It seems that each day's news brings a report of another terrorist attack, another missile launch, another dangerous storm, more violence, and more injustice. Evil and unrest persist. How long will it last? How long will [name of a dictator] rule? Where is hope and certainty?
Twenty-seven hundred years ago, the people of Judah were asking the same questions. The ruthless Assyrian military had already defeated and cruelly removed the kingdom of Israel (the ten tribes to Judah's north). The threat to Judah was ominous. Then God sent the prophet Nahum to speak judgment and hope.
Nahum reminded the Assyrian rulers that the hand of God is strong in judging evil. In the first verse of this prophecy, Nahum announced that God takes vengeance and keeps wrath for His enemies. In the last verse of this writing, the prophet stated that the Assyrians have produced "unceasing evil" upon everyone around them. Through the means of a catastrophic flood, God would destroy the capital city of Nineveh and bring their wicked empire to an end.
Nahum's name, however, means "comforter. In this message, he proclaimed hope and encouragement to the people of Judah. In the midst of judgment, God's goodness never stops, because He is all-knowing and in complete control. God instructs Nahum to command the people of Judah to "keep your feasts" (1:15). In uncertainty, the feast give a reminder of the certainty of hope they have in God. Nahum encourages Judah to continue a rhythm of worship that points to the God's faithfulness, specifically the four events in the Spring and the three in the Fall that point to Messiah.
Each Sunday, we gather as followers of Christ to continue the rhythm of worshipping Christ together. We continue to bring reminders into our lives that point to Christ, such as holidays, weekly events, or daily routines. The certainty of God's goodness is like an anchor to our soul. He is our Lord and we are His people. By trusting in Him daily, we will find hope and joy, even in uncertain times.