January 8, 2023

Nahum: God Protecting His People

Speaker: David Jordan Series: Journey Through the Bible Scripture: Nahum 1:1– 3:19

Download the Nahum Bible Journal Outline

Open your Bibles, if you would, to the book of Nahum. If you're visiting with us, I've been going through the books of the Bible, one book at a time, getting the whole book done in one sermon. The reason for that is because if you just preach verse by verse, you would have to live about 300 years to hear the whole Bible. So, we want to do it a little quicker, give you an overview, and then come back to verse by verse preaching. It's exciting! I love seeing the entire historical redemptive narrative, and just piecing all these things together. I'm really enjoying it. I hope you guys are too.

The book of Nahum is about God protecting his people, God protecting his people. Hopefully you have one of the handouts, and that'll help you follow along. There's only three chapters in this book, but it packs a punch. Let me ask you a question. Do you believe that God protects his people? Let me give you a few examples. Starting in Genesis, chapters seven and eight, remember the flood? Normally, we talk about the rain and all the animals getting on there, and Noah building this monstrosity, this massive ark. It took him a very long time. But even after he builds it, and all the animals get on, and they didn't die; the animals didn’t eat them.

And they're in the boat, and after the rain stops, they're parked on Mount Arafat for quite a while. In fact, they were probably wondering what what's going on because they were there for about three months in the boat on top of the mountain. So, Noah wants to find out what's going on, so he sends a raven out. That didn't yield good results, he’s wondering, “Is everything destroyed out there? God had promised it would be; we're safe in here. But when do we get to leave the ark and go out? Will God protect us even after the storm?” So, then a week later, he sends a dove out; the dove comes back. And he sends a dove out again; the dove comes back, and he realizes that there's an olive leaf there with the dove, and that the waters are going down. And then he remembers his God. He's on top of the mountain, specifically 29 days Noah is waiting. Hopefully, the boat is not teetering back and forth on top of the mountain. And he knows that it's time for him to go out. And the Bible says that he removes the cover of the ark.

You see, we picture the, like, beautiful views out of the top of this massive boat, that he's just picturing this wonderful mountainside and the valley below, and he can see everything, and it's like this calm picture of the water going down. But that's not really the way it happened. They're probably all terrified. But 29 days go by. And then God leaves them in the ark another 56 days before he commands them to come out. You see, I think they would want to go out as soon as possible. But they waited on God. Why? Because God protected them from the storm. And God knows when it's safe for them to leave the ark. And of course, then the earth begins to fill again on the ground and in the air with all of the animals that God protected as well. God came through, and here we are.

But let's not get too hasty. You remember Ezra the scribe, around 450 or so BC? Ezra has permission to come back from Babylon to lead more people. And if you're following the M’Cheyne reading plan, day seven, you got to read Ezra chapter seven and Acts chapter seven, and you got to see that in that chapter in Ezra that he basically was given anything he wanted out of the kings treasury. All he had to do was take about 48,000 pounds of silver and 7,500 pounds of gold from Babylon unprotected all the way to Jerusalem, across the desert. I'm sure he wondered, would God protect him? Actually, we don't even have to wonder. Ezra chapter eight, verse 21 says, “Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek for from Him a safe journey for ourselves, and our children, and all our goods. [Now listen to this], For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, ‘The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.’”

You see, you can't just declare that, and then say, “Well, we've got this long trip, how about sending a small army with us to protect us?” No, when Ezra came back across the desert, through the Mesopotamian region, where all the enemies of Israel were, he came alone with just his people, and 1000s of pounds of gold and silver. What happened? Chapter eight, verse 31 of Ezra says this, “The hand of our God was on us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambushes on the way.” There were people who were going to try and take anything from wealthy travelers across that distance, but God protected Ezra.

You see this again in the New Testament. Jesus protects people, not only just from enemies that you and I can see, but also from sickness and from demons. Matthew, chapter eight, verse 14, “And when Jesus entered Peter's house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and began to serve him.” So, even something as small as a fever, back then, could take your life. But nonetheless, Jesus had compassion. He healed her right away. We see in verse 16, “That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: ‘He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.’” See, Jesus was fulfilling the Word of God in his earthly ministry: to heal the sick and bind up the broken. At the will of God, Jesus healed. At the will of God, Jesus cast out demons, protecting people from sickness and from a spiritual enemy.

We also see this in Paul. Think of, who's the biggest enemy of God you can think of right now? Don't say it out loud. Don't say it out loud. Who can you think of? Right? There's lots, there are many to choose from. I don't have a particular one in my mind. But whoever the biggest enemy is, listen to what God did with the biggest enemy back in about AD 30 or so, or 45, where Paul goes from persecutor to the greatest preacher, about 57 AD, actually. We saw that Jesus took this man, Saul, gave him a new name and turned him into one of the greatest apostles. He wrote 13 books of the New Testament. Why did God do that? Well, God was protecting his people.

He not only was calling Saul into service, who then became Paul. That was not the only thing he was doing. See, Paul was a murderer. He was throwing people in the jail for them to die. He was killing God's people. And God said, “You know what, I'm going to take you from serving Satan, and you're going to be my most trusted servant.” That is the power of God: to protect his people, and to call his people into their service. I don't know who you think is beyond God's reach. But let me tell you, no one, no one is beyond God's reach. Throughout history, God protects his people. We see it from the beginning of time with Noah. Thousands of years later, we see it with Ezra. We see Jesus protecting his people. We see Paul being turned to serve the living God. And he does things like this all the time, and one day he will fulfill these things perfectly and permanently, to restore all things, and all things will be subjugated to Jesus.

So, let's go back in between Genesis and between Ezra, we narrow in on the book of Nahum. Nahum is about 200 years before Ezra happens. Nahum is somewhere around 630 BC. Assyria is still in power. And I think for us, since we live in a nation that is incredibly powerful, we kind of take it for granted. But our nation is very young compared to Nineveh. In fact, Assyria was one of the most dominant cities that the world has ever known. So, where did it come from? Well, we go all the way back to Genesis chapter 10 to learn where Nineveh came from. Let me read that to you. “Cush fathered Nimrod; he was the first on earth to be a mighty man. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD. Therefore it is said ‘Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD.’ The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, [Sound familiar?] Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. And from that land he went into Assyria and built Nineveh.” That's in Genesis chapter 10, a record from very long ago.

In fact, we even have, outside the Bible, we have extra biblical sources that mention Nineveh by name as early as about 2200 BC. You see, Nahum is about Nineveh. Nahum is about God protecting his people from Nineveh. Assyria is one of the oldest nations on earth. We know that the king of Assyria from 2 Kings 19 lived in Nineveh. This wasn't just one of the Assyrian cities; it was the capital. It was the Washington DC of the nation. One hundred years before Nahum, though, God gave Nineveh a chance to repent. So, who did he send them? Jonah, he sent them Jonah. And they did repent, and the whole city repented. And they turn from their wicked ways. And they stop their evil.

And in Matthew 12, verse 41, it records that this truly was a revival. It says, “The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, [this is the New Testament referring to what happened in Nineveh] for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.” Jesus is saying that's the greatest revival that has ever happened in the history of mankind, and there's something greater standing right before you. Jesus was getting them to focus their attention on him. But within 100 years, Nineveh would turn away from God. They probably had very poor discipleship programs. They went back to their evil ways. They began to punish the Israelites again and again and again.

In fact, they ransacked the northern 10 tribes; you can read about that in 2 Kings with Sennacherib. And they subjugated Judah, as their little puppet city, Judah and Benjamin, the southern two tribes. They subjugated them and made them pay taxes, and they ruled them from afar. God's people were utterly terrified of Nineveh. Their relatives, the northern 10 tribes that we call Israel, were taken away. And though God sent an angel to destroy the Assyrian army under Sennacherib and sent them back fleeing away to Nineveh, never to return, they were still terrified, and they needed to have justice brought upon them.

So, we pick up in the book of Nahum chapter one, verse one. Look there with me if you would. This is point number one, the Lord protects. “An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh. The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD is avenging and wrathful; the LORD takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies.” As I said, this short little book of 47 verses packs a punch. Repeating, that God is avenging. The LORD is avenging; the LORD is wrathful. The LORD takes vengeance. It's not just that He could, it's that He does. And when the people get scared, when you and I get scared, we forget just who God is.

In Job's trials, what was the solution for all of Job's trials, to remember who God is? And that was enough for him. If we truly have a picture of God, and in all his glory, and all his power and all his compassion, it fixes our problems, because our problems diminish, and our vision and our glory of God grows. But notice, friends, it says, ”The LORD is jealous.” It might strike you as odd; we normally see jealousy as a sin. But of course, we can never accuse God of any sin. What is he jealous for? Well, God is jealous, to protect all that belongs to him, to protect his name, to protect his glory, his people, his sole right to receive worship and obedience, his land, and his city. That comes right out of the biblical doctrine book. God is jealous to protect those. So, when somebody takes those things that are rightfully his, he is jealous to get them back.

And it's not just that he has an attribute of jealous; all his attributes are consistent within him; they not they do not ebb and flow, but his name is Jealous. Exodus 34:14, “For You shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” It imbibes everything about him. And what that means is that God is active, always active, and protecting what is his and protecting his name and his people. And he will carry out his avenging wrath; he will not hesitate. But God is also patient.

Look there in verse three of chapter one. “The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means clear the guilty.” That doesn't mean God is never angry. He's just slow to anger. He allows us time to repent. He allows us time to see our sin. He allows us time to understand how to change, how to grow, how to move beyond the things that displease him, how to move beyond the sin that so easily entangles us, how to lay sin aside, how to grow and the one another's. There's over 70 one another’s in the New Testament alone, how to love one another and serve one another and sing psalms and hymns and carry out joyful words to one another, to be gracious to one another. God gives us time to put these things into practice.

But that time will not last forever. And when that time of repentance has passed, which is up to the Lord's timing; we do not know when that is. But he will not clear the guilty simply because they want cleared. His justice will not give anyone a free pass, and each and every sin will have the full payment of wrath poured out against it. And that will either be on the Lord Jesus Christ or that will be on us forever in hell. There is no other way; there is no other option. For all of us must stand before God, either seen as having the righteousness of Jesus Christ which we cannot merit on our own, or we will stand before him condemned for every thought, deed, every action, every word we have ever spoken. And he will send us to eternal torment.

I beg you; do not choose that option. You will not be able to talk your way out of it. You will not be able to say, “I was a good person; have mercy on me.” He will say, “I did. His name was Jesus.” You will not be able to wiggle out of it, to point to any good deed you have ever done, any miracle God has ever shown you in your life. You will not be able to point to anything ever, except to say, “I have fully submitted myself to Jesus Christ. And by his grace and grace alone, I stand before you, God.” That is a conversation we must prepare ourselves for, and one we cannot get out of. The atoning sin of Jesus Christ, through his death, burial and resurrection is the solution, the only solution for all people of all times in the entire world.

God will repay someone's wrath against them. God will repay people for the sins that they have done. But that is not our job. We want our pound of flesh. We want to get back at somebody, “They said something to me; I'm gonna say something a little bit more hurtful.” And before you know it, there's things said that you'll never forget. That is not an attribute of God we are to follow, that is carrying out His own perfect justice and wrath. Romans 12:19 says this, ”Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’” And it is better for God to repay. Our repayment is so small and insignificant compared to what God will do. And that is the key, friends, to unloading your bitterness. Whatever you are bitter about in life, whatever somebody has done to you, whatever expectations are unmet, you need to give those over to God because he will repay fully.

God has not changed. When someone runs us down verbally, and we tend to talk about them behind their back, this is gossip. It's a sign of great immaturity. Gossip tears down, even if everything you say about that person is true. If it's tearing them down and not building them up, it's gossip. We must put those things far from us. Gossip is a way of verbal retribution. We need to put that aside. Scripture says in Ephesians four to build one another up, to speak words that give grace to those who hear. So, we leave the vengeance to God, who is ever more loving and patient than we are. Even though He is a jealous and avenging God, He is slow to anger and great in power.

So, Nahum, in chapter one, goes on to describe God in great detail. And I'll just kind of survey this for you a little bit. Chapter one, verse three, He compares his movement to a storm. And you begin to think, “Does this mean he's just all over the place? Or is He not like us?” It shows his, in chapter one, verse four, his power over nature, over the sea and the rivers, and the trees that obey him. I don't know about you, but trees under my command tend to die. The mountains that tremble before him in verse five. This describes God, and we see how different God is from us, and that's a good thing.

Then Nahum describes God's wrath. In chapter one, verse six, when his anger arrives, he is furious. He is livid. His wrath poured out like fire. But we should not confuse God with man. God is always in control, always in control of his power, always in control of his emotions; his emotions never control him. Emotions, by the way, are not a thing. They are a response to a thing. Emotions are your mental response to what is going on. You can take the same event, and different people will respond differently. If you don't know how to swim, a pool is terrifying. But it's just a pool. But if you do, you jump in; it's great fun. See, it's our response to something. That's where emotions come from. God is always in control of his responses, of his purposes, of his power, of how he unleashes those--not too much, not too little.

Nahum goes on to describe God's goodness as well. We contend to be overwhelmed thinking about the great power of God. Nahum chapter one, verse seven, it says, “The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.” That should be a comfort to you. That God is good, that he wants to protect us. And not just that he wants to, but that he will protect us. That he is strong; it's not just that he wants to if you're strong. If you're good, but you're not strong, you have no power to carry out your goodness.

He is also able. He is a stronghold in the day of trouble. A stronghold is built for the day of trouble. He is discerning, that is he never is guilty of taking out the wrong people. He doesn't indiscriminately apply his wrath and everybody who's nearby gets consumed. No, if you're consumed by the wrath of God, then it was deserved. Nineveh really wasn't that hard to figure out, though. As you know, as we've talked about this in some of the previous sermons, Nineveh was very evil, which makes their repentance 100 years before this even greater.

But now in chapter one, verse 11, from them they have counselors that specifically plot evil against the Lord. It says, “From you came one who plotted evil against the LORD, a worthless counselor.” One who was spreading these evil plans among the people of Nineveh. They didn't get rid of him. They allowed it; they received it. And this is against the Lord, that’s Yahweh there, that's against the mighty name of God, and they didn't believe that he would protect his name. It's like walking up to a lion and just slapping it in the face and, like, trying to enjoy yourself inside the cage with the lion. It's a bad idea.

Then he gives us in verses 13 and 15 the two main purposes in God's vengeance on Nineveh. Because when you read Nahum, and we're not going to read the whole thing, when you read that, it's disconcerting. It makes you a little uneasy. You're like, “Wow, that's pretty harsh.” No, it's not just harsh, it's final. And so, what are his purposes in bringing out such vengeance on Nineveh? Well, the first is, to destroy. That is part of his purpose. Verse 13, “And now I will break his yoke from off you and will burst your bonds apart.” Whatever is subjugating you to the people of Nineveh, I'm going to destroy that. And I will burst your bonds apart. It's personal. So, one of his purposes is to destroy.

You ask why would he destroy? That's verse 15, a famous verse. It's also repeated in Isaiah. It's a wonderful verse. Nahum 1:15, “Behold, upon the mountains, the feet of Him who brings good news, who publishes peace! Keep your feasts, O Judah; fulfill your vows, for never again shall the worthless pass through you; he is utterly cut off.” And if you like to do deep Bible study, study that word “worthless”. It's Belial. And I'll just let that simmer. You can look it up later this week, if you want to find the significance of that. “Never again shall the worthless pass through you; he is utterly cut off.” When God establishes peace, peace reigns. This is significant.

On the wall of my office is a small plaque. It was my father's plaque. It hung on his wall as he preached, decade after decade. It says this, it’s a quote of Romans 10:14 and 15. It says, quote, “Preach the gospel. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? How are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? How are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’” Paul quoted that verse, speaking specifically, of Jesus Christ in that passage, but it applies to all who bring the gospel.

When you bring the gospel to your neighbor, we think of it with trepidation. And it's more than just handing them a tract and having a five-minute conversation. It's a life witness with the truth attached to it. Isn't that the example we got from Jesus Christ, friends, that Jesus lived it out; he showed them what it looked like. He didn't just tell them you had to be kind. He was kind. He just didn't tell them you had to live by the truth. He showed it and demonstrated it. So, as we live in front of others, we are this welcome news that brings peace, peace with God. See, the people of Jacob, or of Judah, excuse me, needed to hear these things. They needed to understand that they could have peace with God, though they had a great enemy, though they were oppressed, though this enemy was much greater than them. They could have the peace that they actually needed. And it would come through God's Messiah.

Paul quoted Nahum, and it was meant as a sign of restoration to God's people, for great joy. God will restore Jacob and bring peace. That plaque will stay on my office wall, as long as I preach, to ever be before me to remind me that it is the gospel of Jesus Christ that brings salvation and peace. You can walk by the window and look at it. It's up right now. Don't go now, but later you can look at it.

Chapter two brings us a new design. It brings us something new here. We are not just talking about that Nineveh will someday fall. But Chapter two describes how Nineveh will fall, and that Jacob will be restored. So, Nahum repeats his goal in chapter two verse two, “For the Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob as the majesty of Israel, for plunderers have plundered them and ruined their branches.” Prophetic writings often speak of things in the future as though they have already happened. That's what he's doing here.

So how will God begin to restore the majesty of Jacob? He's going to destroy Nineveh. A city that is thousands of years old, easily thousands of years old. He's going to remove it. God is not distant. He is not far off, friends. He is near; he sees you. He knows what you're thinking, when you're at home, when you're here, when you're at work. He sees you when you're in trouble. He sees you when you're anxious and nervous about things. He knows how to comfort you and to comfort the people of Jacob, to comfort God's people. He's saying, “I see you, and I am going to take care of them completely; just leave it up to me.”

So, he goes on through Nahum to describe the war that is coming. Chapter two, verse three, he sees, specifically, shield and soldiers and chariots and spears. God sees them all. Verse four, “chariots racing madly through the streets.” That's the cover of the Bible journal. God sees these things. And in chapter two, verse five, he says “your officers are going to stumble.” Your most capable, not good enough. Your city, it has one major flaw. These walls that are 100 feet tall and thick enough for multiple chariots to go around on, well, there's a river that feeds the whole city, and it's guarded by these great gates.

Chapter two, verse six, “your river gates will open.” It's going to be a flood, a torrent coming in, and it's not going to be difficult. There was a river that flowed into the city of Nineveh, supplying this massive city with water. And God saying the inevitable is coming. Those gates are going to open. Verse eight, Nineveh will flow away like a pool of water. Verse nine, silver and gold will be taken. Verse 10, hearts will melt, knees will tremble, and what they needed to know, all they needed to know is in verse 13. “Behold, I am against you, declares the LORD of hosts, I will burn your chariots in smoke, and the sword will devour your young lions. I will cut off your prey from the earth, and the voice of your messengers shall no longer be heard.” And remember, 2 Kings, they sent messengers to scare the people of Israel; their voices are going to go quiet.

All this comes from one man, from the mouth of Nahum, who we know little about. But we do know this, he was prophet of the most high God; he declared every single word to them. He did not hold back; he was the child standing in front of the tank of a mighty nation. Nahum was the pen conquering the sword. He was the smile in the face of danger. And though the light seemed dim, and at the end of the tunnel, Nahum knew there was a 40-ton locomotive coming behind it, that would not be stopped. So, he declared to this people, this is coming. And it was a warning. It was not a cry for repentance, it was a cry that judgment is coming. You have had your time; your time is up, and now this is on the way.

And it ramps up even more in chapter three, that there is inevitable pain on the way. Chapter three, verse three is difficult to read, it said “dead bodies without end.” “Your people scattered with none to gather them.” (verse 18) So let me ask you why? Why this unceasing blood will be spilled. Why all this judgment on Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, why is this? The book ends with the reason. Chapter 3:19. “For upon whom has not your unceasing evil come?” Your evil has touched everyone. That’s why I told you how old the city was. They had been doing this for generations, for thousands of years. This is prior to Babylon taking them over. This is before that. Their evil was without end. And the time had come. None escape their evil, and they would not escape God.

No one could challenge them. But no one can survive God's challenge. It's like trying to tame the clouds or empty the oceans. It's futile. Such is fighting against God. Why does God do all this? Why is Nineveh wasted? Why is she wasted with non to grieve for her? Why does God do all this? Because God must protect his name. He must; he must protect his name, his people, his plan, his message, and anyone, even a nation, who comes against his name, his people, his plan, or his message. Their doom is sure, and their end is near.

You see, God loves his people. I want to ask you, “Are you his people?” You cannot risk this. You cannot risk God's impending doom and judgment on you. You cannot just sit on the fence. You have to decide, you know, is it “Me and my house, we will serve the Lord”? Or is it “Me and my house, we like God, but we're going to do our own thing.” Are we going to be all in for Jesus Christ, because that's the only people who get in. There's no putting it off or deciding later or figuring out “Well, I'm just gonna think about it. I'm just going to…” God's wrath is building. His patience doesn't last forever. Friend, you can know God today. You can know God right now. You can give your life to him. You say, “I'm good.” Well, you better make sure. Because this is final. Nineveh would not get another chance. And guess what, they're not here anymore. Their city’s gone. Their people are gone.

Run to the loving God. Spend time enjoying who he is. Tell your children about God. Tell your spouse about God. Enjoy the feet of him who brings peace, who brings good news. It doesn't matter what you have done. Remember, God gave Nineveh a chance to repent? And they did. And so, we'll see some of the Ninevites in heaven. We'll see some of those people in heaven. Their house might be next to yours. They might be your neighbor. You might get to ask them, “What was it like to see Jonah preaching in the city? What was your city like?” And they say, “It was awful, but God was good.”

Friends, people need to hear about this. And we need to preach it first to ourselves. We need to preach it first to ourselves, continually, daily. Ask yourself, “Am I repenting in the same way that I'm asking others to repent? Have I given this bitterness of offense over to God? Am I trusting in God the way I'm asking others to trust in God? Am I allowing him to pour his love into my life? Do I believe that he is powerful, and I can trust Him with everything in my life with all my decisions?” That's a stable life. That's a life that's not tossed to and fro by every wind and every doctrine. That's a life that brings a strong foundation that you can build on. That's the life that God wants for each and every one of you, that you don't have to wonder, “Am I going to be destroyed today?” Death is merely an entrance to the presence of Jesus Christ. We should not fear it. We will be sad when people pass, but we should rejoice if they knew our Savior. God loves his people. And he will fiercely protect his children.

The early American Indians had a unique practice of raising up their boys and turning them into braves. On the night of their 13th birthday, after learning hunting and scouting and fishing skills, he was put to one final test. The boy will be placed in the forest, blindfolded, taken to a place they didn't know, and left there all night long. You may think, “Wow, there's probably a house right next to the forest.” No, this was like a vast forest, right, before incredible settlements; it's pitch black. If you've been somewhere where you're outside, and you can barely see your hands, that kind of thing. Can that young boy survive all night on his own? Every time they would take the blindfold off, each boy would start hearing the snap of a twig in a new way, or the whistle of the wind, or the rustling of the trees, visualizing animals that may be nearby that they can't see. Would they survive?

And after what seems like an eternity, and dawn finally breaks, and the first rays of sunlight enter the interior of the forest, and they look around and see they were put in a place where flowers are, of safety. And then they see a path near them. And down the path, they see a figure standing there. It was their father, standing there all night long with bow at the ready, protecting their child. Believers, though we may not see God yet, God is always there at the ready, protecting his children. As Isaiah 52:7 says, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’”

Let’s pray. Father God, we beg your mercy on our nation. We beg your mercy on ourselves and our own lives. Lord God, we want to fully know you and trust you. And each of us, no matter if they've been a Christian for 60 years or six days, needs to learn the depths of just how much we can trust you. Teach us these things, Lord. Thank you for the bravery of Nahum, who spoke your words boldly. Thank you, Lord God, that you protected your people, and they have survived this tiny nation for many centuries now. Lord God, lead us to you. Help us to trust you fully. And help us to remember that you reign. Friends, just take a moment right now, if you would, and ask God to help you remember that he is always at the ready, protecting his people. Father, give us courage to love You and to trust you. Thank you for your word, in your precious Holy Name. Amen.

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