Cruising Route 66
God Is Good… And He Is Angry
The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.
In the last book, we saw Jonah go into the city of Nineveh and announce that if they didn’t repent God would crush them. They repented, changed their minds and hearts and all turned out well. It is now some 100 to 150 years later. Anywhere from five to eight generations have been born. New kings have ascended and descended, wars fought, lands taken and lost, and the world has changed.
What about their repentance? They repented of it. The time of sorrow for evil became a hiccup in a legacy of oppression and brutality.
The LORD has given a command concerning you, Nineveh: “You will have no descendants to bear your name. I will destroy the carved images and cast idols that are in the temple of your gods. I will prepare your grave, for you are vile.” Nahum 1:14
The Assyrian people decided that they preferred to march to their own drumbeat rather than God’s. And according to Nahum, God wasn’t going to hold anything back. Have you ever seen those bumper stickers that say, “God is coming soon, and boy, is He mad!” This is true, but not in the way the bumper sticker means. God is coming, but not as some bully or abusive father, but rather as a powerful force of virtue, a reckoning of justice that will bring about a righteous judgment.
Micah presents an interesting word picture of God’s approach.
Hear, O mountains, the Lord’s accusation; listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth. For the Lord has a case against His people; He is lodging a charge against Israel.
God enters the courtroom of human existence and says, “I am prepared to try you for your sins. The testimony has been presented through your own lips, and the evidence has been exhibited by your actions.” Could any of us ever hope to be acquitted? Do we even stand a chance of being found not guilty? – No, but take note of God’s response:
“My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer Me!”
Interesting twist, the Judge takes a seat at the defense table and asks the accused to state their case against Him. What was it that He has done to cause them to sin?
A pastor I once knew shared that his daughter had done something bad, so he confronted her about it. She lied to him and said she didn’t do it. He knew better, so that evening, he went into her room, took off his belt, and handed it to her. He looked her in the eye and said that he needed a spanking – he had caused her to lie.
We are worthy of death because of our sins, yet He did the dying. What is sad is that we take Him for granted until we face a storm.
But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. …… Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the LORD’s wrath, until He pleads my case and establishes my right. He will bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness. Micah 7:7-9
The LORD is slow to anger and great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet. Nahum 1:3
That’s good to remember when we’re in a whirlwind of adversity. If everything seems great, you are probably in the eye of the storm. Whirlwinds of disease, disaster, and death have a way of turning our eyes heavenward. It is one way God redirects our attention.
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs,
And works His sovereign will.
Until next time,