We NEED to be on ‘HIGH ALERT’ at ‘ALL TIMES’: "He who scatters has come up before your face. Man the fort! Watch the road! Strengthen your flanks! Fortify your power mightily." (Nahum 2:1)
Some Bible scholars interpret this verse as addressed to the southern kingdom of Judah, as the prophet Nahum urges them passionately to prepare for an Assyrian attack. If this interpretation is accurate, then the person referred to as ‘he’ (“he who scatters”) is none other than Sennacherib, the Assyrian king.
However, when we study the context and the purpose of this overall prophecy, we can conclude that this verse is directed to Assyria itself, and in particular, their capital city of Nineveh. In this regard, the person ‘he’ (“he who scatters”) will be the coalition of Medes, Babylonians, and Scythians who are about to attack Nineveh. Almost ironically, the prophet Nahum is urging the Assyrians to prepare their fortifications in order to defend themselves against the onslaught of this combined enemy force. In chapter 2, we see dramatic pictures of the enemy invasion (vv. 1–4), the battle (vv. 5–7), the victory (vv. 8–10), and the humiliation of Nineveh before the Lord and her enemies (vv. 11–13).
The Assyrians had been practicing a policy of deporting conquered peoples from their homelands and scattering them throughout their empire, thereby stripping them of identity and continuity. Now, they will experience a similar fate and all their efforts to defend themselves will be futile in the face of God’s judgment. It was actually the Lord God of Israel who defeated Assyria in the end (see Isaiah 10:5–19). God’s purpose in bringing these invaders against Nineveh was to “restore the splendor of Jacob” (v. 2).
History tells us that Nahum’s prophecy was fulfilled completely. The Assyrians, who had destroyed many nations (including Israel) by scattering them over the face of the earth, experienced a similar fate. In August, 612 B.C., the combined forces of the Medes, Babylonians and Scythians destroyed Nineveh, and shortly afterwards the Assyrian Empire collapsed!
In a similar fashion, God has also warned us to watch out for our enemy, who is none other than Satan: "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12). We should take up the whole armor of God and fight this enemy on our knees through prayer (see Eph. 6:13-18). When we resist our enemy in this manner, he will flee from us (James 4:7b). So…let us be on high alert at all times!