Time after time in the Old Testament God’s people strayed from Him and fell into sin and idolatry and for that reason the Lord allowed them to be afflicted by nations around them. During the prophet Nahum’s life (700 BC) it was no different. The most powerful nation in the world, Assyria, had been afflicting God’s people for many years but finally crossed the line and Nahum declared that Assyria would be destroyed. Within 50 years the Babylonians so destroyed the capital city of Nineveh that it was not even found until 1845.

Nothing has really changed from then to now. If God’s people fall into sin He will allow affliction to come their way (for a nation or an individual) for the purpose of drawing them back to Him. And when repentance has been made and the affliction complete, in His time, He declares, “I will afflict thee no more”, and what a joy it is to once again be in fellowship with Him.

This is not to say that the trouble that comes is always as a result of sin, but it is always sent or allowed for our growth and benefit. “All things work together for good to them who are called to His purpose.” There is a time He will end the affliction we endure.

Some years ago I met a young lady who had suffered for eight years because of a wrong decision she had made. It was not a decision that would be considered a sin but a decision that she made without seeking guidance from the Lord. She thought she was doing right. It was similar to Joshua’s decision to conquer Ai without consulting God and the result was a sound defeat. Finally, at the end of her rope, this lady realized that she had been trying to do what was right according to Christian principles but not listening for the voice of God and getting specific direction by way of His Holy Spirit. She was broken! Almost immediately the Lord directed her to Nahum 1:12 and the gentle words she heard changed her life, “Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more.”

Not only did the Lord deliver her from her affliction but He answered the desires of her heart ‘far beyond her asking’ which is typical of how the Lord operates and is proof positive that it was He who accomplished the work. The Lord has an answer for all the difficulties of life and uses them to bring us into a close and intimate relationship with Him.