Vol.XI No.IV Pg.5
June 1974

"Day Of The Lord"

Robert F. Turner

In ISA.13:6 we read, "Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand" (vs. 9-f.). "Behold the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine"... "therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of host, and in the day of his fierce anger."

Surely this refers to the end of time—but wait — the chapter begins: "The burden of Babylon," and vs. 17-19 says, "I will stir up the Medes against them, ... and Babylon ... shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah." This does NOT refer to the end of time — but to the destruction of the power of Babylon.

In ISA.34:2-f. we read "For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations ... and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. And all the hosts of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth... " Verse 8 says, "It is the day of the Lords vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up forever; from generation to generation it shall lie waste;" etc. Is this the end of time? NO, this is Gods punishment of Idumeans (vs.5)

God, through Jeremiah, foretold the overthrow of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (JER.46) and called this "the day of the Lord God of hosts". God foretold judgment upon Israel (JOE.1:1-f.) calling it "the day of the Lord (vs. 15), preceded by "the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood "(2:31). The destruction of Jerusalem, as foretold in ZEC.14, is called "the day of the Lord" and says, "Then shall the Lord go forth.". It should come as no surprise to students of the Old Testament when Jesus foretells the destruction of Jerusalem (MAT. 24:) that he uses the same sort of language saying "there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places". The sun will "be darkened and the moon shall not give her light and the stars shall fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken" (MAT.24:-34).

Clearly, not every "Day of the Lord" is the final judgment day, the final coming of the lord. The Lord has "come" many times — in judgment upon nations, cities, people. Almost without exception, his "coming" is pictured in strong, colorful figures, with many references to the sun, moon and stars. Their "falling" evidently refers to the overthrow of government and great military powers. Perhaps all these figures portend the final and literal coming of the Lord described in 2PE.3:10-f. With such examples of His power and warnings, we should prepare for His certain coming.