The Day of the Lord
In verse 15 of the previous chapter the prophet announced the approach of the “Day of the Lord”. Here he describes what it will be like.
Students of this book debate whether what is described here in this chapter is an actual locust plague or the way the prophet presents his vision of the coming of the “enemy from the North” spoken of in the Book of Jeremiah at 4:5-22 as well as in other passages.
Whatever may be the case the “Day of the Lord’ has its final expression in Revelation 9:1-12 and 20:11-15
There is a moral centre to the universe. That centre is the Lord God himself and he will judge all evil. Such is the character of all human beings that only those who have fled for shelter to the One who bore the sin of the world will survive that “Day”.
Be alert! Be awake!
As verse 30 indicates a substantial part of this chapter had its first application to the years that followed the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus up to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD.
Jesus makes clear the sort of tribulations his people will experience and the Divine assistance they will receive to bear witness. All that will transpire are like the birth pains that usher in something totally new. This is not primarily a description of the end of the world though it was, as one writer has said, “the end of their world”. In those years there was international turmoil that rocked the world and then came destruction of Jerusalem.
The destruction of the Temple would vindicate both Jesus’ prediction that this would be the case, and his exaltation to the throne of God as he indicated in his quotation of Daniel 7:13, he, “the Son of Man, coming on clouds with great power and glory”
The enduring message of this chapter flows over into the concluding verses. We too are to “keep watch”. We do not know when the “Owner of the house” will finally come.
In all the trials and temptations that form part of daily human life in a fallen world we are to practise patience and wait expectantly for our Master’s final return.
We join our ancient brethren who sent their greeting to the believers in Corinth in a prayer phrase that survived from earliest times in Aramaic – “maranatha”, “Our Lord come”. (1 Corinthians 16:22)