v1-3: The wrath of God against the ungodly; here against Nineveh, capital of Assyria. The Lord's wrath and vengeance are reserved for His foes and His enemies. Those who take their stand against God will suffer the consequences.
Although He is slow to anger, He is not so slow as to compromise His justice; the wicked will not be treated like the righteous; just as the righteous will not be treated as the wicked.
v4-6: The great power of God;
- seas and rivers dried up;
- Bashan and Carmel wither;
- The flower of Lebanon wilts;
- Mountains quake, hills melt;
- The earth trembles.
Since the earth suffers these things, woe betide the man, or the city, or the nation, which stands against God.
v7: The guarantee of security for those who trust in God.
In these verses we read the goodness and severity of God, Rom 11.23.
v8: Severity on "his foes," an overwhelming flood, an end for Nineveh, and being pursued into darkness.
v9-11: Nineveh has conspired against the Lord; there is one "who plots evil against the Lord and counsels wickedness," he is the wicked who invades Judah (v15), laying waster her land (2.2). Thus, the Lord responds on behalf of His people.
For Nineveh, a final end is coming, with no further opportunity; contrast 1 Sam 6.8, "I will not have to strike him a second time," for the city will be devoured.
Any plot against the Lord must fail, as in Ps 2.2-5; Acts 5.39. He is spirit, and cannot be hurt; He is omnipotent, and cannot be defeated; He also cannot be diminished.
v12-13: Nineveh assumed himself safe, behind thick walls, with many defenders, yet he will be cut down and destroyed. In particular, Nineveh will afflict Judah no more, his yoke upon Judah will be removed. It is clear that Nineveh's destruction is linked with Judah's preservation.
v14: The command concerning Nineveh, regarding his destruction; his carved images and idols will be destroyed; around that we read that he will have no descendants, and the grave is being prepared for him.
v15: Good news for Judah; the message of peace and security.