On Those Slow-Grinding “Mills of Justice” (yet Be Encouraged)

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small;
Though with patience he stands waiting, with exactness grinds he all.*

The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD has his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. (Nahum 1:3, NIV)

That God “has his way” in a whirlwind and a storm I get (having survived a few jaw-clenching, bone-rattling, literal and figurative whirlwinds and storms in my years), but what about those “clouds” being “the dust of his feet”?

In my view, here is the best Bible commentary on the meaning of that in the context of God’s ways of exacting justice:

(The) way of God is generally a hidden one…When God works his wonder he always conceals himself…This great truth suggested by the text, is well borne out by facts. The ways of God are hidden ones.(C.H. Spurgeon)

Until one day…

In the fullness of time…

Whereas we, in the world of see, hear, taste, touch, smell and alarm clocks, want to get to the point and the conviction asap, God, Who lives outside of our time and sensory constraints, sometimes bides His “time”.


I take that back.

At least in my experience, He seems to bide His “time” a LOT, when responding to what evils mankind stirs up.

But when I think back, even today, and consider the ins and outs and immaturities and lies and misunderstandings and honest mistakes–and corruption conjured behind closed chambers–that prompt all the storms and whirlwinds, leaving justice in the dust, it seems, I am both amazed and thankful that God does just that!

Although being patient in the interim is haaaaarrrrd

Another verse comes to mind:

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9, KJB)

Which is, of course, the whole entire point of this thing called time and why patience is a virtue and why finally–and for eternity–we will get it.

Well, many of us will, while others will choose to remain in the whirlwind, storm, and dust, having no desire to come to clarity.

So what prompts today’s post?

Well, for one thing, there’s a bit of a shif show going on in D.C. just now…

(Was that a typo?)


*From 17th century poem, “Retribution,” by Friedrich Von Logau cited in The Dictionary of Cliches by James Rogers (Wings Books, Originally New York: Facts on File Publications, 1985).

Image of clock from Wikimedia Commons

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