Understanding God is difficult enough; when we consider that he is a God of love and a God of judgment, it gets even harder. The book of Nahum shows us God’s judgment and wrath against his enemies, but it also shows us his compassion and love for his people. There is no contradiction between the two – they are like the two sides of a coin.
A Jealous and Avenging God
The Lord is a jealous God and demands that we worship him alone. Nothing in our lives should ever take God’s place. He is also an avenging God who exacts retribution against his enemies. We should be careful that we do not consider our enemies to be God’s enemies, while thinking of ourselves as God’s friends. Every one of us started out this life as a sinner; our sin separated us from God. This made each of us the enemy of God! The only way out of this condition is to accept the reconciliation provided by Jesus Christ on the cross.
A Patient and Powerful God
Though God is a jealous and avenging God, he is also slow to anger. God does not want anyone to be condemned, but he wants everyone to be saved. One cannot help but stand in awe at the power of the sea or of a hurricane, tornado, volcano, or earthquake. Yet these are only a small indication of the great power of God.
When God unleashes his wrath against sin, it is a fearful display. Consider the worldwide flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, or read the description of God’s wrath in the book of Revelation. It certainly is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Still, God’s power is not limited to pouring out his wrath. We see his power in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, in setting people free from sin, and ultimately in bringing the entire world into submission under the rule of Jesus Christ.
A Good God
The Lord is also good! He is a refuge in times of trouble. We can run to God whenever we are stressed, in trouble or afraid. He is always there for us.