A Second Time

Today’s devotion from Nahum 1-3.We find ourselves once again in Nineveh, the scene of Jonah’s account. We remember Jonah was unwilling to minister to the Ninevites because he knew God was gracious and forgiving. And, as he suspected, the people of Nineveh received his message, repented, and received a pardon at that time. However, roughly a century later, the people had returned to their violence, oppressing and exiling peoples, and Assyria was a key political power shaping the region, if not the known world. This time there is no warning sent to Nineveh. There is no rebellious prophet, no storm at sea, no great fish, no wormy vine. No. God had seen enough. Even though the Assyrians would be the instrument of His judgment on Samaria and the Northern Kingdom, God would not relent from pouring out His wrath on this wicked people. For this reason, Nahum’s prophecy begins with the character of God.

I don’t think it is an accident that we are confronted with the nature of God, the description of His  power and wrath, and the reality of His goodness and protective posture toward His people. Even in disobedience, the Israelites are still His people. He will not abide their oppression without a reckoning, even if they are the cause of that suffering.

As we read Nahum, and begin with God’s nature, character, and attributes, we should also consider reframing our perspective on many other things. Too many times we are guilty of starting with a problem instead of focusing on the solution. We inadvertently give enemies more of our attention than we give our Father. We fixate on the problems around us instead of the refuge that is offered for our protection.

Today, you’ll encounter no problem, no situation, no enemy greater than your God. Set your eyes on Him first thing, before any of these others present themselves. Then, as they pop up, hopefully this perspective will remind us of how small they are in comparison to the power of our God.