A Stronghold in the Day of Trouble

In Nahum 1:7 we come across a very precious and comforting text of Scripture, it reads, “The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.”

Here we have three truths in one verse.

Firstly, “The LORD is good…” here is a truth of the Word of God. Here is a fundamental fact. The eternal God is good and He is eternally so. He was good in Nahum’s day, and He is so in our day too. Even in the first chapter of the Bible, we read of the goodness of God reflected in the good work of Creation. On the sixth day, God surveyed the work of His own power and it was all very good. When our first parents fell from the estate in which they were created, God was good in clothing them with skins to cover their nakedness. It is one of the perfections of God that He is good. Even the Shorter Catechism notes this fact when it observes, in answer to the question, What is God? ‘God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.’ God is good in His longsuffering towards the wicked, giving space for repentance, and He is good in respect of His electing love and redeeming mercy towards His people, who by nature are no better then others. He is good in sending His own dear Son to suffer and die, the just in the room of the unjust. He is good in preparing the glories of heaven for His redeemed people. And so we might extend this list of evidences for the goodness of God.

Secondly, the LORD is a stronghold in the day of trouble. The word stronghold could be rendered, a mighty fortress or mountain stronghold. This of course conveys the idea of His being a source of comfort and safety to His afflicted people in the day of trouble. On a recent visit to Scotland, my family and I went to view Stirling Castle, one of the best known of the many castles in Scotland. It stands high upon a craggy rock and doubtless would have been a difficult place to assault. I am sure the inhabitants of Stirling might well have fled for refuge to that castle in the past, if enemies threatened them. How thankful they would be to be safely found within its walls. So the LORD is set forth in this Biblical truth as a place of refuge for His people in time of trouble. The devil might tempt them that they are weak and defenseless, and so they are in themselves, but not so when they flee to their divine refuge in Christ.

Thirdly, the LORD knoweth them that trust in Him. Here too we have a truth, and a blessed fact. The LORD knows them that are His. He knows such as trust in Him. And furthermore, His eye is upon them for good. He will bring them through fire and water to a wealthy place. Though Elijah the prophet was at one time, when threatened by wicked Jezebel, much cast down, yet the LORD knew Him and supplied His needs, supporting and encouraging soul and body. He still knows those that trust in Him and knows how to support and encourage them in times of trial. Consider for example, the Lord Jesus and how He knew His disciples toiled in rowing in the dead of night, and came walking on the water to deliver them, saying to them, “It is I; be not afraid.” (John 6:20)

May we be refreshed by considering these three truths in one short verse, “The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” They are as true today as ever.

G B Macdonald



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