The Messenger With Good News! - The One Year Book of Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament

The Messenger with Good News!

The long shadow of Assyrian supremacy cast a cloud over God’s people. Israel, Judah’s sister kingdom to the north, had already fallen to the Assyrians, and now Judah faced the same imperial enemy.

Into this gloom and doom, God sent his prophet, Nahum, whose name means “comfort.” And that is exactly what Nahum’s prophecy brought to Judah—the message that her Assyrian oppressors would face utter destruction. Nahum’s oracle after oracle of certain and irrevocable judgment on Assyria comforted the people of Judah, assuring them that even though it may have seemed slow in coming, God was enacting his righteous judgment on their enemies.

Nahum’s prophecy proved true when Nineveh was destroyed in 612 BC, marking the end of the great empire. The great Assyrian city of Nineveh was never rebuilt and the Assyrians disappeared from history. This fulfillment of God’s promise gives us confidence that the day is coming when all of God’s enemies will be destroyed, never again to persecute the people of God.

In the middle of Nahum’s menacing pronouncement of woes is the Good News of the gospel: “Look! A messenger is coming over the mountains with good news! He is bringing a message of peace” (1:15).

Who is the messenger and what is his message? In the New Testament book of Acts, Peter was very specific about this messenger and his good news:

This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. . . . Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all—the living and the dead. He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name. (Acts 10:36, 42-43)

Nahum’s “good news” was that the God who brings judgment also provides an escape from judgment. The One who executes judgment on the enemies of God is also an emissary for peace with God.

Messenger of peace with God, I know that judgment is what I deserve. Yet I have heard your message and it is such good news to me! I don’t have to fear the judgment I deserve because you, God’s Messenger, have taken God’s wrath upon yourself. This news comforts me and brings me peace.

From the Book: