Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Who would have thought from Nahum?

In our Sunday morning Adult Bible class we have been doing an overview of the Minor Prophets. These are the ones that most people spend very little time with, let alone know much about. Who reads Habakkuk or Obadiah? Who spends any time with Nahum or Malachi? We might know Jonah. There is a chance we spent time with Micah or Amos but Haggai? It has been an enjoyable time for me as a pastor and for me as a Christian. It has helped me to see the wonders of God's Word once again. I am generally amazed at how wonderful the Word of God is for my life. I pray that you find that for your life too.

A gem from the book of Nahum. "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him." (Nahum 1:7 ESV) This verse comes to the people who are terrified at the prospect of the nation of Assyria coming to take over their lands. The Northern Kingdom of Israel has already been carried into captivity by Assyria. The armies are knocking on the door, exacting tribute and threatening destruction. Nothing worldly can stop those powerful armies. With deep fear for their future, the prophet Nahum brings a word of comfort. The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble...a stronghold in the face of insurmountable adversaries. That was comfort for the people of Judah.

And it is comfort for you today. You are not alone in facing whatever enemy you are facing at this time. Addiction? Fear? Abandonment? Financial ruin? Personal crises? Family issues? Work problems? Self worth issues? The Lord is good. He is your stronghold in this day of trouble. He is the One that you can turn to for strength and hope when the world around you and within you offers no hope or comfort. You can take refuge in Him today and every day. You can be comforted in Him.

How can I be sure? Because of the cross and the empty tomb. The Lord knows what you are going through. He knows the struggles you are facing. He knows the pains of your heart. He knows the frailty of your body, the weakness of your resolve, the fragility of mind. He has been here. He has faced it. He has overcome it. He has defeated your enemies, the ones that you struggle with right now. He knows you! He knows your needs. He is your stronghold in the face of an overwhelming enemy that threatens to overwhelm you at every turn.

He knows those who take refuge in Him. Don't rely upon yourself at this moment. Turn to Him. Trust in Him. Take refuge in Him. Today His mercy calls you! You can find strength and hope in the most hopeless of situations.

The question will be asked: "If I turn to Him, will my enemies (problems) go away?" The answer is, "I don't know." Judah struggles with that. Assyria was knocking on their door. They were terrified. Assyria didn't seem like they would ever go away. Nahum is writing in the mid 7th century B.C. when Assyria was the greatest world power that no one thought would ever go away. By 613 B.C. Assyria had fallen as was no longer a threat. Did the Lord take away Assyria immediately? No. He did give Judah strength. He did care for them. And He did free them from their oppressor in His time.

He will do the same for you. It calls for faith - worked in your heart by the Holy Spirit. It calls for trust - in the One who has already defeated your enemies and is able to help you face them. It calls for you to trust not in yourself or your powers but in Him and His powers. "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him." A gem from the pen of Nahum, from the guidance of the Holy Spirit, from the heart of the One who loves and cares for you.

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