Posts Tagged ‘day of the Lord’
Scripture reading for August 24th: Ezekiel 29-32
One of the bad habits that Israel had developed was a dependence on Egypt for help. After Moses led them out of Egypt by God’s powerful hand, they talked of stoning him and choosing a new leader who would take them back. They easily forgot that Egypt was a land of slavery and God had called them out of there. Even after Babylon had conquered the nation of Israel, a remnant left there in Israel chose to go down to Egypt for protection against the advice of Jeremiah. (Jeremiah 42:19-22) (Jeremiah 43:7) In Ezekiel 29 God gave Ezekiel a prophetic word concerning Egypt and Pharaoh. God warned that their pride would bring judgment and defeat. God was bringing a sword against them that would leave the land of Egypt desolate for forty years. (Ezekiel 29:8-12) After forty years, God would bring a remnant of Egyptians back and they would be a lowly kingdom. Israel was to learn not to rely on Egypt ever again and that the Lord was sovereign over nations. (Ezekiel 29:16)
The prophet Ezekiel announced that the day of the Lord was near. That day would be a day of clouds and darkness. It would be a day of doom for the nations that Ezekiel had spoken about. A sword would arise from Babylon that would bring destruction on Egypt and her surrounding friends. (Ezekiel 30:1-4) This “day of the Lord” came to these people during the lifetime of Ezekiel. Egypt went into captivity; Israel, Cush, and Tyre were destroyed as well.
When we hear the message about the “day of the Lord” and “the end”, we tend to think they are a long way off. We believe that they apply to a distant time, possibly be thousands of years away and surely not in our lifetime. However, we should be living as if today was the day! We are told to live in readiness for Christ’s return. (Matthew 22:42-44) We are told that no one will know the day or hour, but that we should be watchful and prepared. (Matthew 24:36) For those who are ready by faith in Jesus Christ, it will be a day of joy and gladness. For those who experience this day outside of God’s mercy, it will be darkness, trouble and doom. The ‘Day of the Lord’ is nearer today than yesterday! Are you ready?
Scripture reading for July 23rd: Isaiah 24-27
Isaiah broke forth in a dissertation about the coming “day of the Lord”. God’s people will not experience this day of wrath but welcome it with singing and joy. (Isaiah 24:14-16) (1st Thessalonians 5:9) The people of earth, those without a knowledge of the Lord and faith in Him, are filled with mourning and terror at this day! (Isaiah 24:11-13)
Out of this vivid description of this day of wrath comes bright rays of joy for those of faith! Isaiah heard shouts of joy and acclaim arising from the East and West. He heard singing coming from the islands of the sea and the ends of the earth! (Isaiah 24:14-16) God would reign their midst on Mt. Zion among His people! (Isaiah 24:23)
In Isaiah 25:1-4, Isaiah broke into praise for fulfillment of His Word! God spoke of His plans from ancient days and then brought them to pass! He cared for the poor and needy and defeated all their enemies! The Lord prepared a banquet of rich foods for all peoples! On the mountain of the Lord, Mt. Zion, God would destroy the shroud that enfolded all peoples! Death would be defeated and tears will be wiped away! No wonder His people are singing from the ends of the earth!
These verses were used by the Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 15:50-57 to describe the resurrection body that would be given to each believer at the coming of Jesus Christ! They were also referred to by the Apostle John in his vision from the island of Patmos in Revelation 21:1-5 as he described the new heavens and new earth where believers would dwell with the Lord forever! There is also a reference to the great banquet in Revelation 19:6-9 as John describes the wedding supper of the Lamb! Whenever we receive Holy Communion, we are proclaiming Jesus’ destruction of the shroud of death and our hope of eating at that great banquet!
One last nugget from these chapters of Isaiah comes in Isaiah 26:3-4. “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.” Put your trust in Jesus Christ again today! He is our Rock eternal! From your end of the earth, sing songs of worship without ceasing as you rest in His love!
Scripture reading for July 21st: Isaiah 13-16
God is in control of history and the future. He alone knows the future and can accurately predict what will happen. When God chooses to reveal his knowledge of coming events, He chooses a prophet or prophetess to tell what He will do. He is merciful so He warns those headed for His wrath so that they can escape through repentance. This time of judgment often spoken of in the Old Testament is called the “day of the Lord”. (Isaiah 13:9)
“See, the day of the Lord is coming–a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger– to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and humble the pride of the ruthless.” (Isaiah 13:9-11)
This day of the Lord is appointed by God. Man doesn’t know the time, but does know what it will bring. It will be a time of wrath against sin. Sinners, as well as the land, will be destroyed. The heavenly bodies will not shine forth their light as is usual. Even the sun will be darkened in the morning and the moon will not give any light. This day will be a day of punishment for the world and the wicked. The arrogant and ruthless will be dealt with and broken. God will be exalted on this day as the supreme ruler over all!
Jesus Christ warned his followers of this day. They were to be aware of the signs of the approaching day and not be caught unprepared. In Matthew 24:29 Jesus quotes Isaiah 13:10 as the event that will immediately precede His coming again to gather His elect from the corners of the earth. No one will know the day or the hour, but we are to be watchful and not be caught sleeping or unprepared! (Matthew 24:36-44) We must be ready because this day of the Lord could come at any time and only those who are ready will go! Check out your preparedness today! Tomorrow may be too late!
Scripture reading for September 17th: Obadiah
Jacob and Esau were twin brothers. Prophesy was given over them even before they were born that there would be conflict with each other. Esau was the first-born and Jacob came out holding onto his brother’s heel. A spiritual conflict ensued that caused these brothers and their descendants to be in a struggle that lasted for hundreds of years. Jacob got Esau’s birthright for a bowl of soup. (Genesis 25:32-34) Jacob stole his brother’s blessing from their father Isaac with the help of their mother Rebekah. Esau was furious and held a grudge against Jacob, plotting to kill him. (Genesis 27:41) Jacob fled to Paddan Aram, to Laban’s house to find a wife. (Genesis 28:1-3) Esau had upset his parents by marrying Hittite women who were idolaters! (Genesis 27:44) So this conflict between two brothers smoldered like a fire, particularly in the heart of Esau!
Now, over 500 years later, Obadiah the prophet is sent with a message for Esau’s descendants. They had become a nation that was dwelling next to Israel and Judah but still held a grudge! They had pride in their hearts that they in their own power and strength would make their own way. (Obadiah 3-4) They had violence in their hearts against their brother Jacob and stood aloof while Jacob was under attack. (Obadiah 10-12) They had looked down on their brothers when they were being overtaken by foreigners and actually rejoiced over their misfortune rather than helping to defend them. (Obadiah 12-14) God’s message was that as they had done, it would be done to them! Edom would reap what they had sowed and their pride would result in the destruction of the House of Esau! (Obadiah 15-18)
We can all learn from this sad story! A grudge held can infect a family which can eventually destroy a nation of people. Esau’s grudge was never fully dealt with! Esau’s focus on his own needs, appetites, and personal pride caused his family and eventually a nation that came from him to dwell in pride. This pride and despising of their brothers resulted in God’s judgment and their destruction! Unforgiveness is just as dangerous for us today! It will isolate us from our family and open us up to the enemy of our souls. It will cut us off from God’s grace! Jesus Christ died to heal our broken family ties and restore us to God’s family! Take time today to ask for God’s mercy and forgiveness! Humility always wins and defeats pride’s death traps!
Scripture reading for September 11th: Joel 1-3
“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; The earth and sky will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people; a stronghold for the people of Israel.” Joel 3:14-16
I remember September 11th, 2001 very vividly and I would bet you do, too. It was a day that stunned our nation and cost the lives of thousands of innocent people in the twinkling of an eye. What was worse, was that we got to watch it in living color right before our eyes. I was in the surgery waiting room visiting a patient when I saw the plane fly into the building. Smoke and fire exploded and people were running everywhere. It seemed that the world had been turned upside down and America was under attack!
This book of Joel is an appropriate reading for today–I am always amazed at God’s timing! Joel was a prophet of God who spoke to God’s people during a terrible plague of locusts. (Joel 1:4) God used this locust plague to speak to his people of their coming judgment if they failed to repent and turn to Him. (Joel 1:13-14) Joel called God’s people to fasting and prayer for God’s mercy. A trumpet was to be blown calling all to God’s temple for serious intercession. Joel spoke to them about the ‘day of the Lord’ being near and their need to be ready.
The preparation for this coming day of the Lord was preparation of the heart. The custom for fasting was to put on sackcloth and sprinkle ashes on their heads. They would cry out in weeping before God, symbolically in mourning for their sins. But God was after something else. He desired a broken and contrite heart! (Psalm 51:17) (Joel 2:13) God through Joel called all the people together to rend their hearts. They were to say, “Spare your people, O Lord.” (Joel 2:17) God’s grace and compassion was the motivation for the fast. The goodness of God always leads His people to repentance! (Romans 2:4)
The answer from God to this fast was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the whole land! (Joel 2:28-32) (Acts 2:14-21) As all came to fast, all would be anointed with God’s Spirit! There would be signs and wonders in the earth among God’s people, young and old, men and women! This would happen right before the ‘day of the Lord’! Everyone who would call on God would be saved! (Joel 2:32, Romans 10:13)
Joel ends with a vision of the coming ‘day of the Lord’. Joel sees multitudes of people gathered in the valley of Jehoshaphat. There God enters into judgment against the nations that have reject Him and His people. There are multitudes who will be judged and eternally lost! (Joel 3:1-2) This will be a terrible day for the unsaved when the lights of heaven grow dim and eternal darkness covers their souls. But God will be a refuge for His people! Whose side will you be on? Maybe it’s time for another fast!
Scripture reading for July 24th: Isaiah 24-27
Isaiah breaks forth in a dissertation about the coming “day of the Lord”. The watchman of Israel is given a description of that day to warn the people of Israel to be ready for what is coming on the people of earth. God’s people are set apart from this day of wrath and welcome it with singing and joy. (Isaiah 24:14-16) The people of earth, those without a knowledge of the Lord and faith in Him, are filled with mourning and terror at this day! (Isaiah 24:11-13)
Let’s focus on those who know the Lord today! Out of this vivid description of the terror of the lost comes bright rays of joy and hope for those of faith! Isaiah hears shouts of joy and acclaim for the glory and majesty of the Lord arising from the East and West! He hears singing coming from the islands of the sea and the ends of the earth! God is bringing His people together and they are joyful in His presence! (Isaiah 24:14-16) God is reigning in their midst on Mt. Zion and His glory radiates through and in His people! (Isaiah 24:23)
In Isaiah 25:1-4, Isaiah breaks into praise of the Lord for His fulfillment of His Word! God speaks out His plans from ancient days and then brings them to pass! He knows how to humble the proud and how to exalt his humble people! He cares for the poor and needy and defeats all their enemies! Isaiah then sees the Lord preparing a banquet of rich foods for all peoples! On the mountain of the Lord, Mt. Zion, God will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples and swallow up the swallower of His people! Death will be defeated and tears will be wiped away! Wow! What a picture of joy! No wonder His people are singing from the ends of the earth!
Of course, these verses were used by the Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 15:50-57 to describe the resurrection body that would be given to each believer at the coming of Jesus Christ! They were also referred to by the Apostle John in his vision from the island of Patmos in Revelation 21:1-5 as he described the new heavens and new earth where believers would dwell with the Lord forever! There is also a reference to the great banquet in Revelation 19:6-9 as John describes the wedding supper of the Lamb! Whenever we receive Holy Communion, we are proclaiming His death destroying the shroud of death over us and our hope of eating at that great banquet! No wonder we are singing from the ends of the earth!
One last nugget from these chapters of Isaiah comes in Isaiah 26:3-4. “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.” Put your trust in Jesus Christ again today! He is our Rock eternal! From your end of the earth, sing songs of worship without ceasing as you rest in His perfect peace!