Sometimes the world can seem so out of control. We look at injustice or oppression and it feels not right. We see systems and “kingdoms” doing bad and we can feel powerless and overwhelmed. Why does it seem in certain situations that evil seems to be winning? Maybe there is hope and a strategy for us in God’s word.
The other day my wife and I were talking about the books of the Bible and we observed that the book of Nahum doesn’t get a lot of press time. When was the last time that you heard a message on this prophet with a small book near the end of the Old Testament? Challenged by this conversation I set out to revisit to see what we could learn about God.
At first glance this book may seem like a terrible book to take someone to who is feeling overwhelmed by the “power” of the world. You might even expect to be more depressed than when you started. Although only three chapters you will be struck by the judgement feel that is poured out throughout.
But then you stop and remember the country or empire that would be experiencing this judgement. It was the evil power of the day. Nineveh would have been the Nazi Germany of the world that heard Nahum’s message. I was listening to a podcast and and the pastor pointed out that they would have been the bully’s of our day.
When we think of injustice or corrupt systems a bully is a good mental picture of what we are experiencing. The bully on the playground gets away with things because no one seems to stand in their way. I think of our brothers and sisters in Christ in areas where Christians are persecuted and the feeling of powerlessness against the “bully” would seem intense.
But Nahum reminds us of a couple things. First Nahum reminds us that the bully is no match for our God. At some point God’s justice will prevail. Nahum teaches us that the systems of this world don’t stand a chance.
Connected with this is the character of our God. As the podcast I was listening to on Nahum pointed out it is a lot like the children’s prayer, “God is great. God is good.” No matter what we see around us we can know that ultimately the good God will be great. Whether in this life or the next wrongs will be made right.
Which leads to one other thing. When we are frustrated with the way the world is working we can bring it to God. That is actually the best place to start. Sometimes we read the Psalms and it is almost uncomfortable to read as they express their frustration and anger with the world around them. But these types of passages are reminders that we are best to bring these things to God and then from that place we can receive instruction from Him on the specific part we are to play in the world around us.