Study 7 NAHUM: A GOLDEN NUGGET OF COMFORT
STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS
by Francis Dixon
(Key-verse: Nahum 1:7)
In this goldmine of a prophecy there is one little nugget that each of us may share for our personal encouragement - it is our key-verse. It is particularly relevant for these days in which we live, for two reasons:-
- 1. It reveals the purpose of God in the world and for the Church. The word ’Nahum’ means ‘consolation’ and ‘vengeance’, comfort and judgment. What does the future hold for the Church and for the world? For the Church it holds consolation and deliverance; and for the world it holds vengeance and judgment. The next great event will be the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, which for the believer will mean glorious rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) but which for the unbeliever will mean most solemn and terrible punishment (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
- 2. It reveals the promise of God for every one of His children. Not only does Nahum’s great utterance refer to the Church and to the world, but it has an immediate application to every Christian. What is it that we need here and now while we are waiting for the coming of the Lord? Surely we need a refuge, and that is what the Lord promises to be to every one of His children.
Notice the three great truths contained in this prophecy:-
1. THE GOODNESS OF GOD
“The Lord is good…”
says Nahum. Why did he not say, ‘The Lord is great’, for if you read chapter 1 you will discover how great He is? The reason is that the one word which best describes the essential unchanging nature of God is the word ‘good’. ‘God’ is short for ’good’; God is essentially good, always good, independently good and good in all His acts of providence and of grace. How good He is seen to be in His work of creation and how frequently He pronounced His work as “good” (Genesis 1)! How good He is in His work of redemption! How gracious and loving a God He is to plan and provide such a full and free salvation for unworthy men and women, involving the giving of His own dear Son to be our Saviour! Indeed, “the Lord is good”. It is significant for us to notice that when Nahum said “the Lord is good” he was in the midst of prophesying hard things. There is a lesson here for us. So often when things go well we say, “Isn’t God good!” - and then when there is trouble or we have an illness or an accident we do not say it; but we should, for God has not changed - look up Romans 8:28. Faith looks up despite the overwhelming trial and cries out, ”The Lord is good!” Never doubt God’s goodness, for Nahum goes on to tell us that the goodness of God is particularly seen in His care and protection of His children.
2. THE PROTECTION OF GOD
“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble”, says Nahum. It is important to notice that as God’s people we are not promised immunity from trouble because we belong to the Lord, but we are promised a refuge, Someone to whom we can go and in whom we can hide. Trouble comes to all of us - compare Job 5:7; Job 14:1. Do you sometimes wonder how unbelievers get on without the Lord? On the other hand, what wonderful promises God gives to His people when they face trouble! - Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 27:5; 46:1; 50:15; Proverbs 18:10; Isaiah 43:2. If you are in trouble now, flee to this Refuge.
3. THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
“He cares for those who trust in him”, says Nahum. In other words, He knows all about you and me, He has not lost sight of us (Psalm 139:1-10). Have a close look at these words, “He cares for those who trust in Him”:-
- 1. Here is the guarantee of His possession. He knows the people who trust in Him! - look up 2 Timothy 2:19. He knows that I belong to Him and will never let me go - look up John 10:27-29.
- 2. Here is the guarantee of His purpose. In telling us that He knows us is implied the fact that He has a plan and a purpose for our lives. This is what Job meant in Job 23:10. He was engulfed in all kinds of problems and troubles. He was being severely tested, but despite all this he was able to say, ’Everything is all right, for God is working out His purpose in my life’. We do not by any means understand what God is doing. His ways with us are often mysterious and frequently he says to us - John 13:7. What a comfort it is, however, to know that He is aware of every detail.
- 3. Here is the guarantee of His provision. On one occasion, when Jesus was speaking about food and clothing, He went on to say - Matthew 6:31-32. Because He knows all about us He is not going to see us in need; because He is watching over us and caring for us He will surely meet all our needs (Philippians 4:19).
In concluding this study notice that this wonderful golden nugget of comfort in our key-verse that we have dug out of the Book of Nahum begins with ”The Lord” and it ends with ”Him”. Those who trust Him come in the middle, in between “The Lord” and “Him”. How safe and how secure we are, and how comforted and how happy we should be!