Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Books of Micah and Nahum

The Life Project: Nahum
Matt Roberts

How many of you remember the playground bully from your Elementary school? That
one kid who matured faster than everyone else. He was faster, stronger and bigger than
everyone else and out to prove it every step of the way. Do you remember the helpless
feelings you had standing face to face with that bully? Trying your best to look strong
but knowing full and well that this was not going to end well. My guess is each of us
know that feeling all too well. For some reason those are the things that seem to stick
with us in life.

In the book of Nahum we find the people of Israel staring down a bully of epic
proportions. The nation of Assyria lead by it’s capital city of Ninevah has been
sadistically picking on Israel for close to a generation at this point. God’s people are sick
and tired of this evil oppression but feel helpless in the face of Ninevah’s strength and
power. As Israel looks to heaven and questions God in this time of great suffering God
responds through the words of a Prophet named Nahum.

Nahum is a book of hope and comfort to those who are being or have been victimized
or oppressed. It is a book for survivors; for those who are looking for a life beyond their
present circumstances. Nahum’s message provides comfort to and compassion for
those who find themselves plagued by evil oppression. It is a book that speaks directly
to those facing hard times and let’s them know that God is attentive, responsive and
loving even in the midst of life's storms.

This is a truth that should still resonate with hope for us as believers today. The truth is
we each still face bullies in our daily lives. The bully of financial hardships. The bully of
broken homes and relationships. The bully of addiction. The bully of depression. I don’t
know what your bullies name is, but I do know that God rules. God is able, just as He
was in the Old Testament, to protect and defend.

I am reminded of Psalm 91:9-16
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation. ”

I love this image of God as refuge, protector, defender, hero. And I love that my God is
powerful enough to back up His Word. In Nahum, in Psalms, at the cross and on
countless occasions in my personal life, God has come to my rescue. He IS mighty to

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