From Your Pastor, March 26

From Your Pastor, March 26

“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble;

  he knows those who take refuge in him.” 

Nahum 1.7

According to Nahum, who is our only true protector? The Lord. “Some trust in chariots and some in horses…” (Psalm 20.7). Some people search for protection and they find a false and puny protection that resides in their intellect, money, guns, alarm systems, spouses, children, and even external religion. We are looking for protection in all the wrongs places. 

Why is the Lord our protection? He is good. The Psalmist says, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34.8)! During a time of heartache, trouble and bad circumstances, the Psalmist stops to dwell on the goodness of God. The Hebrew word for ‘good’ is ????? (?ô?) and it means the Lord is morally excellent.

The goodness of the Lord is not abstract. His goodness is directly linked to his relationship with his people. The Lord is the paragon Protector of his people. The LORD has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29.11). The Lord is good because he is a protector. He is the “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation” (Psalm 68.5).

What is more, he knows those who take refuge in him. Yes, God is omniscient; he knows all things, but he knows those that are his possession. Historically speaking, God’s people had tasted destruction from the hands of the people of Nineveh, and God’s people were oppressed and suffering. But many had not turned to God for protection. They were still searching for some sort of earthly protection.

What is the worst thing for God to say to you? “I never knew you…” (Matthew 7.23). There were numerous people in Israel that thought they were protected, but God never knew them. Why? They did not have a personal relationship with him. Oh, sure, they went to the temple and carried out the perfunctory religious tasks, but it was a cold, distant devotion. The Lord was not their personal Protector.

How can you be certain that the Lord knows you and is your personal Protector? Have you “trusted the LORD with all your heart, and not leaned on your own understanding”? On the cross, Jesus was punished so that we can have protection from the wrath of God for our sins. “Upon him was the punishment that brought us peace” (Isaiah 53.5). Jesus “is our peace” (Ephesians 2.14) and he is our only Protector in times of trouble.

You may ask, “How can I have that peace right now?”
Pray. Stop what you doing—and pray.
 

O what peace we often forfeit,

O what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry

Ev’rything to God in prayer.

“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.”  Nahum 1.7

–Pastor Knox