Alas for that day! For the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty. Joel 1:15
At first read, this verse seems out of context in this section. Typically, when Bible verses say, “the day of the Lord,” it’s usually referring to when Jesus returns to end history. That day of the Lord, especially when His Son returns to judge the world and usher in His eternal kingdom, will be a terrible day for many, indeed for most of the world. It will be a great day in history, “great” meaning both fantastic and overwhelming. Time, history, and the past will end, with the future being one of only two eventualities (both depend on the mercy of Jesus). What we think, say, and do in our lives matters now, and on that day He will require an accounting from us for all of it. Did we sin and live unrepentantly, or did we sin and see how terribly broken we are and that only He can fix us? Our answer to those questions will come from the heart as will His reply.
It will be a supernatural day, full of destruction, fear, loneliness, dread, and ‘great’ knowledge for all who rejected Jesus in this life. It will also be a supernatural day for those of us who spend our lives trusting in Him, using our time to help others know Him, too. I’m no better, you’re no better, we’re no better than the ones who reject Jesus. We simply accept Him for who He is and know we have no future without Him. The ‘rejecters’ don’t seem to understand that. A terrifying future in hell awaits them. For believers, an eternity of unending adventure and love will simply be the start.
Yet my Concordia says that the phrase actually refers to any time God intervenes in history. Any time. You and I can have a part in when that happens, you know. No, we can’t cause it or make it happen; only the Lord can. But, when we have opportunities to talk about why we know peace, patience, and hope, we can & should talk about Jesus. Be Jesus to strangers through what we think, say, and do. Be His hands and feet in a world that usually rejects Him. Be His ambassador in a place that starts out hostile to Him. Be in the world but not of it. In that way, perhaps God can intervene in some stranger’s history, causing them to know ‘the day of the Lord’ as the day they began to know Him. It’s the day a past and future of sin is replaced with one of hope. That day might be today.
For more reading: Genesis 17:1, Isaiah 2:12, Jeremiah 30:7, Ezekiel 30:3, Malachi 4:5, Amos 5:18, Zephaniah 1:14, Zechariah 14:1, Joel 1:16
Lord, help me to be Your witness in this world today.
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