Relief in God’s Timing


God’s judgment is right and he is just.  Sometimes our endurance under our struggles, whether threat or bullying or persecution will not be resolved in our timing.  We often have to look upward in faith and proclaim: I’ll leave it in your capable hands, God…

1 An attacker advances against you, Nineveh.
Guard the fortress,
watch the road,
brace yourselves,
marshal all your strength!
2 The Lord will restore the splendor of Jacob
like the splendor of Israel,
though destroyers have laid them waste
and have ruined their vines.

18 King of Assyria, your shepherds slumber;
your nobles lie down to rest.
Your people are scattered on the mountains
with no one to gather them.
19 Nothing can heal you;
your wound is fatal.
All who hear the news about you
clap their hands at your fall,
for who has not felt
your endless cruelty?
Nahum 2:1-2, 3:18-19

4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.

5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.
2Thessalonians 1:4-7

Nineveh is in the Lord’s sights. He warns them that he is coming for them because they are oppressors of his people and therefore enemies of God’s purposes and plan.  Not that Israel has always been innocent.  Not that followers of Jesus have always been innocent.  God’s wrath can swing toward his own people as easy as it can focus on those who make themselves his enemies.

In this case, Nahum’s prophecies are for the restoration of Israel and the wrath toward Nineveh for laying God’s people waste and ruining their vines. There is no hope for Nineveh this time.  Nothing can heal you, God says to them.  Their wound is fatal this time.  As we know from the story of Jonah, there was a time that Nineveh could and did turn back from their wickedness.  Not so this time.

In fact, everyone who hears about their ruin will clap their hands.  Ahhh… justice for the bully.  Isnt’ that what happens?  After taking it for so long when someone puts the bully in his place, people say it looks good on you.

This reminds me of the Thessalonian church, who endured persecution and trial in their day.  The promise to them was that God’s judgment is right and he is just.  He will repay those who trouble the Thessalonians.  Notice, though, that the relief for the Thessalonians will not happen until Jesus returns.

The comfort and peace of God wouldn’t be delivered for them in their lifetimes.  And so we see that sometimes our endurance under threat and bullying and persecution will not be resolved in our timing.  We may have to wait until heaven’s reward.

I don’t like that any more than you do, yet I trust that the ways of God are higher than my ways.  His timing will be perfect and his justice even.  I’ll leave it in your hands, God.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

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