Due to inclement weather, the 9 a.m. service for Sunday, Jan. 20 has been cancelled. We will have one morning service at 10:45 a.m. as road conditions improve.

The Lord is Good

by Nathan McClay

Dark, ominous clouds of God’s threatening judgment loomed over the city of Nineveh. This was the second time in Old Testament history that God would send a prophet to the city to warn the residents of the wrath of God that would overtake them.

About 150 years earlier, God sent the reluctant prophet, Jonah. After spending three days and nights in the belly of a great fish, he delivered God’s message to Nineveh, resulting in the people repenting in sackcloth and ashes, and the city was spared from God’s impending condemnation.

This second time, however, there would be no repentance, and there would be no one spared. Judgment was for certain. This time God sent the prophet Nahum to Nineveh, and the prophecy that he wrote has very little in it that we would find comforting. Instead, the vast majority of this small book is full of frightening, discouraging, and down-right depressing chapters of divine retribution.

Toward the beginning of the book of Nahum, there is, nonetheless, one of the most comforting thoughts about a loving God, who is good, who is a protector, and who knows His own. “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows them that trust in Him.” (Nahum 1:7) We can find great comfort in these three thoughts about our God, even when it seems like all hell is raging against us.

The Lord is good! This is, perhaps, one of the most common starting points in our childhood understanding of God. We read in Romans 2:4 that it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance. The ending of Psalm 100 gives a reason for all the joyful thanksgiving that saturates that Psalm by saying, “For the Lord is good.” That goodness is seen in His character and His care for His people. “His mercy is everlasting, and His truth (often translated as faithfulness) endures unto all generations.” (Psalm 100:5)

He is a stronghold in the day of trouble!    Over and over in the Psalms, God is called a fortress, a refuge, or a stronghold. For example, Psalm 46 starts with this statement, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…..” Martin Luther put it this way “A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; Our helper He amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.”

He Knows them that Trust in Him!  King David was musing over the omniscience and the omnipresence of God when He wrote Psalm 139. “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar.” Psalm 139: 1-2

To me, these three phrases from Nahum 1:7 are like a three-legged stool. A God, who is not good, would not care enough to protect us from the onslaughts of life, and consequently, there would be no comfort in His omniscience. Without His all-powerful protection, He might know us well and be sympathetic to us, but He would be unable to help us. If He is all-powerful and loving, what good would that be to us if He didn’t know us, being completely unaware of our plight in this life?

Since God is good, loving, and faithful to His own, He will protect us, and because of His omnipotence, He is more than able to do so. Furthermore, because He knows us, He is aware of our every need and will provide for us and keep us safe from any adversity or adversary.

God not only possesses all of the qualities of the three phrases describing Him in Nahum 1:7, but He also does so in ways that are far beyond our comprehension. So, as His children, we can rejoice and confidently face an uncertain future, remembering that “He is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows them that trust in Him.”

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