Sunday, October 9, 2011

BIBLE PICK 'EMS - Our Awesome God

My dad was a big guy.

Six foot, three inches tall – about 230 pounds.

Me?

5' 4" – around 110 pounds (in high school!).

I thought it was great that my dad was a little (a lot) intimidating. Kept me safe.

I vividly remember one night when a couple of guys thought it would be *real fun* to egg my house. They drove up our driveway and launched a salvo of poultry grenades at our front door and windows.

My dad flew out of his chair.

At the time, he was wearing this robe that his mother had bought him on a trip around the world. It was black, with little Chinese letters on it. It made him look like a Ninja warrior.

So, you can imagine what happened when Father Shogun threw open the front door and blasted out onto the driveway!

I have never in my entire life seen a VW Bug speed away so fast! I think it set a land speed record of 0-60 mph in 2 seconds flat.

Fortunately, my dad did not recognize the car or its occupants. I had my suspicions. Only later, much later, did a guy from our church 'fess up and relate that evening from his perspective.

"Man, Shari, I thought your dad would kill us if he got his hands on us. I've never been so scared in my life!"

I smiled.

For you see, I knew that my dad's *bark* was worse than his *bite*but I was often glad for his bark…

Today's "Bible Pick 'Ems" is from the book of Nahum.

Before sharing the verses, let's explore a little background. Remember good old Nineveh? The city that repented after hearing Jonah's warning of judgment? Well, it seems that (only) a hundred years later, they had forgotten the message, and evil was again reigning.

God called Nahum to pronounce his judgment on the wicked nation of Assyria.

"The LORD is…filled with vengeance and rage. He takes revenge on all who oppose him and continues to rage against his enemies!...he never lets the guilty go unpunished. He displays his power in the whirlwind and the storm. The billowing clouds are dust beneath his feet. At his command the oceans dry up, and the rivers disappear…In his presence the mountains quake, and the hills melt away; the earth trembles, and its people are destroyed. Who can stand before his fierce anger? Who can survive his burning fury? His rage blazes forth like fire, and his mountains crumble to dust in his presence." (Nahum 1:2-6)

God has *bark* – and He alone has the power to *bite*.

The world has lawsboundaries and rules that are set up by God. But people regularly flaunt these regulations. God calls this willful disobedience, this rebellion against His control – SIN.

Sometimes it seems that the wicked are escaping justice. That they are succeeding in their evil ways.

But, there is a day coming.

A terrible day of wrath.

Justice will ultimately be served. God will settle all accounts. He will not let sin go unchecked forever.

And woe to those who are not under His grace at that time.

"It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Hebrews 10:31)

Nahum's words are terrifying even to me, a follower of Christ. Sometimes I think it's a good idea to get a healthy dose of the reality of God's power His awesome might – His jealous fury. He is not a God to be trifled with – or ignored.

Today's verses serve as a warning to those who remain arrogant and resist God's authority. They will one day face His anger. No one will get away with rejecting Him – no one will be able to hide from His judgment.

For those of us who are believers, today's verses are an admonition. We are not to take the Almighty God lightly. He is a fearsome God who must be feared – worshiped with reverence and awe.

But, to us, He is also something more than a Judge.

He is Mercy Incarnate.

God is compassionate, slow to anger. Praise His name for His patience with me, a sinner who had nowhere to turn but to His salvation.

Jesus took the *bite* out of God’s *bark* for all those who believe on His name.

And those of us who trust Him will be kept safe forever.

"The LORD is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him." (Nahum 1:7)


How do you fear the Lord? How is He your refuge?


"When in doubt, search God out!"

10 comments:

  1. lol. that image of your ninja dad is a great one. And great message Sharon. I love your writing...the way you pull things together from a story to an awesome message. Hope you have a fabulous thanksgiving.

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  2. What a fun story--and memory for you. Thank you for sharing. Janet

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  3. Hi Sharon,

    Yes I have to agree with Sarah - well I do agree with her, you write and share messages so very well. I am at the moment feeling I will never get it right. I want to please God, I want to be under His Grace and I hope and believe I am, but sometimes like tonight, I feel I fall so short, in so many ways. Oh dear, sorry not to be more positive.

    Take Care and have a blessed week - Nita.

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  4. Your dad reminds me of mine. He was a big man, too. (And put his back out yesterday -- will you pray for him?) I love where you took this -- Jesus took the bite out of God's bark. You put thoughts together with such authority and beauty. And always give me reasons to praise.

    Blessings,
    Pamela

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  5. What a great post, Sharon. Too many people today see God as nothing but love, and of course love is his main attribute, but He is also fierce, and will punish evil. You did a great job of pointing out this fact.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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  6. I am glad you defined fear here, Sharon, as it relates to God. So many times people see the word fear and they think of being afraid of God, which is not what fear means, as you so beautifully said. To hold him in the highest esteem, awe, respect and reverence of him.

    I think we need to grasp all sides of God (we will of course never completely know him this side of eternity) but to remember how he hates sin and that his wrath will be poured out on this world one day. I am thankful that Jesus took his father's wrath for my sins so that I could spend eternity with him.

    He is definitely my refuge, because without him I would be nothing. He is my protector, redeemer, restorer, forgiver, etc.

    Like you said, he is AWESOME!!!

    betty

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  7. Say, were you listening to our Pastor Frank this morning? He was in Revelation 9 - you know - the one with all the really scary terrors and all the demons being unleashed. Carnage everywhere! Wrath meted out to the unrepentant. We're working our way through Revelations on Sunday and will be finishing the OT this Wednesday - then starting the NT. Verse by verse. And, always the same message - Jesus, taking that "bite" out of God's "bark" for those who believe.

    Glory!
    Joy!
    Kathy

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  8. Our God is an awesome God.

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  9. Funny when I grew up - God and Jesus was taught as fire and brimstone to me. I was scared of him. Later in life I learned he had a lot of love in him too. In fact - GOD IS LOVE!

    sandie

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  10. I love the part about Jesus taking a bite out of His bark for those who believe in Him.

    Plain simple fact for me: I love Him. I just do, big old bite and all. Maybe it's because I had an earthly dad just like yours. People were scared of him.

    Not long before he died, a man told me that when he first saw my father, he thought he was a grizzly bear. After he knew him, he thought he was more of a Teddy bear. Then, he said, "...a teddy bear with claws, if necessary, but a Teddy bear."

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"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)