The DEEP

They Could Have Had it All

but they forgot.

Nahum 1:6–11 (NKJV)

Who can stand before His indignation?
And who can endure the fierceness of His anger?
His fury is poured out like fire,
And the rocks are thrown down by Him.
The LORD is good,
A stronghold in the day of trouble;
And He knows those who trust in Him.
But with an overflowing flood
He will make an utter end of its place,
And darkness will pursue His enemies.
What do you conspire against the LORD?
He will make an utter end of it.
Affliction will not rise up a second time.
For while tangled like thorns,
And while drunken like drunkards,
They shall be devoured like stubble fully dried.
From you comes forth one
Who plots evil against the LORD,
A wicked counselor.

This is one of those passages that doesn’t make sense the first few times you read it. Nahum seems to be flipping back and forth between condemnations and blessings.

Nahum starts out ripping the Ninevites with maledictions like, “His fury is poured out like fire, And the rocks are thrown down by Him.

But then he seems to shift gears and says, “The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.” Then he shifts back again to, “But with an overflowing flood He will make an utter end of its place, And darkness will pursue His enemies.” What’s going on?

Nahum’s not shifting at all. He’s busting on the Ninevites the whole time, even in the nice sounding parts.

The key is, “And He knows those who trust in Him.” Nahum is saying, “You guys blew it. You could have had it great, if you’d only stuck with the lesson you got from Jonah.”

God has been paying attention the whole time.


When Jonah preached, Nineveh had a revival. They believed. They got it. Then they forgot.

The same thing has happened here multiple times.

It’s like a four-cycle engine. Intake, compression, firing, exhaust. We hit bottom spiritually, the Holy Spirit awakens us, we revive, we forget. Bottom, awakening, revival, complacency.

We desperately need another revival. I pray for one every day. But am I just praying for the next stage in a seemingly endless cycle?

Maybe, but what’s wrong with that? Should I not pray for good things, even if they’re temporary? Even praying for healing isn’t asking for something that’s permanent.

Besides, a revival affects some folks’ eternal destiny.


All the weekly study guides, which include all five devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.