Have you ever been so mad at someone that you actually spend your free time thinking of creative ways to weave words together and get the most violent verbal impact? Meet Nahum, the king of the verbal assault. Even though his book is just 3 chapters long, Nahum has some of the most brutal put downs I've ever read. I'm not talking about "your mama's so fat" jokes either. Nahum is a straight up hater. I would never want to get on this dude's bad side.
You may remember the city of Nineveh from Jonah. The Ninevites were doing bad stuff and God told Jonah to pay a visit and drop some judgement. After a three day tour in the belly of a whale, Jonah finally goes to Nineveh, drops the judgement, Nineveh repents and God holds off on the death and destruction. Apparently, Nineveh had its fingers crossed...
Would Jesus throw poop at my enemies?
Nahum comes down hard on Nineveh and it got me wondering about something. Prophets (like Nahum) are supposed to speak for God, but Is God really saying all this stuff in Nahum? I mean, is God feeding Nahum word for word? For example:
Charging cavalry, flashing swords and glittering spears! Many casualties, piles of dead, bodies without number, people stumbling over the corpses.... I will pelt you with filth, I will treat you with contempt and make you a spectacle.
Nothing can heal you; your wound is fatal. All who hear the news about you clap their hands at your fall....
In Christian circles, it's pretty much a given that Jesus is the most accurate picture of who God is. That said, I can't picture Jesus throwing poop at people and having a party when bad stuff happens to them. (That actually sounds like the complete opposite of what he'd do.) It isn't just Nahum either. The entire Old Testament is filled with awful words attributed to God. So what's up?
How heretical are you going to get with this, Jim?
I'm not saying that the Bible isn't inspired or something. I just wonder how much of Nahum is an accurate reflection of God's character and how much is a reflection of Nahum's character. Could it be that Nahum's idea of how Yahweh worked was skewed and tainted by the influence of his time and culture? If so, could it be that my idea of how God works is skewed and tainted by the influence of my time and culture? (My pastor actually introduced me to this idea. Check out a related blog post he wrote.)
Prints of this design will probably not be hanging in the youth room of your church.
I'm sure most of you reading this have never formed the fingers of your hand in the obscene way found in this week's design. (Some of you may even be so holy that you think it's just a picture of someone counting.) I realize this design could be offensive to some folks and that is why I think it's a perfect fit for Nahum. (See verses above.)