DayBreaks for 5/27/16 – The Day of the Lord
From the DayBreaks archive, May 2006:
Isaiah 13:6 (NIV) – “Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.”
The “day of the Lord” was an idea that was very common to the Jews of the Old Testament. The Jews tended to divide history into 3 periods of time: the present evil age, the day of the Lord, and the age to come. They spoke volumes about how this world was evil, how everything was bad and doomed for destruction because of the anger of the Lord which would be revealed on the “great day of the Lord” when His wrath was revealed and released from heaven against the iniquity of mankind. The Day of the Lord marked the dividing line between the evil world and the world in which righteousness would rule. It was a “day” that was feared, for it would be a day of horrible retribution. It would be followed by an age of righteousness wherein God would rule in perfect justice and harmony, and life would be good. But the day of the Lord was to be feared, let there be no doubt.
The theologian, Jurgen Moltmann made an interesting observation by looking at the concept of the day of the Lord in the Old Testament and the same concept in the New Testament. He noted that the phrase “Day of the Lord” in the Old Testament inspired fear, but in the New Testament it inspires hope: (Titus 2:11-14, NIV) – “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”
What could make such a difference in a people who had viewed the day of the Lord with such fear for nearly 2000 years? Moltmann suggests one possibility: he thinks it is because the authors of the New Testament had come to know and trust the Lord whose day it is because they’d lived with and seen that very Lord in the person of Jesus Christ.
One of the most frequent, if not the most frequent, commands of Jesus to his followers was simply this: “Do not be afraid.” Perhaps it was his personality that gave the courage to his followers to come to not fear the day of the Lord, but even to pray for it, as John did in Revelation: “Maranatha, Lord Jesus!” The followers of Jesus have nothing to fear from the day of the Lord, but can look forward to it expectantly, with joy because it will be HIS day, the day of HIS crowning glory, and he’ll be coming to share it with us!
PRAYER: How we long for your day, Lord, the day that will put an end forever to misery and suffering, sin and injustice, and which will usher in the new heaven and new earth. Thank you that we need not fear that day because we can know the Lord of the day personally. Help us to know you better! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.