Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves … Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Key Verse Thought: After reading the key verse, understand that vengeance means “to execute justice; penal retribution; execution of right.” Think about a time that you have known someone who may have wanted to get back at someone for something that was done to them. We often call this revenge — or getting even. After learning of Israel’s captivity by Assyria last week, do you think the Israelites wanted to take revenge? They had been taken from the land God had promised them — by their enemy! As we read our memory verse today, we must remember that it is not our place to get back at anyone. God has reserved that right for Himself. He will repay — He said so!
Emphasis: We are to know that God is a stronghold for those who trust in Him — and to live with that in mind!
Lesson Summary: We have been studying and learning about the history of Israel, God’s chosen people. Remember that this was only ten of the twelve tribes, the Northern Kingdom. We read how after many warnings, God’s people were carried captive out of the land God had promised to them. They were carried into an enemy land and scattered (see 2 Kings 17:6). After reading of the prophets’ many cries for Israel to repent and turn back to God, we learned of God’s discipline that fell upon Israel for disregarding that call to repentance. As we enter into our study of Nahum today, we should remember back for a minute to Jonah. God sent Jonah to warn Nineveh of destruction for their wickedness. “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me” (Jonah 1:2). In addition, he told them, “… Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown” (Jonah 3:4b). We also learned of the repentance that city showed. “So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them” (Jonah 3:5). Because of that repentance, God spared the city. “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not” (Jonah 3:10).
The book of Nahum takes place over 100 years after Jonah. Nineveh was the world’s greatest city at this time in history. Although the nation repented in Jonah’s time, they had reverted back to their sin, falling even deeper. See what we will learn. “The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked …” (Nahum 1:3a). (Another verse to consider is Psalm 9:17: “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”) Today we will read the words Nahum preached against the nation of Assyria — the same nation that carried God’s people, Israel, away from their homeland.
The book of Nahum takes place about the time of 2 Kings 21. Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria, was utterly destroyed around 612 B.C.
Y2Q1 – Lesson 11 Children’s Worksheets
If you teach this lesson to children, see the following for a craft idea: