Nahum 3 … Consider Him Who Will Expose What is Hidden

“Behold, I am against you,” declares the Lord of hosts;
“And I will lift up your skirts over your face,
And show to the nations your nakedness
And to the kingdoms your disgrace,”

I didn’t see one word of hope in this chapter. And I confess, this is not where I wanted to spend my time this morning. And then I found myself confessing the sin of not revering the whole counsel of His Holy Word. But still I wondered why. Even some of the most challenging books of the prophets have ended with an exhortation of encouragement and hopefulness for the future.

But not so today. The wound of Nineveh was incurable and what was coming upon this great city would prove her total destruction, just as the Lord had spoken

There is no relief for your breakdown,
Your wound is incurable.
All who hear about you
Will clap their hands over you,
For on whom has not your evil passed continually?

From NIV Study Bible:
“Nineveh was so totally destroyed that it was never rebuilt, and within a few centuries it was covered with a windblown sand. So that great city (Jnh 1:2; 3:2; 4:11)… fell in 612 B.C., never to rise again–all in fulfillment of God’s word through his prophet Nahum. your endless cruelty. But now you lie in endless ruins.”

And what Nineveh had sown, they would surely reap and would face His judgment for her harlotries and pagan practices.

All because of the many harlotries of the harlot,
The charming one, the mistress of sorceries,
Who sells nations by her harlotries
And families by her sorceries,

harlot… prostitution. The lure of luxury and wealth brought multitudes to Nineveh, but like the allurement of a prostitute it did not yield life’s true pleasures. sorceries… witchcraft. Pagan practices,” NIV Study Bible.

In the other writings of the prophets, it was typically God’s people who were charged with harlotries in their unfaithfulness to Holy God. And the thought came, as the capital of a pagan nation, what else would Nineveh engage in but the practice of pagans? So why does it seem that this pagan nation was judged so severely as though held to a higher standard? Could it be because they had not only heard God’s warning, but they had professed to believe it?

Then Jonah began to go through the city one day’s walk; and he cried out and said, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them, (Jonah 3:4-5).

As time passed, the kingdom of Assyria returned to their ways, like a dog returns to vomit, wallowing in their wickedness and turning away from God’s call to righteousness.

For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. 22 It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire,” (2 Peter 2:21).

But this time there was no chance that God would relent concerning the calamity God would bring upon them (see Jonah 3:10). Their wound was incurable. And this time, God would send His judgment, in His perfect justice, and punish them as their sins deserved.

“The Rock! His work is perfect,
For all His ways are just;
A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
Righteous and upright is He,”
(Deuteronomy 32:4).

And Nineveh and all the nations would come to know that He Will Expose What is Hidden and He will punish what He Exposes without injustice.

“Behold, I am against you,” declares the Lord of hosts;
“And I will lift up your skirts over your face,
And show to the nations your nakedness
And to the kingdoms your disgrace,”

lift your skirt over your face. A common punishment of prostitutes and adulteresses,” NIV Study Bible.

Consider Him Who Will Expose What is Hidden

  • He Will Expose What is Hidden whether it is good or evil.
    • For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil, (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
  • He Will Expose What is Hidden in the whispers of darkness.
    • “But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops,” (Luke 12:2-3).
  • He Will Expose What is Hidden by the Light.
    •  But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light, (Ephesians 5:13).
  • He Will Expose What is Hidden as He discloses the motives of the heart.
    • Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God, (1 Corinthians 4:5).

And Jesus told us what is Hidden in our hearts will be Exposed in the words we speak, the thoughts we think, and the behaviors we exhibit.

“But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. 19  For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders,” (Matthew 15:18).

And while we may think we are covering things up, there is nothing we can hide from Him Who Will Expose What is Hidden

And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do, (Hebrew 4:13).

  • He Will Expose our secret sins Hidden in our hearts.
    • “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court… 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart,” (Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28).
  • He Will Expose our disguised deceptions Hidden in our motives.
    • You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures, (James 4:3).
  • He Will Expose our pompous pretensions Hidden in our deeds.
    • “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven,” (Matthew 6:1).

How do we respond to Him Who Will Expose What is Hidden?

I keep thinking on the severity of His judgment against Nineveh, and I keep thinking on how the Ninevites had been shown the Truth. God had revealed His mercy and grace in His Holiness and Truth, and they were accountable for what they knew.

Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin, (James 4:17).

At one point in their history, the Ninevites did the right thing. It’s a severe warning for us, that we would not live in the memories of yesterday while holding on to our secret sins; for as we have thus far considered, He Will Expose What is Hidden.

You have placed our iniquities before You,
Our secret sins in the light of Your presence,
(Psalm 90:8).

And when we hold on to our secret sins that we think we can hide from Him, we are really acting like those who hate the Light. And that thought should absolutely crush us and drive us to our knees. Let us daily come to the Light as we ask Him to Expose What is Hidden, that He would empower us to speak, think and behave by faith in Him.

“For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But the one who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds will be revealed as having been performed in God,” (John 3:20-21).

The dark is a powerful place, for the enemy. Rather than staying in the dark and participating in worthless conversation and activities, let us ask the Lord to strengthen our faith that we would stay in the Light and participate with Him Who Will Expose What is Hidden.

Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them, (Ephesians 5:11).

But let’s be real. We don’t even know all our secret sins. And we are certainly unable to discern our Hidden faults. Oh, but He can and He will!

Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults, (Psalm 19:12).

We must pray and ask Him to show us what we are hiding. And we need His living and active Word to cut through what we can’t see.

Let us daily come to His Word, trusting that He will be faithful to Expose What is Hidden in our hearts.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do,  (Hebrew 4:12-13).

And oh, that we would live the crucified life by faith, that when we are laid bare before Him and He Exposes What is Hidden, He would see Jesus.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me, (Galatians 2:20).

Let’s Grow Together!

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