The Day of the Lord
Heavenly Father, You’re greater than the most powerful forces in the world. Help me be still and know You are God.
Read Isaiah 2:6-22
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth” (Eccl. 3:1, The Message). What season of your life are you currently experiencing?
Does the expression “The day of the Lord” excite you? It did the prophets. It anticipated God putting everything right in the world, no matter what the behavior of the people. Amos, writing earlier in the eighth century, was the first prophet to suggest that some repentance might be in order prior to God’s intervention (Amos 5:18-20). A remnant would be saved (that’s always part of these prophecies), but only because they responded to God’s grace. This promised day of the Lord was a call to repentance.
Recently at a Christian wedding in Africa I overheard a man confront two Muslim women guests, haranguing them with their need to accept Jesus as the Son of God. The Christian virtue of hospitality came to mind by its absence. But I also thought of Old Testament prophets and their urgent calls for the people to return to the Lord in light of the impending day. I appreciated better the urgency of Isaiah, who could switch so quickly between the wonderful hope of God’s visible and holy presence drawing all nations, and the dire prediction of a wasted land and a fleeing people.
Isaiah’s warning had an immediate application in 586 BC in the Assyrian attack on Judah, as well as a future dimension. Our hope is the glorious expectation of Christ’s second coming. Have we lost the urgency of the message of judgment that is also implied in Jesus’ return? It is nice to be included in the remnant, but what of friends and neighbors who might be excluded? Verse 22 is a sobering, but not cynical, conclusion to this chapter. We know how fragile human existence is. A sharp blow, a sudden fall and the breath is knocked out. Repent now while you have the chance!
Let God direct you today to those who need to hear both the promise and the warning of our Lord’s return before their own passing or his coming.
Mighty God, I confess I often share the “feel-good” mood of the world. Judgment and accountability are seldom in my thoughts. Startle me with my accountability to You.
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