Thursday, June 9, 2022

           Nahum is a short book of prophecy.  It has only three chapters and a total of forty-seven verses.  The name Nahum means “compassionate” or “full of comfort.”  Certainly, we could assign those titles to the Lord who is compassionate and full of comfort.  Indeed, God possesses these qualities without equal and possesses them perfectly.  He could not be any more compassionate or full of comfort than He already is.  Some people regard Nahum as a sequel to another prophet—Jonah.  It would seem that Nineveh relapsed into rebellion and idolatry following their repentance after the preaching of Jonah.  The theme of Nahum is the fall or destruction of Nineveh—exactly what Jonah had prophesied unless the people had responded in repentance and confession.
            Nahum 1:7 is a good verse to keep close by as you navigate your way through daily trials and challenges.  We read, “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble.  He cares for those who trust in Him.”   This simple statement reminds us of some important truths about both the character and ways of God.  First, we must always remember that the Lord is good—infinitely and incomparably good.  He never ceases to be good and is never less than good at all times.  Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”  The message in this verse is quite similar to what we find in Nahum 1:7. We can often label people, places, food, movies and music as good.  But, above all, the LORD is good.  And the LORD acts in ways that are good toward His people.  Indeed, the LORD is the standard for any and all goodness.
            Second, we remember that the LORD is a refuge for His people.  The word for “refuge” can also mean stronghold.  It is a place or means of safety and protection.  The LORD is safety for His people.  He is protection for those who trust Him and call upon His name.  We can lean into and upon the LORD.  We can take confidence in knowing that He is strong enough to hold up and to sustain everyone who leans upon Him.  Just as we might trust a chair or ladder to support us, we can trust the LORD even more to support us and hold us up.  Psalm 9:9 says, “The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”  Again, a verse from the Psalms backs up the words of Nahum 1:7.
            Third, the LORD is a refuge “in times of trouble.”  God is not a fair-weather friend or Savior.  He is our refuge when things are falling apart around us or in us.  He welcomes the troubled, the struggling and the destitute.  Remember, God’s power is made perfect in our weakness.  When we are weak, we are strong if we are leaning upon the Lord and His might.  Solomon reminded us in Proverbs 18:8 that “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”  God expects His people to turn to Him in days of adversity or trouble.  He does not cast us out or cast us aside in distressing times and places.  Psalm 147:3 says, “ He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
            And fourth, the LORD promises His care and compassion for those who place their trust in Him.  This word translated as trust means “to confide in” or “to flee to for protection.”  God’s arms are open.  He receives and embraces those who flee to Him and confide in Him.  Like the father in the story of the prodigal, He is more eager to receive us than we are to turn to Him.  Enjoy Nahum 1:7 today and mark it in your Bible so you can return to it often.  It will bless and encourage all who read it and reflect upon it.  Have a great Thursday and may the LORD be your refuge today and every day as you lean upon Him!

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