Thursday, December 16, 2010

God is good

The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.
Nahum 1:7

This is an interesting statement to have in the midst of an oracle of judgment against a pagan nation. The book of Nahum opens with a clear statement of God's judgment prepared against Ninevah. Nahum is a bookend to the book of Jonah. In Jonah, God is gracious to a pagan nation and sent a prophet to preach a message that would result in repentance. In Nahum, Ninevah is no longer inclined to turn to God and God is warning them of the impending justice about to destroy them. Yet even in that warning, there is a message of grace that could remind them of previous repentance.

The focus of this grace is the goodness of God. He does nothing wrong or vindictive. He does everything out of perfect justice and goodness. It is who God is. He is good. God is a stronghold for those in trouble. We can run to Him and find in our relationship with Him all that we need to survive the worst that life can throw at us. He is our castle... our strength... our security.

God is also complete in His knowledge. When the text says that He "knows" those who take refuge in Him, it means that He is in relationship intimately with them. He loves them. He wants to cultivate true spiritual intimacy with them in the time of trouble when they find themselves hiding in Him. The stronghold is a place of care, growth, and maturity for those who find themselves there. It is a place not to survive, but to thrive.

- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13

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