This is not just about THE day of the Lord, it’s about A day of the Lord, a very bad one.
I turned to the commentators for this one, is a dark chapter full of terrible things. No one knows for sure if it already happened literally to Israel, is it includes a Christian context, whether it’s currently happening or yet to come.
Of course the general gist, that we live in a world where war and cruelty can and do occur to Christians and Jews, is undeniable. There have been many many appalling days of the Lord down the ages. Being one of God’s loved is not a magic band of protection in this world where sin still runs rampant. Sometimes it makes you more of a target.
The day of defeat for God’s people will turn to victory for them, God will join the battle, the enemies will be decimated – an extreme picture of their flesh rotting on them as they stand. Reminds me of mustard gas in world war 1, or an atom bomb explosion.
Its a picture of the last battle, after which Jerusalem will be secure. Is it Calvary? Is it judgement day?
The survivors of that battle will all be worshippers of the Lord. The Booth feast, the one celebrating god’s rescue of his people from slavery in Egypt, will be attended by all nations, Egypt in particular. It’ll be either that or the mustard gas plague: the sheep and the goats. No middle ground.
And the Jews will be at the centre of it, the least bowl in the humblest Jewish kitchen will be like the holiest vessel in the temple.
So what do I learn?
People with conflicting views on the end times passionately extract shreds of support for their positions from it. I have little patience for end times speculation. It flies in the face of God’s deliberate vagueness about the specifics and the mechanics.
I learn that even the worst day of my life is still a day of the Lord. Trust and get through it, even death is not the end.
Present disasters don’t mean God has deserted us. Time will end, there will be a new phase where evil is no longer at large.
Those who don’t acknowledge god should beware of that time. God’s holiness is absolute and dreadful.
God’s grace, the living water flowing out from Jerusalem, is not cheap, it is born of pain and of immeasurable value. Weep, praise, act.