The older children and teens began the study of Nahum and were immediately struck by the wrath of the Lord–vengeance, punishment, whirlwind, storm, dried up sea and river, withering blossoms, earthquakes, indignation, anger, fire, shattering rock–this is the fury of the Lord. In the midst of all these descriptions of wrath, the text barely mentions, “The Lord is slow to anger” (Nah. 1:3) Let’s hope He is really slow to anger.
And then a word of hope in the midst of chaos: “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.” (Nah 1:7) Could it be the very one who creates the trouble serves as a refuge for those who trust Him?
I likened this to the time my dad began teaching my sister and me to swim. We were on the farm, and our swimming hole was a muddy pond. We couldn’t see the bottom and creatures of moss floated everywhere. We were young, probably ages 2 and 3. Because I showed my fear, my younger sister was determined to express her confidence. She jumped in first and squealed with delight as Dad swam with her on his back. Dad bobbed in the middle of the water with his arms extended toward me, “Jump. You can’t learn to swim if you don’t get in. Don’t worry; you’ll be safe if you keep hold of me.” Disobedience was never an option in dealing with my dad, but I remember two distinct feelings. 1) I was upset that he should cause so much trouble for me. 2) Once I was in the water, no matter how angry I was at my dad, there was no way I was going to let go of him. While Dad was trying to peel my tight grip from his neck, I imagine my sister got a little cocky and swam out too far on her own. We saw her arms flailing and a look of panic between facefuls of water. My dad reached her quickly and reminded her of the boundary he had marked for her to swim safely.
Trouble will come and go for all people. For those who think they can conquer it alone, it is an “overwhelming flood” of destruction (Nah. 1:8). But for those who trust in the one who controls the chaos, they will be saved.