8 But with an overflowing flood
he will make a complete end of the adversaries,
and will pursue his enemies into darkness.
“I’ve got good news and bad news.”
I suspect most of us, at one time or another, has heard this statement. The speaker is preparing us for some bad news yet wants to do so in a more pleasant manner. So, first they share something good and positive: anything! Then we receive the bad news.
In verse 7, Nahum informs his readers of the goodness of Yahweh. He is our fortress of solitude in the time of trouble. And, for the listener in Nineveh, Nahum’s words in verses 1-6 sure sound like trouble! How good verse 7 must have sounded to those just threatened for destruction.
Now, however, Nahum delivers the bad news. Verse 7 is for those who are trusting God, for His people. For those in Nineveh, “an overflowing flood” is coming. Of course, a flood is already an overflow of water. So, to have an “overflowing flood” is to have a catastrophic flood! For those of us in Missouri, it reminds us of the 500-year flood of 1993!
This flood will bring the “complete end” (destruction) of the Lord’s adversaries (i.e., Nineveh and the Assyrians). The flood bringing this destruction is not likely a physical flood. Rather, it is a flood of armies. Over a century before, Isaiah had used similar words to describe the Assyrians overrunning Israel. Now, they will be overrun by invaders.
God will not allow his enemies to go unpunished. Nahum predicts He will follow them into darkness. He doesn’t simply mean a place without light. Darkness is isolation, fear, stress, mourning, perplexing, even terror! The Bible reveals the enemies of God will be cast into eternal darkness, the very fire of Hell. The flames will punish the flesh; the darkness will punish the soul.
Woe to those who are His adversaries! The Lord is good to those who take refuge in Him. But, to those who are His enemies, He is an overwhelming flood, bringing total darkness.
Which one are you?