Thus says the LORD: “Though they are safe, and likewise many, Yet in this manner they will be cut down When he passes through. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no more; For now I will break off his yoke from you, And burst your bonds apart.” The LORD has given a command concerning you: “Your name shall be perpetuated no longer. Out of the house of your gods I will cut off the carved image and the molded image. I will dig your grave, For you are vile.” Behold, on the mountains The feet of him who brings good tidings, Who proclaims peace! O Judah, keep your appointed feasts, Perform your vows. For the wicked one shall no more pass through you; He is utterly cut off. (Nah 1:12-15 NKJ)
The message is twofold. First to Assyria warning them of their imminent destruction by the invading armies may seem to be a passing event. However, God reminds them that they themselves, the gods, which are vile and their name will be no more. They will all go to the grave. So many countries throughout history have gone that way.
Then to Judah, he speaks. First, he warns them to take heed of Assyria’s outcome and ‘keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows.’ Keeping themselves in the Law will keep them close to God and thereby safe. The alternative is that they too may follow the way of Assyria. The blessing comes when Judah is told that Assyria will never attack them again, they are gone.
What can we learn from this text? James gives us some good advice that parallels God’s advice to Judah. He says, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. (Jam 4:8-10 NKJ) Our eternal inheritances are conditional upon our relationship with God.