster just won’t die, or so we think.

But the monster is bleeding out and Jesus made sure of it. He has crushed the head of Satan and has dealt the monster with a mortal wound. Yes, there are last gasps and attacks, but be assured of this, evil will not win a second time. There is no victory for death and the grave cannot sting those united to Christ.

We are guaranteed peace. Jesus has made possible the idea of biblical peace. We can have peace between brothers and sisters. We are headed toward a kingdom where all wars will cease whether national or personal. We will experience a true serenity in the presence of the risen King. And all of this is possible because we can have peace with God right now through Jesus Christ our Lord.

I have a certain peace come what may. My peace is not connected to the results of an election or whether or not I have convinced my friend of my position. My peace is not found in the money I have I my bank account or the security of my job. All of these things have the possibility of failure. My peace is in the fact that Jesus has conquered the greatest enemy of all and that he has inaugurated and will establish a Kingdom of peace through his death, resurrection, intercession and his coming again. May it be soon. For evil, there will not be a second coming.

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