The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebukes the sea and makes it dry; he dries up all the rivers; Bashan and Carmel wither; the bloom of Lebanon withers. The mountains quake before him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, the world and all who dwell in it. (Nahum 1:3-5)
A group of kids where asked, 'how powerful is God?'. One said, 'God is so powerful he could break this school in two'. Not an answer that impressed her headmaster! Another said, 'God is so powerful he can be the best pilot'. Clearly with a future career in mind perhaps! Another said, 'God is so powerful he can do anything he wants to'. All eye opening and sober responses! I easily forget the power of God amid many life’s challenges.
The people of God during Nahum’s time faced just such a challenge from powerful Nineveh. God gave Nahum of a vision reminding them just how powerful He was in contrast to their enemies. Two important attributes of God's power can be seen from that verse.
First, Nahum teaches us that God is powerful in nature. He has power over the uncontrolled forces of nature. The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm. These unpredictable and catastrophic forces of nature are not beyond him. Forces feared by ordinary man – powerful tornados and hurricanes are his servants! All of nature worships God. God's power over nature includes power over its life and beauty. The rich pastures of Bashan, Carmel and Lebanon were known for their vitality and life. Before God the life and beauty embedded in nature is sucked out and brought to a complete end by Him
This is a challenge to worldly thinking with its “mother nature” worship. There's no "mother nature". God controls it all. Therefore we can trust God to look after the unpredictable storms of life at home, work, church and nation He has never promised to take the storms away, but he promises to be in it.
God ultimately controls our lives. Not rich and powerful nations of history. All of life belongs to God not man despite our empty boasts. This changes the way we discuss questions of life (abortion, euthanasia). We must begin with God! It also encourages us as believers to entrust all of our lives to God especially suffering. It's also a reminder that the beauty of life is an expression of God’s glory. It will all fade one day. Therefore we must not live for today but for things that never fades!
Secondly, Nahum teaches us that God is powerful in judgement. He has power to judge all the earth, including the humanly impossible. The mountains must quake before Him. The hills must melt. The earth heaves at His presence. Yes, the world and all who dwell in it! Mountains and hills are symbols of immovable, permanent and impregnable structures. And yet these toughest nuts to crack melt when God speaks. Entire planet quakes. All the earth is judged.
God's judgement is wrathful. It is poured out like fire. All his enemies will ultimately be brought to an end. This is a warning to all world rulers, our modern mountains of power, that he has them in his hands. It is also a warning to unbelievers generally who have rejected God that one day they'll face God’s wrath!
Christians know this God as Jesus Christ our soon Coming King. The death and resurrection of Christ comes between us and severe judgement of a Powerful God. This should fill our hearts with appreciation of his mercy, grace and love for us. It should spur us with an eagerness to live holy lives.
Equally important is it gives us hope to rest in Christ totally. Our God is a God great in power! But he is also our Brother! So why panic when enemies strike? Why panic when circumstances of life throws us off course! Jesus Christ is in that storm of your life! Trust him! He is a Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Our Prince of Peace.
Related Posts (Nahum Series):
Is God Angry? (Nahum 1:1-2)
Is God Jealous? (Nahum 1:2-3)
Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2013
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