Thursday, November 4, 2021

The Minor Prophets can be fascinating reading.  These small books near the end of the Old Testament are twelve in number.  They run from Hosea to Malachi.  They are called “minor” because of their length and size.  They are small books with fewer chapters when compared to the Major Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel).  Though these twelve books are small in size, they are not small in message or meaning. They were difference-makers in their day and remain so even now. 
            One of the Minor Prophets is Nahum.  His book spans only three chapters and forty-seven verses.  Nahum 1:7 says, “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him.”  And here we find another occasion for giving thanks to the Lord.  He is good.  He is our refuge in times of trouble.  And He offers His perfect care to all who place their trust in Him.  The Hebrew word for refuge means a place of shelter, safety and protection.  We need places where we can turn and go for help and protection.  Life can be scary and the world can be a frightening place.  But we are never left alone and never told to go it alone in life.  The opposite is true.  God invites us into His presence and protection.
            If you read all of Nahum, you will see that the prophet teaches us that trust in idols, armies and the riches of this world are fruitless commitments and pursuits.  They can in no way sustain us.  In the last twenty-one months, we have learned just how shakable and wobbly life can be.  Anything made by human hands is going to give way to weakness and frailty.  Nothing we make or consume is forever sustainable.  But the Lord is.  The Lord deals in eternity.  The Lord offers us security, permanence and eternalness.
Another Minor Prophet, Habakkuk, tells us “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to tread on the heights.”  The message is without the Lord we truly have nothing and have nothing to turn to when life gets shaky and grim.
            We often make gratitude about things, experiences, people and moments that bring us joy.  Nothing wrong with that approach.  All of these matters are blessings and our gratitude should cover them.  But at its foundation, gratitude is about being grateful for the Lord Himself and giving glory to Him.  With God, there is plenty.  There is always plenty.  God dwells in the land of abundance, plenty, sufficiency and immeasurably beyond anything we could ever ask or imagine.  How much of your gratitude covers the Lord Himself?  How often do we give thanks that we are not alone and that the Lord is forever on the throne of the universe and eternity? 
            People can disappoint us.  Circumstances can shake us.  But God never wavers.  He is good.  He is the ultimate refuge.  He cares for us.  Martin Luther wrote the great hymn of faith we know as A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.  Near the end of the fourth verse, Luther wrote, “Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; the body they may kill: God's truth abideth still; his kingdom is forever!”  As Luther stepped into the anxious world of challenging papal authority and restoring the biblical truths of grace, faith and Christ alone, he knew God still abided on His throne.  Though his body may be killed, Luther knew that God was with him and his refuge to the end.  Have a great Thursday!

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