The prophet Nahum is called the Prophet of Outraged Humanity. Is it right to be angry over injustice in our world? Can a Christian be angry about the mistreatment of children and the unacceptable attitudes people have toward the weak and vulnerable in our world?
For example, between 600,000 and 800,000 women, children, and men are bought and sold across international waters every year and forced in slave labor, commercial sex, or organ harvesting. When internal victims within national borders are added, estimates grow to between 2 and 4 million victims. Of this number, 2 million children are subjected to prostitution throughout the world.
Human trafficking right now exceeds the sale of illegal arms worldwide. It will exceed the illegal sale of drugs in a few years. Currently, human trafficking is a $32 billion per year industry here in the United States alone.
Locally in Georgia, 12,400 men purchase sex from teenage and younger girls every month. Approximately, 100 girls are abused by adult men every night in Atlanta by men who travel here from all over the country. Business men, professionals, and even international travelers land at Hartsfield/Jackson airport for the purpose of engaging in sexual liaisons with underage girls every night. Atlanta is one of the 14 top cities in the nation in its ongoing sexual exploitation market.
How should God feel about all of this? Does He have the right to be angry? Nahum says that He has the right, “Who can stand before His indignation? Who can endure the burning of His anger? His wrath is poured out like fire and the rocks are broken up by Him” (Nahum 1:6).
It is correct to see God as unwilling to allow vile and unjust conduct to continue unabated, “A jealous and avenging God is the Lord; the Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserve wrath for His enemies” (Nahum 1:1).
Billy Graham tells a story about his wife, Ruth: “Some years ago my wife, Ruth, was reading a draft of a book I was writing. When she finished a section describing the terrible downward spiral of our nation’s moral standards and the idolatry of worshipping false gods such as technology and sex, she startled my by exclaiming, ‘If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.’” Then Mr. Graham went on to say, “My heart aches for America.”
Does your heart ache for America? Does your heart ache for the moral and spiritual decline we see all around us? Nahum is a book about the righteous judgement and just indignation of a holy God over people who disregard His sovereign goodness, “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him” (Nahum 1:7).
Today at Grace, let’s take refuge in the goodness of God. Like Nahum, let’s be upset about the sin and spiritual failure we see all around us. Let’s trust God to judge and rebuke the wrong, but also to redeem sinners who turn to Him in repentance and faith.