Nahum 1 … Consider Him, Our Stronghold in the Day of Trouble

The Lord is good,
A stronghold in the day of trouble,
And He knows those who take refuge in Him,

This chapter felt a bit like riding a seesaw, up one moment and down the next as we are launched back and forth between words of wrath declared against those who had made themselves the enemy of God, to suddenly be immersed in the assurance of comfort and consolation provided for the people who had made the Lord their refuge.

Some background will be helpful in guiding us to see Him increase through this prophecy of Nahum (a bit lengthy, but so very worth the read).

From NIV Study Bible:

The book contains “the visions of Nahum” (1:1), whose name means “comfort,”… nothing is known about him except his hometown (Elkosh), and even its general location is uncertain.

Assyria (represented by Nineveh, 1:1) had already destroyed Samaria (722–721 B.C.), resulting in the captivity of the northern kingdom of Israel, and posed a present threat to Judah. The Assyrians were brutally cruel, their kings often being depicted as gloating over the gruesome punishments inflicted on conquered peoples. They conducted their wars with shocking ferocity, uprooted whole populations as state policy and deported them to other parts of their empire. The leaders of conquered cities were tortured and horribly mutilated before being executed…No wonder the dread of Assyria fell on all her neighbors!

About 700 B.C. King Sennacherib made Nineveh the capital of the Assyrian empire, and it remained the capital until it was destroyed in 612. Jonah had announced its destruction earlier (Jnj 3:4), but the people put on at least a show of repentance and the destruction was temporarily averted… Not long after that, however, Nineveh reverted to its extreme wickedness, cruelty and pride. The brutality reached its peak under Ashurbanipal (669–627), the last great ruler of the Assyrian empire. After his death, Assyria’s influence and power waned rapidly until 612, when Nineveh was overthrown…

Some words are addressed to Judah (see 1:12-13, 15), but most are addressed to Nineveh (see 1:11, 14; 2:1, 13: 3:5-17, 19) or its king (3:18). The book, however, was meant for Israelite readers living in Judah.

The focal point of the entire book is the Lord’s judgment on Nineveh for her oppression, cruelty, idolatry, and wickedness. The book ends with the destruction of the city…

In addition, Nahum declares the universal sovereignty of God. God is Lord of history and of all nations, as such, He controls their destinies.

This is not the first time in the writings of the prophets that I found myself longing for an easier read. And perhaps because we were created to walk in fellowship with Him, we are compelled in our desire for the comfort of His peace and presence. And to the people of Judah, as they heard of what was awaiting their cruel enemy, there would be comfort; but not in the tragedy that would befall their foe, but in the triumph their God would achieve for His people as their Stronghold in the Day of Trouble.

From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:

strongholds: 4013. מִבְצָר miḇṣār: I. A masculine noun meaning fortification. It is used of a building or set of structures designed for efficient military defenses… a strongly fortified city… fortresses in general… fortifications on a wall and including the wall …

Trouble: 6869. צָרָה ṣārāh: I. A feminine noun meaning trouble, distress, anguish. It refers to a situation or a time of extreme discomfort, an affliction for many different reasons… a rival. It refers to a person who is threatening or a source of despair for various reasons…

The people were definitely facing trouble and affliction from a terrifying rival. But the Lord would remind them that He was Lord of history. And while they found themselves in extreme discomfort as a result of their rebellion and the Lord’s discipline, the Lord would put an end to their afflictions, break off the enemy’s shackles, and bring them to safety in Him, their Stronghold in the Day of Trouble.

Thus says the Lord,
“Though they are at full strength and likewise many,
Even so, they will be cut off and pass away.
Though I have afflicted you,
I will afflict you no longer.
13 “So now, I will break his yoke bar from upon you,
And I will tear off your shackles,”

And perhaps as the people of Judah heard the words of the prophet, Nahum, they would remember the words of their beloved King David who had also openly confessed God as his Stronghold, reminding them to trust Him and take refuge in His deliverance. And through the one whose name means “comfort,” God would bring comfort to His people in their Day of Trouble.

And David spoke the words of this song to the Lord in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said,
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge,
(2 Samuel 22:1-3).

For though the war waged against them was powerful, and while their defenses against the enemy were powerless, if they would trust the One Who is good, they would know the comfort of His truth: no weapon could ever touch them if they would take refuge in Him as their Stronghold in the Day of Trouble.

“No weapon that is formed against you will prosper;
And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord,
(Isaiah 54:17).

Consider Him, Our Stronghold in the Day of Trouble

Much attention is given to God’s wrath that will be released on the brutal enemies of God. But today in the prophecy of Nahum, we are reminded that our comfort is found in Jesus, Our Stronghold in the Day of Trouble, our only hope of rescue from the wrath to come.

and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come, (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

  • He is Our Stronghold in the Day of Trouble Who imparts His Goodness to those who take refuge in Him.
    • The Lord is good,
      A stronghold in the day of trouble,
      And He knows those who take refuge in Him,

      • Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, (Romans 8:1).
  • He is Our Stronghold in the Day of Trouble Who will never forsake those who know, trust, and seek Him.
    • The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed,
      A stronghold in times of trouble;
      10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You,
      For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You,
      (Psalm 9:9-10).

      • …for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” (Hebrews 13:5).
  • He is Our Stronghold in the Day of Trouble Who delivers and saves us by His surpassing strength.
    • The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
      My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
      My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold, (Psalm 18:2).

      • and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, (Ephesians 1:19-20).
  • He is Our Stronghold in the Day of Trouble Who will destroy the works of evil.
    • They band themselves together against the life of the righteous
      And condemn the innocent to death.
      22 But the Lord has been my stronghold,
      And my God the rock of my refuge.
      23 He has brought back their wickedness upon them
      And will destroy them in their evil;
      The Lord our God will destroy them,
      (Psalm 94:21-23).

      • the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil, (1 John 3:8).
  • He is Our Stronghold in the Day of Trouble Who shields us in His love, enabling us to overwhelmingly conquer through Him.
    • My lovingkindness and my fortress,
      My stronghold and my deliverer,
      My shield and He in whom I take refuge,
      Who subdues my people under me, (Psalm 144:2).

      •  But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Romans 8:37-39).

How do we respond to Him, Our Stronghold in the Day of Trouble?

It sometimes seems that every day is the day of trouble. And for good reason. For the truth is, we are at war with an enemy even crueler than the Assyrians. For while Judah’s enemy was barbaric in the destruction of the peoples, we have an enemy who is ever on the prowl to destroy and devour souls.

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour, (1 Peter 5:8).

But through faith in Christ, we have been spared the ultimate Day of Trouble, the day of His wrath. Oh, that we would grow to see our troubles of this life as God’s opportunities to strengthen our faith, that we would see this life in light of the eternal glory we have waiting for us with Him, Our Stronghold in the Day of Trouble.

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal, (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

While we wait for that day, we must choose to fix our focus on Him, Our Stronghold in the Day of Trouble. No matter how shaky the world is around us, let us not give in to fear as we walk in faith, believing He is always our very present help in every trouble.

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah, (Psalm 46:1-3).

As we all know, waiting can be one of the most challenging obstacles to our faith. Rather than grumbling and murmuring, let’s commit to wait in silence as we trust Him, Our Stronghold in the Day of Trouble, to hold us securely in our salvation.

My soul waits in silence for God only;
From Him is my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken, (Psalm 62:1-2).

Oh, how we need to abide in His Word to remind us of all He has done and to encourage us to keep on believing. Let us follow the psalmist’s example that as we come to His Word, we would come into His shelter. By faith, let us claim Him as our only hope against every enemy and Our Stronghold in the Day of Trouble.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence, (Psalm 91:1-3).

Fear. It’s debilitating and paralyzing. And in light of Who our God is, it is also nothing short of laughable. So today, let’s remind ourselves Who God Is. He Is Our Light. He Is Our Salvation. We are held securely by Him, Our Stronghold in the Day of Trouble. What on earth do we possibly have to fear?

The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom should I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom should I be afraid?
(Psalm 27:1 HCSB).

When fear rears its ugly head (and it will), rather than giving in to panic and dread let us run to the promises of His Word that our fears would be crowded out by praise as we choose to trust Him, Our Stronghold in the Day of Trouble.

When I am afraid,
I will put my trust in You.
In God, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust;
I shall not be afraid.
What can mere man do to me? (Psalm 56:3-4).

Let’s Grow Together!

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