September 13, 2011

Saint Nahum - A Prophet of Hope And Dramatic Language


Prophet and Saint Nahum
Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome

Saint Nahum
(pronounced: NAY-um)
Saint Nahum lived at a time in Old Testament history when the Assyrian Empire had been a constant and terrifying threat to Judah.  The Assyrians had already swallowed up the nation of Israel which left Judah uncomfortably close to the hostile empire.
In his prophecy, Nahum could see that Assyria’s power was soon to weaken as its capital, Nineveh, was about to crumble.  Nahum’s prophecies praised the fact that God would soon come to the rescue of His people.
The prophet Nahum is known for using very dramatic wording, making it easy to readers to feel the stress of the time:
fiery steel
frenzied horses
flashing like lightning bolts
desolation
trembling knees
blanched faces
rumbling wheels
flashing spear
rubble fences
   
 
Saint Nahum and Advent
The feast of the prophet and saint, Nahum is December 1, which typically falls during the first week of advent.  Interesting timing … our day to honor Nahum - who gave the Judahites great hope for a better life overlaps the beginning of advent … when we celebrate the great hope that the birth of Jesus has given us.
Advent might actually be a nice time to explore Nahum's book.  It is only 3 chapters long and could easily be spread over the four-week season.  The experience of the Judahites 2,600 years ago might offer helpful inspiration to face any difficulties you have in your life at the moment … to know that God is in the picture and to grow in confidence that in time all will go according to His will.
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