Monday, August 22, 2022

           Nahum is an unusual name and a short book found near the end of the Old Testament.  His name means “compassionate” or “one who is full of comfort.”  He directed his prophecy primarily against Nineveh and declared the judgment and destruction of Nineveh at the hands of God’s designed punishment. Some people suggest the key verses of Nahum are 1:7-9.  We read, “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble.  He cares for those who trust in him, but with an overwhelming flood He will make an end of Nineveh; He will pursue his foes into the realm of darkness.  Whatever they plot against the Lord he will bring to an end; trouble will not come a second time.”  There are several truths that stand out in these three verses.
            First, Nahum declared the goodness of God.  About this, there should never be any debate.  God is good; uniformly good at all times.  There is never a time or situation where the character of God should be in question.  God exists.  God is.  And God is good.  He reveals His goodness in His blessings, grace, kindness and mercy.  God does discipline and He does deal with sin. But these actions from God are expressions of His goodness as well.  He sees and knows full well what unchecked sin and rebellion lead to whenever they are pursued.  God is the standard for all goodness because He is inherently good. 
            Second, God remains a refuge for His people and particularly so during times of trouble and hardship.  If life has dealt you a bad hand, you can look to the Lord.  If life has dealt you an uncertain hand, you can look to the Lord.  If life has dealt you an unfair hand, you can look to the Lord.  The Lord is our refuge. We can lean into Him and lean upon Him.  He does not turn away those who seek Him earnestly and sincerely.  Remember the powerful language of Psalm 46:1-2, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.”  As our refuge, God is a permanent and everlasting place of contentment and security for His people.
            Third, we can entrust our foes and enemies to the Lord.  We can trust that God will deal with those who mean us harm and pain.  We can pray for our enemies and treat them justly and fairly.  We do not have to take matters into our own hands.  Just as God is our refuge, He is also our justice.  He will deal with those we entrust to Him.  We do not have to live with revenge or vengeance in mind. 
            Fourth, God knows the end of His plans.  God always acts with purpose.  Sometimes He acts to discipline.  At other times, He acts to deliver us.  Occasionally, discipline and deliverance work together for our good in the present and the future.  We are not living random lives that are at the mercy of mere chance.  We are serving a God who has purposes and plans that He is writing out in and through the lives of His people.  Whether the present time is good for you or bad, rewarding or challenging, there is the hope of God bringing the good work He has started in you to faithful completion.  Nahum knew this and placed His hopes in the Lord.  He knew that Israel would be delivered and that the enemies of Israel would be dealt with by God’s perfect judgments.  Take comfort today in knowing that you can lean into the Lord and He is strong enough to receive you.  Have a great Monday!  Remember you can share our Sunday worship any time at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis.  

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