It seems like every blockbuster movie or popular novel tries to create a sequel that matches the drama and characters of the original. Most of the time, the sequel falls flat. Either the original writers don’t return or there’s some formula that they try to squeeze the story into or they just run out of ideas. Now and then, however, there is a sequel that not only maintains the energy of the original, but adds to the initial storyline in a meaningful way.
The prophet Nahum was responsible for the sequel to Jonah. The setting is the same, Nineveh. The characters have changed, from Sennacherib who called for repentance to Ashurbamipal, who reigned over Assyria at the height of power. The conflict is also the same: defiant and evil people running into the omnipotent God.
Jonah may have been upset at the Ninevites repentance, but God relented on destruction for that entire generation and the one that followed. However, by the time Nahum preached, the Ninevites had returned to their old ways with a vengeance. They were more cruel, more violent, and more evil than ever before, and God said, “Enough.” This time there is no offer of repentance. There is only the promise of utter destruction, which history verifies. God made a complete end to Assyria as a world power.
In the middle of Nahum’s description of Assyria’s utter destruction, he offers comfort to those who take refuge in God. His name means “consolation” and he lives that name even in the middle of catastrophe.
The Lord is slow to anger and great in power. The Lord is good. The Lord is a stronghold in the day of trouble. The Lord knows those who take refuge in Him. The Lord brings good news and peace. We can trust Him I the middle of the chaos. That is good news, indeed!