Living Behind His Back
If Jonah had still been around in Nahum's time (see http://lyndasgrainsofsand.blogspot.com/2011/09/better-class-of-help.html ) he would have been gratified. When God sent him to Nineveh 150 years earlier to warn the Ninevites that God was about to destroy the city and its inhabitants, they’d all repented and Jonah had not been pleased! Now Nahum appears on the scene to deliver the message Jonah would have liked to have been commissioned to deliver. This time there was no opportunity for repentance and Nineveh’s destruction was assured.
The Ninevites were a nasty bunch. It took one hundred and fifty years for Nineveh to go from totally repentant to totally unrepentant and sufficiently evil for God to say “enough!” That’s pretty fast work—frighteningly fast.
But it is the picture of God on a mission that jumps out from the page.
“The LORD is a jealous and avenging God…The LORD is slow to anger and great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebukes the sea and dries it up; he makes all the rivers run dry…The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it. Who can withstand his indignation? Who can endure his fierce anger? His wrath is poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before him” —Nahum 1:2-6, NIV.
The God of second chances might not issue a third, and nature signals His presence and His pronouncement on sin.
But Nahum also delivers a message of hope. In this case it was a message to beleaguered Judah. But the message filters down to God’s children today when they are pressed by the enemies of justice and righteousness.
“The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him…” —Nahum 1:7, NIV.
|Japan—courtesy Paul Sadler|
Whether it be figuratively or literally, when the wind trumpets and the earth sways; when the sea curls up into itself and dust flies up at every touch of sole to ground; when the storm gets personal and even solid rock seems fluid, then it’s good to know that we rest securely behind the back of the One whose outstretched hand controls it all.