3 The Lord is slow to anger and great in power,
and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty.
His way is in whirlwind and storm,
and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
In my younger days, I did make a few enemies, especially during my early college days. A few of those enemies would, on occasion, threaten me with remarks such as, “You’re going to get yours” and “I’ll beat the ???? out of you!” Being over six-feet tall and weighing in much more than two hundred pounds made for a good defense. If the enemy making such a threat was a shorter or lighter individual, I would laugh off his warning. But, if that enemy possessed larger dimensions than me, well, I took their words much more to heart!
Nineveh will be destroyed. God has proclaimed its downfall. And Nahum has assured the residents of that city that God will not merely dismiss the charges against them. In other words, Yahweh has threatened Nineveh with serious judgment and punishment. Should such a threat be taken seriously? The prophet of God says yes!
When God is our enemy, we cannot look at His dimensions and decide whether to fear His warning or to dismiss it for our God can not be described by dimensions. Nahum proceeds to provide several illustrations to demonstrate the character of God and to emphasize the seriousness of his warning.
First, “His way is in whirlwind and storm”. Make no mistake, citizens of Nineveh! Yahweh controls the elements of the world. He uses them to accomplish His purposes and sometimes that purpose includes judgment. Mother Nature does not exist. It is the Sovereign Creator exercising His domain over His creation. Make no mistake: Yahweh has the power and the control to bring the judgment He has declared.
Second, “the clouds are the dust of his feet”. When we move from one place to another on dusty ground, we stir up the dust where we move. When Yahweh acts, the clouds are the dust! Certainly, this image speaks of His transcendence. He is above, apart from His creation. What could stay His hand when He chooses to move? Also, God does not move in one place. He moves through the dust of the clouds, in other words, throughout the entire world. He is working everywhere. Nineveh, you cannot hide from Him. Nineveh, you cannot prevent Him from executing His discipline.
Nor can we. We are sinners, under God’s condemnation, awaiting His judgment and punishment. God controls the elements of the world and may use them in pouring out His wrath. God has the power to send our soul to an eternal Hell. And God will judge the entire earth; none will escape.
Our God is the Creator. He has all power not only over the elements but also over us. He has promised judgment and is fully capable to carry out that judgment. Let us cry out to Him for forgiveness, turning from our sins, and trusting Jesus for the salvation we so desperately need.
Woe is he who is God’s enemy!