The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble;
He knows those who seek refuge in Him.
Nahum 1:7 (ESV)
Reading through the Minor Prophets is always a curious endeavor. This verse caught my attention because it seems out of place. It says more about prayer than about God’s destruction of Nineveh.
In reality this verse is part of this psalm that occurs at the beginning of Nahum’s prophecy in chapter 1:2-8:
The Lord is a jealous and avenging God;
the Lord is avenging and wrathful;
the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries
and keeps wrath for his enemies.
The Lord is slow to anger and great in power,
and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty.
His way is in whirlwind and storm,
and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
He rebukes the sea and makes it dry;
he dries up all the rivers;
Bashan and Carmel wither;
the bloom of Lebanon withers.
The mountains quake before him;
the hills melt;
the earth heaves before him,
the world and all who dwell in it.
Who can stand before his indignation?
Who can endure the heat of his anger?
His wrath is poured out like fire,
and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.
The Lord is good,
a stronghold in the day of trouble;
he knows those who take refuge in him.
But with an overflowing flood
he will make a complete end of the adversaries,
and will pursue his enemies into darkness.
Prayer is an important aspect of taking refuge in God. First and foremost, acknowledging God’s goodness turns the heart toward praise. And praise helps the mind recognize God’s invitation to seek Him when discernment and direction are needed to navigate the chaos of darkness, desperation and depression.
Furthermore, in prayer, the heart becomes accustomed to hearing God’s promise of deliverance. The Lord is merciful, slow to anger and great in power. Indeed, all praise, honor and glory belong to The Lord God Almighty!