Nahum & Habakkuk
NAHUM Full of Comfort
...A Strong Hold in the Day of Trouble...
A few weeks ago my daughter's friend went repelling.
He went with a big group.
Some of the group stood on the top of the mountain waiting.
Others watched from below.
One was assigned to hold the rope at the bottom. This post was crucial, his job was to hold the end of the rope as the climber descended down the face of the cliff.
His dedication to the job ensured safety for the one who was attempting the descent. In essence, the person descending was placing his very survival in the hand of the one holding the rope.
On this particular day there were two groups repelling.
As my daughter's friend descended he heard a boy from the other group yell from the top of the cliff that he was about to start his descent. What the boy didn't know, because he couldn't see the bottom, was that the person assigned to hold the other end of his rope had left his post.
The boy jumped off the top of the cliff and fell 110 feet to the bottom with no one there to hold the other end of his rope.
Miraculously his life was spared. He sustained major injuries, but lived.
Sadly, the danger, the cries of fear, the excruciating pain could have all been prevented if someone had just kept a strong hold on the other end of the rope.
I love the message found in the book of Nahum, "The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him." (Nahum 1:7)
In moments of danger, fear, or pain, when it seems as if all of life is going downhill fast, we must never forget that the Lord stands waiting and watching, with a strong hold on the other end of the rope.
He will not leave His post.
In the day of trouble we must put our trust in Him, He will hold on to us until we arrive safely at the end.
He knows us.
If we rely on Him, He will not let us fall.
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...the Lord is in His holy temple...
One of the greatest lessons I have learned from the Old Testament is found in the imagery of the idols.
The lesson has been profound.
I do not want to forget it.
And since it is a reoccurring theme throughout all 1184 pages of the Old Testament, I know that it must be a reoccurring theme now.
A tradition handed down through generations.
I do not want to follow their ways.
"What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it...Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it. But the Lord is in his holy temple." (Habakkuk 2:20)
It seems ridiculous to us, I know. The writing of those words there in the verse, we cannot understand the devotion to these idols made of stone and wood and covered with gold and silver.
We shake our heads.
We wonder how they could be so ignorant.
Their God was not in the wood or the stone, the silver or the gold, the works their hands had made.
He was in the temple.
Why did they waste their time worshipping a God that had no breath at all in the midst of it?
In the moments when I pray that my eyes will be open to see, in those moments I discover my own ignorance.
There is a temple less than ten minutes from my home. The Lord is in that holy temple.
And yet, my days are filled with maintaining that which I have paid for in gold and silver... and built up of wood and stone...and there is no breath at all in the midst of those things.
Someone once told me that the place where I devote the most of my time is the place I worship most.
It is a hard question to ask the soul. Where is it that I devote most of my time?
Don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting that we can't have a beautiful home, that we do not need vehicles to get us where we need to go, that an honest day of work is not admirable.
But today I am reminding myself that the God I worship is in His holy temple. Just minutes away from my home. I know where He is.
His name is there on His house.
I need to balance my life in such a way that I am devoted to visiting Him there.
Just as devoted as I am to the other important things in my life.
There are places to go and people to see, jobs to attend to and children to raise, service to be given and scriptures to be read. And those are all good things. Really good.
But the Lord is in His holy temple.
Perhaps sometime soon we could each find a moment to visit Him there.