Summary: Trouble isn’t fiction and neither is the unending strength and protection of God Almighty.
MESSAGES FROM THE PROPHETS:
INTRODUCTION… It’s NOT Fiction (p)
Imagine you wake up one morning and you are getting ready for work and the day seems like any other day. You hop in the car to head to work and plan on stopping to get coffee on the way in the drive-thru, but for some reason your normal place is closed. Weird. You pop on the radio the rest of the way to work and you hear about a virus that is spreading and stores and restaurants are closing. You arrive a work and some people, who got there ahead of you, are leaving with a box in their hand. Distracted, you leave all your things in the car and run in. You get to your desk and your boss calls you into his office. You are instructed to telework from home for the next two weeks and after that someone will call to let you know if you are laid off or you still have a job. Your spouse is in the medical field and when you get back to the car you have three missed calls and a message from them. Someone at the hospital already tested positive and your spouse has to quarantine and won’t come home for 2 weeks. You also find out all the schools are closed so your kids will be at home for the foreseeable future. On the way home, you keep the radio on and you find out the whole economy is shutting down. No going to banks, restaurants, and most grocery stores are reporting being out of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, Lysol spray, Clorox wipes, and bottled water.
I could have told you this story about 2 months ago and you would have thought that I was giving you a fictitious story or maybe describing the beginning of a science fiction movie. And yet this has been the reality for many these past months. Some better. Some worse.
Imagine you are going to school for a particular vocation and the school closes due to lack of students, mismanagement of funds, and the inability to get accredited. This means you no longer have a place to live because you lived on campus, but you have to find another school to go to, which may or may not be cheaper, and this new school has to accept the credits you have already done. It is a domino effect of issues because the school is closing. Most of the time not everything transfers so it is possible you have lost time and money.
I could have told you this story about a fictional university, but it happened in our brotherhood to a university late last year (2019). It closed without a whole lot of notice. This was a reality for faculty, staff, and students from this university. This was a reality for many students from there. Some fared better. Some fared worse.
We could talk about stories of doctor’s visits that do not go well, loss of jobs, children or grandchildren that disappoint, parents or grandparents who disappoint, broken relationships, money troubles, people breaking trust, and so on. We could talk about a loved one dying unexpectedly or even expectedly, but they are still gone and grief still remains. These are not fictional stories, but troubles we may face in our lives. Trouble isn’t fiction.
Job 5:7: “Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.”
Job 14: 1: “Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble.”
Matthew 6:34: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
John 16:33b: “In this world you will have trouble.”
TROUBLE IS NOT FICTION
Hardships in this life are not fiction. You and I know that life is not fair. Money is fleeing. Youth is wasted on the young. Good people die young. There are so many thoughts we have about this life and about troubling days. Trouble comes on the unrighteous and the righteous. Just because you are a Christian does not mean that your days will be trouble-free and only full of angel visits, hallelujah spiritual highs, and kumbaya moments with the ones you love. This life has trouble. That is not a fiction.
THE REFUGE OF THE LORD IS ALSO NOT FICTION
What is also not fiction is the refuge, love, mercy, strength, and peace that comes from God Almighty. Faith in God does not bring about fictitious results. God is not a fiction. The peace and strength that comes from an intimate relationship with the God of the Universe is as real as any physical relationship you might have.
We have been 6 weeks in the Minor Prophets. This week is our last week in this series and we end up in the little book of Nahum. I say “nay-hum.” I have heard people say, “nay-hume.” It doesn’t really matter… but go with “nay-hum.” The book of Nahum is prophecies about the fall of Nineveh in the Assyrian Empire. If that name sounds familiar, that is because that is where Jonah went as well and we just talked about him two weeks ago. Nineveh will lose out and be conquered by the Babylonians. Nahum uses images like the other prophets to try and communicate what he sees from the Lord. He uses word pictures such as lions, prostitutes, and locusts. The demise of Nineveh was also not fiction. The judgment is real.