Today, I am reading and commenting on Nahum and Habakkuk.
OK, I was mistaken the other day when I wrote that Obadiah was the only Old Testament prophet who had prophesied exclusively against foreign nations. I had forgotten that Nahum prophesied against Nineveh and the Assyrians. However, unlike Obadiah, Nahum does not describe the sins for which Nineveh is being punished. Instead, Nahum praises God for His power and warns that those who oppose Him will be brought low. The Assyrians had power and wealth which allowed them to lord it over other peoples, but when God chose to bring about their end that power and wealth was of no aid in preventing their destruction. The Assyrians had used their power and wealth exclusively for their own benefit so that when they fell no one mourned their destruction.
Habakkuk prophesied about the same time as Nahum, possibly a few years later, but not many. Habakkuk cries out to God for judgment on the society around him. He sees that the people have twisted the law so that there is no justice. “Justice” has become a word with no meaning. People use it to gather power and wealth for themselves. Then when he sees what God has in store, Habakkuk fears that the judgment will be harsher than he wished. God’s second response to Habakkuk is the heart of the message. Those who trust in their own strength, wealth, and/or power will be brought low. The proud worship themselves or the tools through which they acquire wealth and power. The righteous live through faithfulness to God. Perhaps the most telling warning in this passage is that those who worship power and/or wealth can never have enough.They are never satisfied and will always seek more.As a result those who worship wealth and/or power will always oppress and mistreat the poor and the powerless. Seeking wealth and power for their own sake will always end in sorrow, but those who seek the Lord will find joy.