God is Awesome

Text: Nahum 1:1-8

The term awesome is often used flippantly or carelessly today, such that it has lost its meaning. God is awesome, meaning we should stand in awe of Him. This includes fear & respect. There are many reasons to fear & respect God. We’ll notice the ones mentioned in this passage.

He is Jealous (v. 2)

  • For this reason the Israelites were told to have no other gods (Exodus 20:3-6) — God demands our exclusive devotion (Matthew 6:24; 22:36-38)
  • Man is often jealous, and condemned for it (Galatians 5:20) — the difference is that God has the right to be jealous (Exodus 20:5,11)
  • As we consider the characteristics that make God worthy of fear & respect, remember His jealousy — we are not learning for the sake of learning; we will be held accountable for how we fear & respect Him

He is Avenging (v. 2)

  • Deals out vengeance to His adversaries (those who provoke/try Him — Hebrews 3:7-11), to His enemies (those who oppose Him — Philippians 3:18-19), and to the guilty (those who have sinned — Romans 6:23; 2 Thessalonians 1:8)
  • No one worthy of His wrath will escape His wrath — only those He chooses to pardon (Romans 6:23)
  • Even the great Nineveh would not be spared

He is Powerful (v. 3-6)

  • He can exert power over the natural world like no one else can (Matthew 8:23-27)
  • His power is on display in the creation (Romans 1:20)
  • He would destroy Nineveh — He is more powerful than any earthly power (Ephesians 1:19-23; 6:12-13)

He is Just (v. 3)

  • The reasons we have seen so far show us why we should fear Him — but there are also “positive” characteristics about God that should make us want to serve Him
  • Justice shown in punishing of those who are evil (2 Thessalonians 1:6-8)
  • But if you are righteous, He will not forget you (2 Timothy 1:12)

He is Patient (v. 3)

  • He is “slow to anger” — wants man to repent (2 Peter 3:9)
  • These people were given time to repent, but they would not — judgment would eventually come
  • Same is true today — God gives us time now to repent (2 Corinthians 6:2), but judgment will come (2 Peter 3:10)

He is Good (v. 7)

  • Goodness is the fundamental characteristic of God (Psalm 25:8)
  • He is a stronghold in the day of trouble (Psalm 18:2; Hebrews 13:6)
  • He knows those who take refuge in Him (2 Timothy 2:19)

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