Text: Nahum 1-3
OBSERVE: The long shadow of the Assyrian empire casted a cloud over God’s people. The northern Kingdom of Israel had already been conquered by the Assyrians and now Judah faced the same fate as their sister kingdom to the north. Within this time of uncertainty and fear, God sent his prophet, Nahum, whose name means “comfort.” And comfort was exactly what Nahum’s prophecy brought to Judah – the message that Assyria would face utter destruction. Nahum’s prophecies 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.
INTERPRET: Nahum’s prophecy proved true when Nineveh was destroyed in 612 BC, marking the end of that great empire. The great Assyrian city of Nineveh was never rebuilt and the Assyrians disappeared from history. This fulfillment of God’s promises 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. But it is in one particular statement that we can find the most comfort. 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).
APPLICATION: Who is the messenger and what is his message? In the 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 and escape from judgment. The One who executes judgment on the enemies of God is also an emissary for peace with God. For us, we can be content that God is in control and he is the ultimate judge. Trusting in him to bring ultimate justice allows us to find great peace in the Good News of the gospel and we can then focus on sharing this Good News with others.
REFLECTION: Does the Good News of the gospel bring you comfort and peace during uncertain times?
PRAYER: Jesus, you are the Good News. I don’t have to fear the judgment I deserve because you, God’s Messenger, have taken the judgment upon yourself. This Good News both comforts me and brings me peace. Help me to be a messenger of this Good News to those around me. AMEN.
SONG: Rescuer (Good News) by Rend Collective
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.