2011-08-14 - Nahum Chapter 2:1-13
Part 10 ~ Nahum 2: Conclusion
As we've seen, God's righteousness and mercy is balanced with His wrath and vengeance. They can't be separated from each other. This is why Christ had to go to the cross, for without the shedding of His blood, there would be no hope for anyone to escape the holy and righteous judgment of the Lord. Remember, we've see here that God had been using Nineveh to discipline Israel, but now He was going to judge that nation for its sins.
We saw this back in Egypt, when God brought destruction upon the throne and gods of Egypt, while building a nation and keeping His promises to Abraham. Israel became a great people, and finally settled in the land they had been promised.
All through the Old Testament, God promises Israel that He will restore them as a nation, defeat their enemies and finally bring them peace in their homeland. This is the hope of the nation, and it is a foundation of our faith as well. God keeps His promises. One example of this is the Millennial Age.
This same principle carries over to the Church. There have been many attempts to bring the church into disrepute. And certainly there have been times when the Church itself has tried to help out. But there is no danger the Church will fall.
Christ stated: "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it" (Matthew 16:18)
Just as God promised to defend Israel and bring judgment on her enemies, God promises to defend and protect His Church. Sadly, He sometimes has to defend it from internal attack. Nevertheless, the Church stands firm, and just as Israel will survive, so will the Church.
And we see in Revelation, that God carries this same principle into the Tribulation, as well, when the martyrs of that period also call out for justice.
"I saw, under the altar, the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, `How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the Earth and avenge our blood? 'Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed" (Revelation 6:9-11).
This is all meant to be encouraging, but I'm not sure how greatly this benefits us on a day-to-day basis. While the enemies of the Church are our enemies, the attacks don't always impact us on a practical basis. So, the question becomes, where do we find the enemies of our walk?
The enemies of our walk are "the world, the flesh and the devil." They are the enemies, but the problem isn't our enemies, it is how we respond to them. When tempted, do we flee, or do we give in to sin? These are our enemies. What is the resource needed to stand firm? God is the one who give victory over our enemies. Victory begins by recognizing we have the power from God to overcome. And the power to overcome is grounded in Christ's victory.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). The principle is clear. We have no power to stand against our own flesh, much less, the world and the devil, but God doesn't expect us to. Instead, He expects us to depend on Him.
As Paul notes: "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." ? "I can do everything through him who gives me strength" (Romans 12:21; Philippians 4:13).
James applies this same principle to dealing with the devil. While God may allow him certain power in specific situations, (see Job), He gives us victory over the enemy as long as we depend on Him. "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).
We do not have to live in fear of the world, either. While it is a source of temptation, we don't have to sin, but can resist it. "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires" (2 Peter 1:3-4).
The message of Nahum is a message of hope and victory in the Lord. Life is an adventure, and while there are battles and challenges, we can rejoice in the Lord, knowing He loves us, is in control, and never makes mistakes. He provides all we need, to live victoriously for Him.
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests" (Ephesians 6:10-18).
"Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you." ? "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Philippians 3:1; 4:4).
To be continued. Next week: Nahun Chapter 3
Comments or Questions?