We all ought to know the story of Jonah by now. According to the book that bears his name, he was sent by the Lord to warn Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, that they had just forty days to repent…or else! (Jonah 3:4) Although Nineveh did repent and was spared, that was not the end of it, because Assyria continued to be an oppressor of God’s people. A hundred years later, Nahum took up the mantle of prophet and wrote down an oracle of Nineveh’s destruction that is both poetic and brutal. And yet, in the midst of his first few lines, while describing the Lord’s power to create and destroy, the prophet pauses to remind us of something very important:
The LORD is good,
A stronghold in the day of trouble;
And He knows those who trust in Him.
~Nahum 1:7 NKJV
If you remember nothing else about the Lord our God, remember that! No, He is not good to those who harass and oppress His people, but He stands up for the righteous and punishes the wicked (Psalm 1:6).
In addressing the Jews who didn’t believe in Him, Jesus said they didn’t believe because they were not of His sheep, but His sheep know His voice and follow Him, and He knows them (John 10:26-27). Do you see the parallel? Our Shepherd knows those who trust in Him.
Yes, our world is a mess right now, and the need for revival is greater than ever. But in the midst of warning people about the ultimate choice they need to make between life and death, we must always remind them what Nahum said: The Lord is good, He preserves the righteous, and He knows those who trust in Him as Shepherd and King.