The Book of Nahum
James J. Barker
HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THEM
- This morning while preaching from II Kings 7, I mentioned the importance of repetition in Scripture. Repetition is often used in Scripture for emphasis or to drive home a point (cf. II Kings 7:1, 2, 16-20).
- We see some repetition again this evening (Nahum 1:15a; Isaiah 52:7; Romans 10:15).
- Last Sunday evening I started a new series in the book of Nahum, and I deliberately skipped over Nahum 1:15.
- I left off at verse 14, “I will make thy grave; for thou art vile.” God said He was going to bury Assyria, and He did. But verse 15 is different. God is not speaking to Assyria in verse 15. He is speaking to Judah.
- And since the verse is quoted by the apostle Paul in Romans chapter 10, we can apply it for ourselves tonight.
THE GOSPEL IS “GOOD TIDINGS” (NAHUM 1:15)
- The word “gospel” is found 101 times in the New Testament (cf. Romans 10:15).
- The word Gospel literally means “good tidings” or “good news” (1:15).
- The lepers in Samaria said one to another, “We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace” (II Kings 7:9).
- The word Gospel literally means “good tidings,” and that is why when Paul quotes Nahum 1:15 and Isaiah 52:7, he says, “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15).
- There are many false gospels – the prosperity gospel, the so-called “full gospel,” and the social gospel, etc. but there is only one true Gospel (cf. I Cor. 15:1-4).
- In II Corinthians 11:4 and Galatians 1:6-8, Paul warned that there is “another gospel.” Paul said that if someone preaches this false gospel, “let him be accursed.”
THE GOSPEL BRINGS PEACE
- In the context of Nahum, chapter 1, the “good tidings” was the message that God was going to overthrow Israel’s enemy Assyria – “for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off” (1:15b).
- In Isaiah 52:7, the prophet Isaiah is speaking of the future restoration of Israel. The remnant of saved Israelites will go out all over the world during the millennial kingdom proclaiming the good tidings of salvation in Christ.
- The “watchmen” (Isaiah 52:8) will lift up their voices in joyful singing and shouting when the Lord returns to restore Zion.
- The application for us tonight is found in Romans 10:15. We are to proclaim the good news – the Gospel of Christ – because, “How shall they hear without a preacher?” (Rom. 10:14).
- People all over the world are looking for peace, but they cannot find true peace without God. Isaiah 9:6 says the Lord Jesus is “The Prince of Peace.”
- Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Ephesians 2:13, 14 says, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace.”
- The other day, 26-year-old man named Richard Rojas, high on drugs, was speeding the wrong way up a Seventh Avenue sidewalk when he mowed down nearly two dozen pedestrians in Times Square, killing one person and injuring 22 others. Doctors say that one of those injured pedestrians may die.
- After he smashed his car, Rojas got out and started trying to punch people and tackle people. “You were supposed to shoot me! I wanted to kill them,” he told police after they apprehended him.
- Rojas has been convicted twice for driving while intoxicated. Just last week, he was arrested for menacing after he allegedly pulled a kitchen knife on a visitor to his Bronx home.
- He served in the Navy from July 2011 to March 2014 and spent two months in the brig in Charleston, South Carolina after being court martialed.
- Rojas said that he heard voices, and he would often rant about “demons and devils.” A friend said that he started posting strange messages on social media, and he described some of the content as “demonic.”
- Isaiah 57:20, 21 says, “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.”’
- But the gospel brings peace! God can save a man like Richard Rojas.
THE GOSPEL NEEDS TO BE PROCLAIMED
- In Mark 13:10, Jesus said, “And
the gospel must first be published (preached, proclaimed) among all nations.”
- Mark 1:15 says Jesus preached, “Repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
- In Mark 16:15, 16, Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and
preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
- According to the book of Acts, the apostles preached the Gospel all over the Roman Empire.
- The apostle Paul begins his epistle to the Romans by saying, “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God” (Romans 1:1).
- That is the great theme of the epistle. Paul wrote in Romans 1:15, 16 “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
- Paul wrote in I Corinthians 4:15, “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”
- This means that they were born again when Paul preached the Gospel to them. Paul makes a similar statement in I Corinthians 15:1, 2, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved…”
- In I Corinthians 9:16, Paul says, “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” Paul knew that his life would be miserable if he did not preach the Gospel.
- In II Corinthians 10:16, Paul said his desire was to “to preach the gospel in the regions beyond.” That ought to be our desire as well!
- Philippians 1:5, Paul refers to “fellowship in the gospel.”
- In Philippians 1:7, Paul refers to “the defence and confirmation of the gospel.”
- In Philippians 1:12, Paul refers to “the furtherance of the gospel.”
- In Philippians 2:22, Paul says Timothy had served with him in the gospel.
- In Philippians 4:3, Paul refers to women who labored with him in the gospel.
- Colossians 1:5 refers to “the truth of the gospel.”
- Colossians 1:23 refers to “the hope of the gospel.”
- First Thessalonians 1:5 refers to the power of the gospel.
- In I Timothy 1:11, Paul speaks of “the glorious gospel.”
- In Philemon 13, Paul refers to “the bonds of the gospel.”
- Revelation 14:6 refers to “the everlasting gospel.”
- So, the Gospel must be proclaimed!
- Turning back to Romans 10:14, 15, we see four important questions, all beginning with the word, “How.”
- “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?”
- “and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?”
- “and how shall they hear without a preacher?”
- “And how shall they preach, except they be sent?”
- For sinners to get saved, they have to call upon the Lord (10:13).
- But in order to do that, they first must believe (10:14; cf. 10:9).
- But how can they believe if they have not heard the Gospel? And how will they hear without a preacher? (10:14).
- So, the Gospel must be proclaimed!
- “And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” (10:15).
- Jesus said, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:37, 38).
- So, let us proclaim the Gospel, and let us pray for more laborers.
- I will conclude with two warnings. First, there is the danger of not understanding the Gospel. In II Corinthians 4:3, 4, Paul says Satan blinds the minds of lost sinners so that they cannot understand the Gospel.
- “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
- My wife and I were driving through Pennsylvania the other day and we saw many billboards with Gospel messages. But Satan has blinded the minds of sinners so they cannot see them.
- Secondly, there is the danger of disobeying the Gospel (II Thess. 1:6-9; note verse 8).