Open Your Bible
Nahum 1:1-15, 2 Kings 19:8–19
BY Jessica Lamb
Scripture Reading: Nahum 1:1-15, 2 Kings 19:8–19
“God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food.”
I don’t remember when I was first taught this prayer, but I do remember spending my childhood cheerfully chanting it each week in Sunday School over clear Dixie cups half filled with trail mix and graham crackers. This simple prayer was replaced by others as I grew older, but the essential truth it teaches about God in its opening line remains the same.
God is great. He is powerful, sovereign, and holy. We see this on full display in the opening verses of Nahum. Back in the book of Jonah, we read about Nineveh—how God responded with forgiveness and grace when the people of the city humbled themselves before God and turned away from their evil deeds.
But in the years after that deliverance, Nineveh, a city in the brutal, domineering nation of Assyria, had turned turned back to its sin. The redemptive work of God in their city was forgotten. In 2 Kings 2:10, we read how their king, Sennacherib, mocked the living God and His promises with a taunt: “Don’t let your God, on whom you rely, deceive you… will you be rescued?”
In Nahum chapter 1, the prophet shares God’s response to the actions of this unrepentant people: judgment will come to Nineveh. Our great God is just, slow to anger but righteous in dealing with sin, oppression, and plots against Him (vv.3,9).
I sometimes feel whispers of Sennacherib’s taunt slipping into my thoughts as I read the Minor Prophets. The descriptions of the greatness of God remind me of my own rebellion, my own sinful nature. And so I wonder, Is this God I claim to rely on really to be trusted? Will I really be rescued? But the declaration of Nahum 1:7 drowns out those whispers:
“The LORD is good,
a stronghold in a day of distress;
he cares for those who take refuge in him.”
This verse reminds us that God’s greatness is entwined with another essential truth: God is good. He is close to His people, a stronghold in days of distress. He is compassionate and gracious, abounding in mercy and kindness (Psalm 86:15). He is faithful even when we are not (2 Timothy 2:13). Through the work of Jesus, God invites us to know Him and belong to Him—extending the invitation even while we were sinners, rescuing us from suffering, despair, and the punishments our sins deserve (Romans 5:8).
This is our God, and He is always fully Himself. While passages like the judgment of Nineveh in Nahum show us the devastating consequences of sin, they also paint a picture of a God who is fully just, fully loving, and fully good in His response to wayward hearts and brokenness.
As we read through these Minor Prophets, we’ll read about God’s character, how He is present and active. He mourns, hurts, and acts in righteous anger. He comforts, rebukes, and restores. God reveals all this and more to us through His Word, which has the power to change us as we reflect on who He is: a God who is great, good, and fully invested in His people.
Jessica Lamb consumes books, tea, and street-style tacos with equal ferocity. When she’s not working as the managing editor for She Reads Truth, she can be found singing Broadway tunes off-key or traveling. She lives with her husband, daughter, beloved mutt, and tolerated chickens in Nashville, TN.