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What is the Day of the Lord?

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posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 05:00 PM
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What is the “Day of the Lord” in the Old Testament?
We see this phrase first in Amos, but Amos is quoting the expression as one that’s well-known already.
People are longing for the coming of the Day of the Lord, and he’s having to warn them that it won’t come quite in the form they’re expecting (Amos ch5 vv18-20).

The most basic definition of the Day, one which covers all versions of the experience, can be found in Isaiah;
“For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up on high…
And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the pride of men shall be brought low;
And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day” (Isaiah ch2 vv12-17).
In other words, God runs out of patience.
He puts out his power to enforce his will against all self-centred human opposition.

The enemies and invaders of Israel form one category of the “proud and lofty”.
Thus there is a prophecy about the destruction of Egypt;
“That day is the day of the Lord God of hosts, a day of vengeance to avenge himself upon his foes” (Jeremiah ch46 v10).
The Philistines will be cut off by “the day that is coming” (Jeremiah ch47 v4).
The warning against the Babylonians is “Woe to them, for their day has come, the time of their punishment” (Jeremiah ch51 v27).

Isaiah offers three different versions of a warning which combines “day of vengeance” with “year of recompense, or redemption”.
Jesus chose to read one of them in the synagogue;
“To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour, and the day of vengeance of our God” (Isaiah ch61 v2, Luke ch4 v19).
He left out the reference to “vengeance”, closing the book before he got there, and modern preachers like to find significance in that omission.
But I think they may be missing the point that “redemption” and “vengeance” are the same thing, properly understood, or at least two sides of the same coin.
It is not possible to save the people from oppression (“redemption” or “salvation”) without doing something about the cause of the oppression (“vengeance” or “wrath”).
So the two things necessarily go together as part of the fulfilment of God’s purpose.
The “day of vengeance” marks the decisive event, the “year of redemption” is the long-term consequence.
(Daniel ch11 offers the same result, in the form of a judgement scene)

This was the kind of “day” which the people around Amos had in mind.
They were not wrong about the basic nature of the “Day of the Lord”.
But they were misreading an important detail.
They were ignoring the possibility that they themselves, even those who thought of themselves as God’s people, might find themselves listed among the “proud and lofty”.
And THAT is the reason why they would experience that day as a day of “darkness and gloom, with no brightness in it”.
This is surely “that day” when the false prophet Zedekiah, son of Chenaanah, would be anxious to “go into an inner chamber” to hide himself (1 Kings ch22 v25).

The best account of that version of the “Day of the Lord” comes in Joel.
He describes the relentless invasion of a massive army of locusts, which lays waste to the land.
Them he equates this with “the Day of the Lord”, because it comes “as destruction from the Almighty” (Joel ch1 v15).
He calls it “a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness”, just as Amos predicted (ch2 v2).
For this great swarm is to be understood as the Lord’s army;
“The Day of the Lord is great and very terrible; who can endure it?” (ch2 v11).

But the crisis in Joel is not meant to be a final destruction of the people.
It functions as a summons to repentance.
“Sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly. Gather…to the house of the Lord your God and cry to the Lord” (ch1 v14).
Then this assembly should respond to the Lord’s appeal;
“Yet even now, say the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and with weeping and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (ch2 vv12-13).

The first chapter of Zephaniah gives warning of another “great day of the Lord” against the nation of Judah.
It will be “ a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements” (Zephaniah ch1 vv14-16).
This refers to an invasion of human armies, when blood will be “poured out like dust”.
It is particularly aimed at the disobedient and the unjust; against the idolaters (vv4-6), against the corrupt establishment (vv8-9), and against the corrupt wealthy (vv10-13).
It is a little ominous that the corrupt establishment includes “the king’s sons”, three of whom became kings themselves, in turn, after the death of Josiah.
This foreshadows, at least, the final Babylonian sieges.

God’s “days” against the sins of individual nations form part of, or may be extended to, a more universal “day” against the sins of the world at large.
The heading of Isaiah ch13 calls it “an oracle against Babylon”.
Yet the chapter incorporates a warning that the Lord of Hosts is assembling an army “to destroy the whole earth”.
“Behold, the Day of the Lord comes… to make the earth a desolation, and to destroy its sinners from it…
I will punish the world for its sin, and the wicked for their iniquity” (vv9-11).
An oracle against Edom is introduced with the warning that the Lord “is enraged against all the nations” (Isaiah ch34 v2).
Even the prophecy against Judah in Zephaniah ch2 includes references to cutting off mankind from the face of the earth, and “all the earth shall be consumed”.

In time, the prophecy of a “Day of the Lord” against the enemies of God’s people also develops a more universal and final version.
In the past, he has been tackling them one by one as they appeared.
But the time will come when he will collect all of them in one place, so that he can inflict a final and conclusive defeat upon all the enmity of the world;
“I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat, and I will enter into judgement with them there, on account of my people and my heritage Israel” (Joel ch3 v2).
“Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision!
For the Day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision” (v14).
In Zechariah, the “Day of the Lord” will begin when all the nations of the world come up against and capture Jerusalem;
“Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations” (Zechariah ch14 v3).

In Revelation’s version of the same event, the armies of the world are summoned to Armageddon (that is, Megiddo, where King Josiah was killed), on the “great day of God the Almighty” (ch16 vv12-16). The battle itself takes place three chapters later, when the armies of the world are instantly defeated by the arrival of Jesus.
If the event is not a literal battle between physical armies, then the exact location is unimportant.
The point is that every power which has been setting itself against God’s will is finally overcome when Christ returns.

That is to be “the day of the Lord Jesus” (2 Corinthians ch1 v14). It is the New Testament interpretation of what is meant by “The Day of the Lord”.




posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 05:07 PM
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Its like every other thing organized religion requires people to do; going to service, bowing heads, opening our hymnals and turning to page... turning in our bibles to verse... turning to our neighbor and shaking hands, stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down, and pass the plate.

Control measures, getting people to conform by obeying commands.



posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 05:10 PM
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a reply to: intrptr
You're thinking of Sunday labelled as "the Lord's Day".
Once you read the OP, as distinct from just reacting to the title, you will realise that I am talking about something different.



posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 05:11 PM
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Man why is the bible so obsessed with destroying things? It's such a downer. Why can you guys not see that this stuff turns people away?



posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 05:15 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

I'm not sure intrptr is capable of reading such a long and well thought out thread and providing a substantial response.



posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 05:15 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t
If you were being beaten up by somebody, you might welcome the idea that something was going to be done about him.
One man's destruction is another man's salvation.

All I'm doing is reporting what the Bible says. Whether it is an upper or a downer is not my problem.



posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 05:16 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

The Day of the Lord as a Day of Calamity. The day of the Lord means destruction of the godless. With metaphor the prophets excel in describing the calamitous aspect of day of the Lord.

Amos speaks of it as a day of darkness. Joel depicts it as a day of clouds and thick darkness. Zephaniah's description is vivid as he mixes direct description and metaphor:

That day will be a day of wrath,
A day of distress and anguish
A day of trouble and ruin,
A day of darkness and gloom,
A day of clouds and blackness
A day of trumpet and battle cry.

www.biblestudytools.com...

Interesting read.

Coomba98



posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 05:18 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Well. Doesn't the bible preach to turn the other cheek and forgive no matter what? Why can we be hypocritical here? What about trying to find a solution so that the beatings don't occur in the first place? Why entertain the idea of destruction begetting more destruction? Do you not realize that the cycle of violence never ends? Do you think your "god" saving you with all this violence is going to just magically END violence? I mean why? Because your book ran out of pages? I thought eternity lasted forever?
edit on 12-8-2016 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 05:19 PM
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a reply to: coomba98
But it also has the effect of salvation for those who belong to the Lord. "A day of wrath and a year of redemption". That's why the people around Amos were looking forward to it.



posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 05:24 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
What about trying to find a solution so that the beatings don't occur in the first place?

That's the approach that is being tried first. Educating the aggressors out of it. Once that fails, getting rid of them is the last resort.
The final image is Revelation ch21. There are no murderers in the new Jerusalem.



posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 05:29 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Why is there a last resort? That's crazy talk.

See. This is what I'm talking about. When you speak in absolutes you leave little room for wiggle room. Who's to say we've tried everything?

From what I understand, when I see threads like this, this "day of the lord" or Armageddon, or Obama's birthday or whatever it's being called this week it's always like this day is upon us "soon". So I take this "soon" to be "any day now", or something along those lines. Well here's the thing. I DON'T think we are even CLOSE to any "last resort" in trying to stop people from acting like dicks to each other.

We are only just BARELY moving away from "hit person back with harder piece of equipment" to trying to analyze behavioral and psychological problems that we can treat and then people like you bring up "last resorts". Why? Why are you giving up already?
edit on 12-8-2016 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 05:33 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
Who's to say we've tried everything? From what I understand, when I see threads like this, this "day of the lord" or Armageddon, or Obama's birthday or whatever it's being called this week it's always like this day is upon us "soon". So I take this "soon" to be "any day now", or something along those lines. Well here's the thing. I DON'T think we are even CLOSE to any "last resort" in trying to stop people from acting like dicks to each other.

Nothing in THIS thread, or anything else that I've written, suggests that the event is "soon".
What people say in other threads is not relevant.
I am describing one of the themes contained within the Bible.



posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 05:36 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Ok. Well you still haven't explained how this will magically end all violence. Last I checked genocide didn't make too many people fond of the person doing the slaughtering.
edit on 12-8-2016 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 05:38 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t
I've already told you. In Revelation ch21, there are "no murderers in the new Jerusalem". In the absence of murderers, there are no murders.



posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 05:42 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Soooo... What about theft, lying, divorce, hate, anger, rape, slavery, debt slavery, and all the other sorts of "evils" we've uncovered within society over the years? But PHEW! No murders right?



posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 05:45 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t
That's all covered too. Revelation ch21 v8 and v27. Evils of all kinds. That is rather the point. I only singled out "murderers" because we were talking about aggression.



posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 05:45 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

I interpret 'the effect of salvation for those who belong to the Lord.' as more of a side effect.

For if 'everyone belonged to the Lord' there would be no need for there being 'A Day of the Lord'

It seems to be specifically for the destruction of the non-believers or sinners.

Coomba98
edit on 12-8-2016 by coomba98 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 05:49 PM
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a reply to: coomba98
In some respects, the two things go together. If one child in the playground is bullying another, and you pull him off, that is an act of "wrath" as experienced by the bully, and an act of "salvation" as experienced by his victim.

For most of the New Testament, the real "enemy" which afflicts God's people is the whole complex of sin-and-death. I wasn't focussing on that here, because I was concentrating on the Old Testament theme.



posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 05:53 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

So how does that work then? Like does no one ever talk to each other or something? Like how do you foresee all of humanity (or what's left of it) getting along equally? Your religion can't even make up its mind what to believe. I've seen so many interpretations of Revelations on this website alone that it astounds me how much people can read into some old hermit's crazy fan fiction about the end of the Roman Empire.

But this idea of paradise confuses me. There can't be any way you could maintain your identity and there be "no evil". My words now are probably irking you to some degree. So does that mean we become "One" with God? Wouldn't that make us Buddhists? Aren't they sinners and non-believers?

Look. To me, it sounds vaguely like propaganda. "Hey guys. If we destroy all these non-believers and sinners THIS one. Last. Time. All evil will be gone. But WAIT. I just HAPPEN to also have the story about how it all works out for the next 1000 years."

Meh. Maybe ATS has made me cynical?
edit on 12-8-2016 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 05:56 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t
I don't know how it works. We are told THAT it works, not how.
Since this would be part of a changed world, according to the narrative, I don't suppose that we are capable of understanding the "how" in our present condition.



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