Joel 2:1. Blow a trumpet in Zion;
sound an alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
for the day of the Lord is coming; it is near,
2 a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and thick darkness!
The day of the Lord. The most important day in all of human history. A day of darkness and gloom. Judgment day. The final battle where all of Yahweh’s enemies are defeated. Listen as the prophet Joel continues to describe this great and terrible day:
Joel 3:14-16. 14 Multitudes, multitudes,
in the valley of decision!
For the day of the Lord is near
in the valley of decision.
15 The sun and the moon are darkened,
and the stars withdraw their shining.
16 The Lord roars from Zion,
and utters his voice from Jerusalem,
and the heavens and the earth quake.
But the Lord is a refuge to his people,
a stronghold to the people of Israel.
The day of the Lord is a scary thought. The sun darkened. Heavens and earth quaking. God roaring from Zion in judgment upon his enemies. Let’s just say it’s not going to be pretty.
In Jewish theology the day of the Lord is a single great and terrible day. It’s that one day that links history’s two ages: this “present evil age,” and the “age to come.” Or, the time before the Messiah and the time after the Messiah. The day of the Lord is the turning point of history. For the Jewish nation it was thought to be the day of their vindication as God’s chosen people. They will survive while all other wicked nations perish. Therefore, it’s a day that the Jewish nation awaits with great anticipation.
But Joel actually gives us a glimpse into God’s great big secret – the day of the Lord is not a single day. In fact, it’s a day that has already come and, at the same time, is yet to come. The day of the Lord is not a single 24-hour day, but rather a day that unfolds over time. And it is a “day” that is unfolded in Christ the Messiah. The day of the Lord, the day of God’s great wrath and justice, the day God defeats all his enemies has come in the cross of Christ. On the day Jesus died for our sin, just as Joel predicted, the sun was darkened, and the earth quaked. There was thick darkness and gloom. And on his cross, God roared from Zion – It is finished! Every sin paid for. Every enemy defeated.
And yet, at the same time, the day of the Lord is still to come. It has yet to unfold fully. The battle that is already won still rages. The battle for souls. God’s desire is to see many come to him in faith. So now the world lives in what Joel calls the valley of decision. The place where we exist to help others to choose Christ. To call on the Lord and be saved. This “time between the ages” is the battle ground upon which we now strive for the souls of mankind. The coming day of the Lord is near, the sides are lining up, and we exist to help people choose their side in the valley of decision.
But don’t worry, this is not a work we do alone. The Spirit is ours. The work is God’s.
Joel 2:28. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh.
“To live is Christ” means the Spirit of the great Prophet, Jesus, is now prophesying through us as we speak the gospel to all we meet in this valley of decision. God’s message of love and light displayed on the cross on the day of the Lord, is now the only message that can save this world from the gloom and darkness of the day of the Lord that is to come.
Whose side are you on in the valley of decision?
You in Christ
In Christ you have already been through the day of the Lord on the cross. How does this free your heart from fear today?
Christ in you
To whom can you prophesy the truths of Christ to this week?
Playlist: Day of the Lord.
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