Focal Passage: Nahum 1:1-8
Every now and then, we need a place of refuge. The days grow dark, the heavy weight of life bears down, and we look for shelter, for security and retreat. Where do you go in those moments? Whom do you ask for help? Can I tell you, where you go for refuge reveals more about what you think is true, good, and strong than anything else in your life. Where you go for refuge shows what you honestly believe about God.
In the days of the prophet Nahum, Nineveh, the great Assyrian city, had returned to rampant wickedness and brutality. The mere threat of their wrath caused more enemies to surrender than to fight. Though the God of Israel showed them mercy, they acted as gods of war, building an empire on fear and torture. God did not overlook their cruelty.
Nahum prophesied to the people of Judah, who had long been oppressed by the threat of Nineveh. The days of this empire were numbered, and God was preparing to judge Nineveh for its evil and to comfort Judah with hope.
Nahum describes God as a warrior, one who is jealous for righteousness and justice, and a stronghold for the weak. When God speaks, mountains quiver, the seas become waterless, and storms darken the sky. This is a God to embrace in times of upheaval and distress, a mighty One above all earthly powers.
We can become so accustomed to the mercy of God, that we either spurn God or become jaded by injustice around us. But the God we read about here is the same who later provides a sacrifice for judgment and a refuge for sinners through Christ’s death and resurrection. God is not weak, passive, or distant, nor does he ignore sin. Rather, He freely offers the security of forgiveness to all who come to Him in Christ.
We can draw near to Him through His Word, prayer, and the community of believers in our local churches. We can take refuge in the One who is true, good, and strong. We can find rest for our souls.