Evening, February 22, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power.” — Nahum 1:3
Jehovah “is slow to anger.” When mercy comes into the world she drives winged stallions; the axles of her chariot-wheels are red hot with speed; but when wrath goes forth, it labors on with measured footsteps, for God takes no pleasure in the sinner’s death. God’s rod of mercy is always outstretched in his hands; his sword of justice is in its sheath, held down by that pierced hand of love which bled for the sins of men. “The Lord is slow to anger,” because he is great in power. He is truly great in power who has power over himself. When God’s power does restrain himself, then it is power indeed: the power that binds omnipotence is omnipotence surpassed. A man who has a strong mind can bear to be insulted a long time, and only resents the wrong when a sense of right demands his action. The weak mind is irritated at little: the strong mind bears it like a rock which does not move, though a thousand breakers crash upon it, and cast their pathetic malice in spray upon its summit. God marks his enemies, and yet he does not rouse himself, but holds in his anger. If he were less divine than he is, he would long before this have sent forth the whole of his thunderous power, and emptied the magazines of heaven; he would long before this have blasted the earth with the incredible fires of its lower regions, and man would have been utterly destroyed; but the greatness of his power brings us mercy. Dear reader, what is your state this evening? Can you by humble faith look to Jesus, and say, “My substitute, you are my rock, my trust”? Then, beloved, do not be afraid of God’s power; for by faith you have fled to Christ for refuge, and the power of God no more need terrify you than the shield and sword of the warrior would terrify those whom he loves. Rather rejoice that he who is “great in power” is your Father and Friend.