Nahum 1:7 

The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him.


Observation-What does it say? 

The book of Nahum was written by Nahum.  The name Nahum means “comfort”, which relates to the major theme of the book, namely the fall of Nineveh.  Nineveh had become the capital of the Assyrian kingdom.  The Assyrian kingdom was brutal to Judah and Israel, as well as the other nations they conquered.  They were known to gruesomely punish the people of the nations they conquered and uproot them from their homes, sending them to far off places within the Assyrian kingdom.  Often the conquered rulers were beaten and mutilated before being executed.  We know from the book of Jonah that the people of Jonah had once turned to the Lord, but have since gone back to their sinful ways.  Nahum prophesied to the destruction of Nineveh and the redemption of His people.  God, we learn is slow to anger, but does not leave the guilty unpunished (1:3).


Understanding-What does it mean? 

Across the street, around the corner and up the hill in the open space, that’s where my fort was as a kid.  And it was an awesome fort.  We dug out a little flat spot to sit for about four of us.  We built up a frame from yucca plants and covered it with fairly thick walls of brush.  We would pretend to have wars and battles with imaginary forces.  It was there for years, and even when the older kids abandoned the place I would go to the same spot.  At the fort I could be wild and it allowed me to feel creative, yet I still felt safe.  However, my fort was no match for the rain or the cold.  Had I ever encountered anything really dangerous, I would not have run to the fort, I would have run home to the safety of four solid walls and my parents.

All too often, I think we build up “forts” in our lives, places of false security that do not compare to the real deal.  Our forts can be things that look healthy, like exercising, or they can be something that is perceived as detrimental, like alcohol or food.  Whatever it is, our forts are the things we run to in place of God when the world around us seems to be falling apart.  Throughout scripture, we see examples of what happened when Israel ran to their forts, also called idols.  Spending 40 years in the desert, for example, when they created an idol while waiting for Moses (Exodus 32).  This happens repeatedly in the story of Israel, they see adversity, they rely on something other than God and then they fall flat on their face.  It’s not until they return to Him, repent of their sin and renew their trust in Him that he wipes out their enemy.

As we have faced adversity in this last year, let us heed the warning to draw closer to God.  When we draw close to God, we are running toward our true place of security, our stronghold.  

Life Application 

Jesus, give me strength and courage to answer the call in my life.  Help me to learn from Jonah, who wanted to run towards his fort instead of to the people he was called to bring Your love to.  Jesus, help me to bring your love to a world that has set itself against you.  For you are truly patient with us, wanting all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).  
-Tyler Galloway