The LORD is good.
When trouble comes, he is a strong refuge.
And he knows everyone who trusts him.
Nahum 1:7 NLT
Occasionally my three sons get into a fight. (Hard to believe, I know…) And when they come to the Court of Judge Momma for justice, each one gets a chance to explain their version of the crime.
Every time, the boy doing the explaining is COMPLETELY INNOCENT. However, a crime was still committed, so Judge Momma has to piece together the truth pulled from parts of all three accounts and render a verdict. No matter what, all three boys know:
- I love all of you.
- Anyone who asks for forgiveness will receive it.
- If you are ACTUALLY innocent, you won’t be treated the same if you were guilty. (Judge Momma does not run a one-size-fits-all court.)
I was thinking about this as I read Nahum this week. Nahum was the prophet that God sent to Nineveh a century after Jonah came through. The people of Nineveh had gone back to their evil ways some time after Jonah’s days and so God sent Nahum to warn again. But this time, there was no repentance. This time, it was a message of judgement.
But even among three terrifying chapters of God’s explicit judgement, he leaves a glimmer of hope for those who know how to look for it. God doesn’t run a one-size-fits-all court, either.
Who can stand before his fierce anger? Who can survive his burning fury? His rage blazes forth like fire, and the mountains crumble to dust in his presence. The LORD is good. When trouble comes, he is a strong refuge. And he knows everyone who trusts in him. But he sweeps away his enemies in an overwhelming flood. He pursues his foes into the darkness of night. (Nahum 1:6-8 NLT)
Every other verse in the three chapters of Nahum details the destruction of Nineveh for their sins. But this verse stands out like a shining star in the inky night sky. No matter what, I can know:
- The LORD is good.
- When trouble comes, he is a strong refuge.
- He knows everyone who trusts in him.
He is good; better than any judgement made in the Court of Momma. He offers himself as a place of refuge when trouble surrounds us – we always have a choice. He knows those of us that call him by name. I don’t need to lie about my shortcomings. And finally, I don’t need to be afraid of standing before his fierce anger because something stands between me and that perfect rage.
So many, many years after Nahum spoke these words, that “something” was born, lived a perfect life, and died for me. Jesus is the reason I am COMPLETELY INNOCENT even if the evidence is stacked against me.
Dear LORD, some days it’s easy to forget to forgive myself. Some days it’s easy to hold a grudge. Some days I have to pause and remember what kind of judge you were before I judge others in a different way. Please help me trust your judgement and take refuge in your promises. Help me fair and loving to everyone my life touches and hold court in YOUR honor, not mine. Amen.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/20672277@N04/25721794766″>The guys</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>