By His supreme power and complete control over the entire forces in the universe the Almighty God is the only place of refuge and trust for His people.
It is for this reason the admonition is given in Nahum 1:7 thus: “The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.”
A stronghold is a place that is secure and safe, because it is well fortified. God is able to provide protection to His people because, being the ‘Almighty God’, He “is greater than all”. (John 10:29; Genesis 17:1; Jeremiah 32:17, 27) As a loving Father, God Almighty is compassionate, pitiful, merciful, and sympathetic. - Psalm 103:8-14. See also Isaiah 63:7-9.
The Almighty God does not take pleasure in the death of anyone. He is longsuffering towards them, “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”. - Ezekiel 18: 23,32; 2 Peter 3:9.
The fall of man
Right from the time man fell from the favour of God in the Garden of Eden and the sentence of death was passed upon him, he has not known peace. (Genesis 3:16-19; Job 5:6,7; Job 14:1) These “troubles” have become more intense in this time known as the last days, an era which started in 1914 when the devil was driven down to this earth and which event was signalled by the First World War of 1914-1918. - Revelation 12:12; 2 Timothy 3:13.
The economic, political and social conditions in the world will continue to get worse and worse until the time of the great tribulation when the devil and his hosts will be destroyed by God through Jesus Christ, Jehovah's ‘battle axe and weapon of war’. Only those who have remained faithful to God will be saved. - Jeremiah 51:20-23; Daniel 12:1; see also Isaiah 26:20,21; Joel 2:32; Romans 10:13
Look to God
Many people today do not know that JEHOVAH is the sacred name of God Almighty, and that they should call on Him when they are in trouble. Rather they look to their wealth, military strength, spiritual powers, false gods, false prophets, and so on, contrary to the Bible. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12; Isaiah 2:19, 20; Psalm 62:10; 33:16-19; Psalm 20:7; Proverbs 21:31) The Bible says: “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” - Psalm 146:3, 4; Compare Jeremiah 17:5, 6; Psalm 46:1-3; Jeremiah 17:7,8.
The Almighty God Himself made a clarion call to His people to exercise faith in Him at all times so as to be protected and saved from the assaults of the devil. Instances abound in the Holy Bible of the end of those who trusted in other gods rather than in God Almighty and the divine protection enjoyed by those who trusted in Him by His grace. Let us call to mind the case of King Ahaziah who sought help from Baalzebub, the god of Ekron rather than in the Almighty God as a result of which he died in his sickness. (2 Kings 1:1-17) During the reign of King Jehoshaphat, there was a time the people of Judah were surrounded by their enemies, but they were saved because they trusted in God. They did not even fight, they only came to gather the spoil. ( 2 Chronicles 20:15-30) There are also other instances when God delivered His people from danger in miraculous ways.
Some of them are given below.
In one of their many military engagements with Israel, the Philistines put forward a giant called Goliath, a gigantic man, whose height was six cubits and a span, which is about 10 feet, 5 inches. The Jews were unable to confront this giant even though he was mouthing blasphemies against God until David came and defeated him by virtue of his strong faith in God. 1 Samuel 17:1-57.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego:
Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were Jews in captivity in Babylon where they were chosen to live in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar the King of Babylon and were renamed Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego. Time came when the King made an image of gold 90 ft high and nine ft wide and ordered everyone to worship the image and that whoever would not worship the image was to be thrown into a burning fiery furnace. The three faithful Jews bluntly refused even before the king to worship his gods or his image of gold. As a result, the king gave instruction that they should be thrown into the fiery furnace. But to the astonishment of the king, the fire had no power over their bodies. Rather, God Almighty Whom they trusted in refusing to obey the king’s order did deliver them. “Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”- Daniel 3:1-7, 16-18.
After asking them to come out of the fire, Nebuchadnezzar and his princes, governors, captains, and the counsellors, beheld with wonder the three Jews, “upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them”. The King then made a declaration directing all peoples in his domain to fear God or else they “shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.” - Daniel 3:28, 29.
In the time of the early Church, Herod stretched out his hand to persecute the believers. He killed James, the apostle with the sword and since this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also in order to kill him. But the Church without ceasing prayed for his deliverance. An angel of God came and opened the prison doors and led him out. - Acts 12:1-19.
Paul and Silas:
When Paul and Silas were cast into prison for healing a girl who had an evil spirit, they sang praises to God in the night and the prison doors were miraculously opened, and all the shackles on them were loosened by the grace of God. Alarmed, the Jailor, supposing that the prisoners had fled, wanted to kill himself, but was prevented by St. Paul. He was so moved by the experience that he and his family joined the faith and were baptized. The next morning the magistrates ordered the apostles to be freed. - Acts 16:13-34
In the book of Proverbs chapter 18 verse 10, Solomon, a prophet of God, was inspired to state: “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” In time of old, a tower afforded a place of refuge to those who escape into it. In case of an invasion and even when the city was subdued, the tower, by and large, remained impregnable, generally. So God is a strong and safe protector of His people.
How do people of God run to Him? They do so by exercising faith in Him, by way of belief in His promises and by doing His will. Such ones will be protected and saved by Him. -Psalm 18:1-3. See also Psalm 9:9, 10.
The Psalmist further declared: “They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.” (Psalms 125:1, 2) For the fact that He understands the imaginations of the hearts of men, He is able to show Himself strong on the faithful by His grace. - 2 Chronicles 16:9.
Prayer is the formal act of making requests to God. It is also an act of worship. It involves casting all our cares upon God knowing that He cares for us. (1 Peter 5:7) One needs faith, accurate knowledge of God, understanding, patience and fear of God for one's prayer to be effective. All peoples of the world who desire the salvation of God must come to Him in prayers. - Psalm 65:2; Psalm 121:1-8.
Having known that the Almighty God Jehovah is our stronghold in the day of trouble, we should not be unduly anxious or worried about how to sort out our problems knowing that He will handle them for us. Said St. Paul: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”. - Philippians 4:6, 7.
In a similar vein, Isaiah the prophet was inspired to state: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.”- Isaiah 26:3, 4.
Moreover the Bible states: “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.”- Joel 2:32.
May the Almighty God sustain His people in His Way so as to be protected from this evil world and saved in His Kingdom when fully established by His grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.