Israel is at the heart of ‘the Day of the LORD’

The topic of the ‘day of the LORD’ is so significant that it is referenced by nine prophets, i.e. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Zephaniah, Zechariah, and Malachi, covering a period of nearly 500 years.

Then in the New Testament it is referenced by Jesus in the book of Matthew, by Paul in several of his epistles, by the writer of the book of Hebrews, and in the final book of the Bible.

We previously mentioned several references by Isaiah; let’s look at several more references by several other prophets.

Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s trouble…” Jeremiah 30:7

It is significant that the tribulation is called ‘the time of Jacob’s trouble.’ It is extremely ironic that the Jews had it all wrong. They thought the tribulation was to punish their enemy nations, thus it would be a good thing for Israel.

This is what the LORD says to the house of Israel… “Woe to you who long for the day of the LORD! That day will be darkness, not light. It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear…” Amos 5:4, 18-19

After countless warnings for disobedience, God justifies His actions.

I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land…but I found none. So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads (recompensed) all they have done…” Ezekiel 22:30-31

No one would intercede for Jerusalem’s sin. ‘Wrath’ is synonymous with ‘indignation.’

God was, and is, very longsuffering with His people. He had turned His wrath away from Israel many times for their deserved iniquities.

“…their hearts were not loyal to him, they were not faithful to his covenant. Yet he was merciful…Time after time he restrained his anger and did not stir up his full wrath.” Psalm 78:37-38

Ironically, Israel did not remember God’s power and wrath on Egypt when He redeemed them from bondage.

They did not remember his power – the day he redeemed them from the oppressor, the day he displayed his miraculous signs in Egypt…He unleashed against them his hot anger, his wrath, indignation and hostility…” Psalm 78:42-43, 49

Joel offered a very interesting point relative to the day of the Lord.

I will also gather all nations…and I will enter into judgment with them on account of My people…they have also divided up My land…for the day of the LORD is near…” Joel 3:2, 14

Of particular interest is that one of the major sins of the nations was to divide the land that God had gifted to Israel. Even today, the proposed division of Israel is the only suggested remedy offered by recent presidents for the problems in the Middle East. What a price to pay for such naivety.

Then Zephaniah describes the futility of any nation depending on their financial prowess to deliver them from ‘the day of the Lord.’

The great day of the LORD is near – near and coming quickly…That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom…Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the LORD’s wrath. In the fire of his jealousy the whole world will be consumed…” Zephaniah 1:14-15, 18

The size of a nation’s economy will be totally inconsequential in the Day of Judgment.

Approximately 200 years later, Malachi, the final prophet in the Old Testament, warns of the approaching day of the Lord.

Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire…” Malachi 4:1

Next we’ll refer to the New Testament and note that not only do New Testament writers reference Old Testament prophecies, but also offer new warnings of the soon-to-come ‘day of the LORD.’

Stay tuned.

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