posted on Dec, 4 2015 @ 05:03 PM
Amos was the first prophet to write about the Day of the Lord;
“Woe to you who desire the Day of the Lord!
Why would you have the Day of the Lord?” Amos ch5 v18
However, he’s clearly not the first person to think about the Day of the Lord.
The very form of the question shows that people were already expecting one.
A prophet of the previous generation, Micaiah son of Imlah, refers to the same thing without using the term.
He says to Zedekiah son of Chenaanah; “You shall see [the truth] on that day when you go into an inner chamber to hide yourself [from God]” (1
Kings ch22 v25).
So the expectation of the Day of the Lord was an old idea, not a new one.
I doubt if he was even the first person to think of the Day of the Lord in terms of God’s wrath.
It’s already there in the words of Micaiah; Zedekiah will be in a panic, trying to escape from it.
I’m sure the people who “desired” to see the Day of the Lord were expecting exactly the same thing.
They were eagerly anticipating the time of God’s wrath, because their understanding was that God’s wrath against his enemies would mean the
salvation of his friends.
His wrath would be expending itself on hostile nations like the Syrians.
As a broad picture, their expectation of the Day of the Lord would have been the same as the teaching of the prophets.
Their expectation was wrong only in one small, but very important detail.
They were mentally placing themselves in the wrong part of the picture.
They took it for granted that they were God’s friends, who would be made safe by his wrath against his enemies.
It did not occur to them that they might be at the receiving end of wrath themselves, like Zedekiah.
That’s why Amos uses examples which speak of a misplaced sense of security.
A man expects to find safety in flight (from a lion) and finds himself running into more danger (from a bear).
A man expects to find safety in his own home, of all places, and finds himself ambushed by a snake.
In the same way, the Day of the Lord will not be a “place of safety” for a people who have been neglecting their God.
It will be “darkness, not light, gloom with no brightness in it”.
This would be a metaphorical darkness, an “everything is going wrong” kind of darkness.
That’s probably what it means later in the book, when the Lord says;
“On that day, I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight”.
The Lord then explains this in terms of “turning their feasts into mourning” (ch8 vv9-10).
This expectation of a Day of the Lord holds a place all through the rest of the Bible.
The New Testament version is what Paul calls “The Day of the Lord Jesus”.
In principle, a “Day of the Lord” would be a time when the Lord imposes himself on the world in power and gets things arranged the way he wants
them to be.
But this would mean, necessarily, that he rejects what is incompatible with his nature.
The result is what we call his “wrath”, which is an operation rather than an emotion.
Yet the people addressed by Amos were at least half-right.
The expectation of wrath against unrighteousness is also the expectation of salvation for the victims of unrighteousness.
For the victims of oppression cannot be saved from it before
something is done about whatever is oppressing them.
So the Day of the Lord means wrath and salvation together, as two sides of the same coin.