The Good & The Bad
The Lord is good,
a stronghold in the day of trouble.
Nineveh was in trouble with God. Big trouble! Despite the good work of the reluctant prophet Jonah, Nineveh had returned to its evil ways. The Ninevites had oppressed other countries, worshiped idols, and performed acts of cruelty.
God saw this evil, and through the words of Nahum, He spoke of Nineveh’s coming destruction, using words such as wrath and vengeance. Nineveh was about to face judgment.
Why would God’s prophet tell the people of Judah about this? How could Nahum’s frightening words help those who lived in the Promised Land?
The answer to those questions is found in Nahum 1:7,8: “Jehovah is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that take refuge in Him. But with a overrunning flood He will make a full end of her place, and will pursue His enemies into darkness.”
Nahum’s prophecy of the destruction of those who reject God stands in sharp contrast to God’s promise to “them that take refuge in Him.” The godly, rather than those facing judgment, would be focused on how to please God. They would have a refuge in Him, and God would take care of them. The comfort here is in knowing God is not one-sided. He provides refuge, help, and comfort for those who trust Him, and He also sends judgment against those who disobey His standards. Romans 11:22 says it well: “Behold then the goodness and severity of God: toward them that fell, severity; but toward thee, God’s goodness, if thou continue in His goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.”
Although hundreds of years separate us from Nahum’s prophecy, we can clearly understand the message is the same for us as it was for Judah. Through trust and obedience, we can enjoy the comfort of God’s refuge. In approaching the throne of God in judgment, we will be standing before God as the Judge and Savior.