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Goodness of God
“The Lord is good, a stronghold in a day of distress; He cares for those
who take refuge in Him.  But He will completely destroy Nineveh with
an overwhelming flood, and He will chase His enemies into darkness.” (HCSB)
Last week we studied some difficult scriptures that lead us to ask
the question, “How can a loving God do that?” We concluded that God
is love, but He is more than just love. To the point of last week’s
message, God is also holy, and because He is holy, he must judge sin and
protect the integrity of His holiness. In today’s text we see the
same tension. Verse seven declares that the Lord is good, but verse
eight says that He will destroy Nineveh and its inhabitants. While
Nineveh’s enemies would be quick to agree that God is good, the inhabitants
of the evil city might want to argue the point. They might ask, “How
can a loving God destroy our city?”
The book of Nahum is a prophecy that foretold the historic event of
the fall of Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria, which occurred in 612
BC (ZPEP, 356). Jonah referred to the city as an "exceeding great
city." It was so big that he said it would take three days to walk it (Jonah
3:3). It had a palace with 80 rooms, many of them adorned with sculptures.
The city was about 1800 acres and had and aqueduct and 18 canals bringing
water from the hills. The water system could supply 200,000 people.
It wasn’t just a great city because it was big; it was a city of great
The Medes joined with the Babylonians and Susianians to attack the
city and when they destroyed it, they razed it to the ground and massacred
or deported the survivors. The Medes and the Babylonians divided
its providences and the Assyrian empire was demolished. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineveh)
Historians may look at the events I’ve described and ascribe the victory
to the allied forces of the Medes and the Babylonians, but theologians
read the prophecy of Nahum and have a different take. They see the
goodness of God at work destroying the enemies of Israel.
God is good. But that doesn’t mean that those who encounter His
wrath with think so. It is all a matter of perspective. Those
from Nineveh would say God was good to their enemies, but they wouldn’t
say that He was good to them.
1 Chronicles 16:34 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
His faithful love endures forever.” (HCSB)
Psalms 25:8 says, “The Lord is good and upright; therefore He shows
sinners the way.” (HCSB)
Psalms 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good. How happy is
the man who takes refuge in Him!” (HCSB)
Psalms 106:1 says, “Hallelujah! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is
good; His faithful love endures forever.” (HCSB)
Psalms 119:68 says, “You are good, and You do what is good; teach me
Your statutes.” (HCSB)
GOD IS GOOD; EVEN WHEN EVIL PEOPLE BENEFIT FROM HIS GOODNESS.
Psalms 145:9 says, “The Lord is good to everyone; His compassion [rests]
on all He has made.” (HCSB) Life itself is a Thank
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