Moving right along in the minor prophets!
Today we read about Nahum’s warning to the city of Nineveh. Seem familiar? Jonah came to Nineveh and prophesied there as well, a century earlier. He saw a complete turn around and repentance of the people. But in typical human fashion, as generations of families grew, obedience faded. The people of Nineveh were fattening up in wealth (plundered from other cities) and returning to their evil ways. God sends them another important message of warning.
I once heard a pastor compare God’s anger to a slow-burning wick. It was always hard for me to balance his grace and holiness; and I’ve had that helpful analogy in my mind ever since. The Old Testament use to scare me, but now I see pages filled with stories of God’s grace and mercy. He gives second chances. And then third chances. He protects and shields those who love and trust him.
“The Lord is slow to get angry, but his power is great, and he never lets the guilty go unpunished. ” 1:3
I am counting on this. When I watch the news, and my stomach churns. When nations battle, destroy and torture each other. (When I watch documentaries about OJ Simpson.) When I overhear racial slurs on the sidewalk outside my house. When hatred and evil seem to run rampant. He has a plan. He is merciful, yes. He is waiting oh, oh, so patiently for repentance and for change. But he is also perfectly just and holy. And no one can escape that outside of the gospel.
As we near Easter Sunday, I’m thankful for Jesus advocating for me. I am forgiven, washed clean. I’m no more worthy of God’s protection than anyone else, outside of Christ. He didn’t just send a prophet, he sent his beloved son to save us.
Have hope. “The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust him.” 1:7