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THE LORD IS GOOD
Intro: The book we have read from today is a hard book to read. Nahum is labeled as one of the Minor Prophets. This does not mean that their message is any less important then the messages of the prophets called the Major Prophets. That label simply means that their message is shorter.
The book bears the name of the prophet Nahum. His name means comfort or consolation. It is a shortened form of the name Nehemiah. The city of Capernaum is named after Nahum. The Jews call the city Kepher-Nahum, or The City of Nahum.
The name Nahum, or comfort, is a strange name for this book, because the book of Nahum is a book of judgment. It is a book of harsh pronouncements of doom against a people who had abandoned the ways of God.
This book is a sequel to the book of Jonah. About 100 years earlier, Jonah was sent to the city of Nineveh, which was the capital city of the nation of Assyria. Jonah entered their city preaching a message of certain, impending judgment. When the Ninevites heard the message of Jonah, they repented of their sins and the Lord spared the city. Now, a century has passed and they have turned away from the commitment they made to the Lord.
By the time the book of Nahum was written, the Assyrian Empire was at the height of its military and national power. They were on the march, seeking to expand the boundaries of their kingdom. Beyond that, the Assyrians were guilty of attacking the nation of Israel. God used them to punish Israel for their sins, but God would also punish Assyria for their disobedience and their hatred of the people of God.
Nahums message is one of judgment. In verse 1, Nahum refers to his message as a burden. This word means heavy. His message is a heavy message because it is a message of doom, gloom and judgment. Nahums prophecies were fulfilled when God allowed the Assyrians to be conquered by the Babylonians in 612 BC.
While Nahums message is one of judgment and wrath, there is one bright spot. I am referring to verse 7. In the midst of all the words of wrath, anger and doom, this verse stands like a shining beacon of hope on a dark and stormy night.
I want to park in verse 7 today. I want to borrow the words of Nahum where he says, The Lord is good, for my title. I want to show you some reasons that I see in this verse that teach us that The Lord Is Good.
I. WE HAVE HEAVENLY ASSURANCE
Nahum clearly says, The Lord is good. This statement is made against the clear backdrop of Gods judgment on the Assyrians. Consider the context of verses 2-6.
This should encourage us today, because our nation, like the ancient Assyrians, has wandered far away from God. The Assyrians were the vilest, meanest people of that era. But, they were no more vile and evil then the people of America are today. We have reviled Gods law, we have ignored Gods word, and we have found countless ways to cut God out of our lives. As a result, America is a nation under judgment today.
The turmoil in our society, the upheaval in our economy, and the steady decline in our morality, can all be traced to our abandonment of God, and to His subsequent abandonment of us. Even in the midst of judgment, The Lord is good!
The word good means, pleasant, agreeable, rich, valuable. That word describes the very character of God. In fact, our English word God is a shortened form of the word good. Circumstances may say otherwise, but The Lord is good!
Regardless of the realm of life: finances, government, people, pain, problems, sickness, or even death, The Lord is good!
We are living in hard times, but The Lord is good! In fact, He is good to all people, in all places, in all situations, and at all times. (Ill. Psalm 145:9) in spite of how things look, feel, or appear, The Lord is good! That is the assurance we have in all situations, circumstances, and conditions of life.
The fact is, The Lord is good! Consider Psalm 34:8; Psalm 100:5; Psalm 135:3; Psalm 145:9. All these verses teach us the same truth; they teach us that, The Lord is good! He is always good! Consider Romans 8:28.
Its easy for us to say, The Lord is good when life is going well, but it doesnt change the fact that, The Lord is good even when times are bad. The Lord is good all the time, and in every way.
Chapter 1 of the book of Nahum declares the greatness of God. But, the one word that best describes His unchanging nature is the word good. The Lord is good!
If you dont get anything else out of this message, remember the fact that, The Lord is good!
I. We Have Heavenly Assurance
II. WE HAVE HEAVENLY ASSISTANCE
Nahum reminds the embattled people of God that God is a stronghold in the day of trouble. the word stronghold means, a place of safety, protection and refuge; a safe harbor in the storm.
Sooner or later, we will all need to stronghold. Trouble will come to us all eventually. (Job 5:7; Job 14:1) the word trouble refers to, distress, straights, or trouble. It speaks of those times when life closes in around us, and the pressures of life come against us. In those times, the people of God have a refuge. Consider: Psalm 73:1; Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 27:5; Psalm 46:1; Psalm 50:15; Proverbs 18:10; Isaiah 43:2.
We have a place to which we can flee in the day of trouble; a place for the hurts and horrors of life cannot follow us. There is a place of safety for the people of God.
Verse to say is God is jealous. When you and I become jealous, it is because we are afraid of losing something or someone that is dear to us. When we become jealous, it is always a manifestation of our fallen natures. In other words, human jealousy is a sin.
When the Bible says, God is jealous, that does not imply that God is guilty of sin. God is not afraid of losing us. God is not afraid that someone will take us away from evil. We are he is and no one can ever change that. What it means, is that God views us as a precious possession, 1 Peter 2:9. It means, that He places Himself between us and those persons or events that would harm us.
Imagine taking your child to the zoo. While you are there, a lion escapes from its cage. Would you like to do everything in your power to place yourself between your child and that lion? Of course you would! But why? You would do it because you are jealous over that child. A child is precious to you, and you would pay any price; you would even lay down your very life to protect it.
Thus it is with God, His children are precious to Him, and He will do whatever it takes to protect them. Notice verse 3. The Lord declares that He has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet. Thats simply reminds us, that He is in control. Our God is a sovereign God. The winds and the waves obeyed His will.
When the storms of life rise against you, and the winds of adversity buffeting your life, you will discover that there is a place of refuge for the child of God. You will discover that there is peace in the midst of the storm. You will discover that God is directing your paths for his glory, Proverbs 3:5-6. (The word pass refers to, the unmarked ways of life. Job understood this truth, Job 23:10. So did David, Psalm 37:23. We need to learn the truth that even when we cannot see the way, He is the way.)
I. We Have Heavenly Assurance
II. We Have Heavenly Assistance
III. WE HAVE HEAVENLY ACQUAINTANCE
We are told that, He knoweth them that trust in Him. The word knoweth means, to know intimately; to know by experience. The word trust means, to flee for protection; to trust in God.
This phrase reminds us that God knows His people. He knows your name! He knows where you are; He knows what you face; He knows all the details of your life. Even as the very hairs of your head numbered. He knows you intimately, comprehensively, and completely. There is nothing about you, your life, or your situation that has escaped His attention.
Like Hagar, when she fled from Abraham, Genesis 21:17, God knows you and everything about you. He knows His sheep, John 10:14. In fact, He knows them intimately. Psalm 23:1-6 declares the depth of His knowledge and the comprehensiveness of His care for those who belong to Him. By the way, His sheep know Him too, John 10:4–5; 27. His sheep know his voice. He speaks, and they respond to His words. They are in a constant state of two-way communication with the Shepherd.
Just so you know, the Lords people are more than just dumb, defenseless, directionless sheep. We are elevated far beyond that. In John 15:13–15, He calls us His friends. The word friends means, an associate. Let that sink in, He associates with us. We are His friends! They say, you are known by the company you keep. It sounds to me like the Lords people are in good company.
He is a Shepherd to His sheep. He is a Friend to His associates. But, it gets better than that. Hebrews 2:11–12 tells us that we are His brethren. The word refers to, those of the same womb. You see, He is more than the leader of a bunch of dumb animals. He is more than a friend of a gang of sinners. He has saved us by His grace, and brought us into His family. There is a heavenly acquaintance, and that gives us hope in the day of trouble.
Conc: I just want to remind you as I close, The Lord is good! This might be a good time to come before Him and praise Him for His goodness. This might be a good time to come home if you have wandered away. This might be a good time to get before the Lord and ask Him to forgive you for doubting His goodness in your life.
One day a little boy was telling his grandmother how everything in his life was going wrong. He told her about his problems with school, family, friends, etc.
Meanwhile, his grandmother is baking a cake. She asks her grandson if he would like a snack, which of course he does.
Here, have some cooking oil, grandma offers.
Yuck says the boy.
How about a couple raw eggs?" Grandma asks him.
Thats gross, Grandma! he says.
Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?
Grandma, those things are all yucky! the boy says.
To which Grandma replies: Yes, all these things seem bad by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake! God works the same way. Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times. But as we trust in Him despite the circumstances, Eventually, together all things will make something wonderful!
I dont know what you are experiencing today, but I want to leave you with a final thought: The Lord is good!