Six Divine Attributes
An attribute is a noble characteristic. When we speak of attributes belonging to God, we are speaking of those things which are essential to his Being, without which he would not be God. In these six verses of inspiration the prophet Nahum gives us six distinct attributes of our God.
1. "GOD IS JEALOUS" (v. 2). With God jealousy is not a fault, but an attribute. It is right for God to be jealous because he is perfect. Any assault upon his Person, resistance to his will, rebellion to his rule, or objection to his purpose is evil and must be punished. God will avenge his own elect. He will avenge the honor of his name. He will destroy his enemies.
2. "THE LORD IS SLOW TO ANGER" (v. 3). In other words, this great and terrible God, whose jealousy makes him furious, is patient, longsuffering, and forbearing. God is not in a hurry to punish sinners. Judgment is his strange work. He defers wrath, giving sinners space for repentance. This is mercy! God is willing to be gracious!
3. "THE LORD IS GREAT IN POWER" (v. 3). He is the omnipotent, almighty God. He can do all that he is pleased to do. Our God is great because he is great in power. A weak god is a frustration to himself and to those who trust him.
4. "THE LORD WILL NOT AT ALL AQUIT THE WICKED" (v. 3). God is just. Justice and truth are the habitation of his throne. Though he is longsuffering, his longsuffering is not a lack of will or ability to punish his enemies. His justice demands, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."
5. "THE LORD HATH HIS WAY" (v. 3). God is sovereign. He who has his way in the whirlwind has his way in everything! He is in total control of all things.At all times, in all places, in all things, "the Lord hath his way." We rejoice to know that he does.
6. "THE LORD IS GOOD" (v. 7). Because he is good, God has sovereignly chosen to save an elect people and found a way to save them that is consistent with his justice. He made his own dear Son to be our sin-atoning Substitute. This great, good God is our Savior.