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Goodness of God

Nahum 1:7-8

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“The Lord is good, a stronghold in a day of distress; He cares for those who take refuge in Him. [8] 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 influence.  
 
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 you for reading the free preview of this sermon.  The full manuscript is available to Premium Members use these resources in their ministry.
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