This Day in History: 0000-01-27

January 27 – Nahum 1:3 & 7-11 

The Lord is slow to get angry, but His power is great, and He never lets the guilty go unpunished. He displays His power in the whirlwind and the storm. The billowing clouds are the dust beneath His feet…
The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in Him. But He will sweep away His enemies in an overwhelming flood. He will pursue His foes into the darkness of night.
Why are you scheming against the Lord? He will destroy you with one blow; He won’t need to strike twice! His enemies, tangled together like thornbushes and staggering like drunks, will be burned up like dry stubble in a field. Who is this wicked counselor of yours who plots evil against the Lord? 

How often do we read passages like this one, usually from the Old Testament (but not always), and find a twinge of discomfort in our hearts as we try to reconcile God’s wrath to the picture of perfect love we’ve created in our heads? I’m afraid far too often, our ideas about who God is are shaped by who we want Him to be based on our very limited and very fallen understanding of the world rather than on who He actually has revealed Himself to be based on His Word. 

Our humanity quite naturally perverts words like “good” and “love” and “justice.” We don’t like to think that true goodness could include wrath, that love could include the forsaking of another, or that justice could include eternal damnation. Nonetheless, each of these characteristics are an important part of their coinciding attribute.  

Would goodness really be good if it did not stand in sharp opposition to evil? No. What makes goodness good is that it is in every way separate from what is bad. Our mighty God is altogether good. In fact He is Himself the very definition of good. Whatever He is – that is good. And the Bible tells us again and again that He is wholly set apart from what is evil. He cannot abide it, He cannot tolerate it. He is holy. And He will completely and eternally destroy what is evil. 

This is not a truth that should lead us to anxiety or living in a place of fear, but one that should stir within us a sense of holy fear and awe for the One who made a way. Without Him we would be doomed forever to be on the receiving end of that wrath, but His love for us was so great that He made a way and became a refuge for those who have turned to Him.  So let’s trust Him with all that we are and turn only to Him in times of trouble for He is indeed a good, loving, just and righteous God!