“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him, but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will pursue his foes into the realm of darkness.” (Nahum 1:7-8)
Currently, in the country of Yemen, 22 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. 40% of North Koreans need humanitarian as- sistance. China is holding one million Uighurs in internment camps. These are only a few examples in our world today which cry out for justice.
The Assyrian empire, with Nineveh as its capital, was a violent regime and Israel’s oppressor. Nahum prophesied God’s judgment againstNineveh; Babylon would conquer Assyria and usher in the reign of the Babylonian empire.
While God proclaimed judgment against Israel’s oppressors, simultaneously God declared His compassion for the oppressed: “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him” (Nahum 1:7). The word Nahum means “comfort”—and in the midst of fiery words of judgment, God also expresses His care for Israel.
Frederick Buechner wrote in Beyond Words, “Justice also does not preclude mercy. It makes mercy possible…Justice is the grammar of things. Mercy is the poetry of things.” In chapter one of Nahum we read that God expresses both His wrath against arrogant and violent regimes, and also His concern for the oppressed, with a promise of comfort and refuge.
The Assyrian empire is but one example of an unjust and evil regime; we understand from Nahum that God cares about injustice in every age and era. God has restored us to Himself through His son who faced an unjust death on our behalf, a Son who will once again return and reign—with an ultimate restoration of justice.
Though the timing of the working out of God’s justice on earth might be unclear to us, we can trust God sees injustice and will act. That is a word that brings me comfort—that God will address the turmoil, pain, and injustice in the world.
- How have you witnessed God work out injustices, either in your own life, or at a larger scale in the world?
- Is there an area of your life or in the world that makes you grieve over its injustice? Pray over that situation today, releasing it into God’s hands and trusting in His justice and mercy.
written by Prasanta Verma Anumolu