The DAY OF THE LORD is “The Day of Jehovah,” and its usage is always associated with something dire, with judgment, and with events outside the implementation of man. In other words, it is the intervention of God with the power of God in the affairs of this world. It has a primary application to Israel, but that is always extended often to a wider field, and that involves the world. Its main focus is in the Tribulation that is coming. We continue –
. Amos 5:18–20 “Alas, you who are longing for the day of the LORD, for what purpose will the day of the LORD be to you? It will be darkness and not light – as when a man flees from a lion, and a bear meets him, or goes home, leans his hand against the wall, and a snake bites him. Will not the day of the LORD be darkness instead of light, even gloom with no brightness in it?”
((Amos’s primary application in his writing reflects the conditions of his time and impending judgment. In a very broad sense, it could be said that “the Day of the LORD” is God’s hand in judgment right through the existence of His people, the Jews, but we know it always has the greater application to the last days of the age, that is, to the time after the Rapture. At the time of writing, the Lord had complaints against all of them.
Amos dealt with judgment on the surrounding Gentile nations then turned the attention to the divided kingdom with a citation of evils. Here are just two verses – Amos 2:4 “Thus says the LORD, ‘For three transgressions of Judah and for four I will not revoke its punishment because they rejected the law of the LORD and have not kept His statutes. Their lies also have led them astray, those (same lies) after which their fathers walked.'” Amos 2:6 “Thus says the LORD, ‘For three transgressions of Israel and for four I will not revoke its punishment because they sell the righteous for money and the needy for a pair of sandals.'”
The prophet reveals what the Day of the LORD will be like, and there are similarities to Joel, as is often the case in prophetic writings, as Joel came first. In fact, there is another angle to this as Amos states – Amos 3:7 “Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets.” We may be sure that these things written are written straight from the Lord’s inspiration.
It is all part of Peter’s statement – 2Peter 1:21 “for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” The same judgment signs are there – darkness, fear (of attack and uncertainty), gloom, and no brightness. We are now familiar with these aspects, but there is one surprising revelation in the Amos passage we are looking at.
There were those who were desiring, even panting for the Day of the LORD to come. The idea of panting is that of a dog waiting and hoping for its food with its tongue going in and out. They were wishing for it to happen, to see the Day of the LORD in operation, but Amos told them it would be of no purpose to them. In other words, this was something you really do not want!
There is something ghoulish in the fallen human nature that likes to watch tragedy and calamities happen, especially to others. That is why the Roman arenas were packed with people feasting on hurt being done to victims, people being torn apart, and bodies mangled. It is vile. People might have a decent enough-looking exterior, but inwardly their thoughts and desires spring from the corrupt nature. The human soul is reprobate and full of evil. Some call it “drama,” but it is demonic. In fact, in an oblique reference, Amos adds another dire sign – 8:9 “It will come about in that day,’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘that I shall make the sun go down at noon and make the earth dark in broad daylight.'”
Dark hearts love darkness, but the darkness associated with the Day of the LORD is not something they will love. Dread, fear, panic, and chaos are what they will receive.
This has application to us. What are we looking for? Do we desire the Day of the LORD to come? Do we want to see God’s wrath descend on this awful, sinful world? Is it what they deserve? Amos began our passage with “Alas,” for he knows what they wish for is disaster. How many are looking forward to disaster? Sadly, the world generally dismisses any notion of God and certainly dismisses any possibility of the wrath of God. In that regard, they are careless and think they can remain detached from creation. However, in society, there are ghoulish people, ones who are perverse who take a fiendish delight in disaster and hurt coming to others. Some of these are terrorists and pyromaniacs.
In our age, the thinking of young people is fashioned by social media and computer and phone gaming programs. These are satanic, evil, and destructive to the human soul. Satan has fed the world with this perverse, occult stuff, and it will surely reap its reward. Alas, for those who are desiring chaos, disaster and hurt, who long for it to come so they can be voyeurs of the situation. Little do they know that no one who enters the Day of the LORD will escape. All will come under judgment. Every one.
For some reason, many people chase after hurt to others. They like to “dob in,” inform and desire to see hurt come to others. Look at the crowd who cheered on the beheading at the French Revolution; the Romans who delighted to see human beings torn apart by wild animals; gladiators who would kill one another; and even the crowds gathered at the Lord’s crucifixion who loved seeing men executed. It is all demonic because Satan was a murderer from the beginning. He is malicious and malignant.
It would be perverse if a Christian was one of those wanting to see the Tribulation come to “punish all those on earth.” We should never desire the hurt of others or welcome the wrath of God against them, and I know some people are so evil that we might think it will serve them right. But even if they are our enemies and the gross enemies of goodness and decency, we desire their salvation, not their destruction.
The Bible tells us to do good, not evil; therefore, think good, not evil. The Christian ought not to be looking forward to the Day of the LORD in the sense of “bring on the Tribulation!” but needs to be looking above with the great desire for the coming of the Lord to rapture us from this scene. We study the events to come, but we don’t long for people’s destruction.
I long for the coming of the Lord to rapture me. It is correct to desire His appearing to take us from this scene; we know that after the rapture of the Church, horrible evil and wrath will descend on the earth, but God forbid that we are desiring that.
Amos penned this – “as when a man flees from a lion, and a bear meets him, or goes home, leans his hand against the wall, and a snake bites him.” This looks like a “no-win” situation, but what it means is that fear and inevitability will be present in the Tribulation. Men will not escape. You might think you were fortunate to get away from a lion, but then you run into a bear. Even when you think you reach the safety of your own home, then you place your hand on the wall only to be bitten by a snake! There will be no escape when God’s wrath starts to fall.
Isaiah wrote a similar thought, also related to the Day of the LORD – Isaiah 24:17-19 “Terror and pit and snare confront you, O inhabitant of the earth. Then it will be that he who flees the report of disaster will fall into the pit, and he who climbs out of the pit will be caught in the snare; for the windows above are opened, and the foundations of the earth shake. The earth is broken asunder, the earth is split through, the earth is shaken violently.”
How can anyone long for the Day of the LORD? It will be fear and terror with no escape.))
. Obadiah 1:15-17 “The day of the LORD draws near on all the nations. As you have done, it will be done to you. Your dealings will return on your own head, because just as you drank on My holy mountain, all the nations will drink continually. They will drink and swallow, and become as if they had never existed, but on Mount Zion there will be those who escape, and it will be holy, and the house of Jacob will possess their possessions.”
((This is a most interesting passage for many reasons. Not only is it the shortest Old Testament book, but the lessons are profound. The vision of Obadiah takes up the horrible sins of Edom/Esau, but they widen in scope. Edom is proud, and we have this – Obadiah 1:3 “The arrogance of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, in the loftiness of your dwelling place, who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to earth?'” Here in Obadiah, he raises pride, which was Moab’s great sin, arrogantly speaking against the Lord.
This is just the forerunner of the coming world leader, the evil, arrogant Antichrist who will think he is impregnable. Revelation 13:5 “There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him.” He, too, will suffer the same fate as proud, arrogant old Moab did. His dealings will return on his own head.
When the Jews were trying to escape Jerusalem while under attack from Nebuchadnezzar, the Moabites did the following: Obadiah 1:10-11 “Because of violence to your brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame, and you will be cut off forever. On the day that you stood aloof, on the day that strangers carried off his wealth, and foreigners entered his gate and cast lots for Jerusalem – you too were as one of them.” Moab was as bloodthirsty as all the rest, as Babylon. They gloated over their brother’s misfortune; they looted his wealth in the day of overthrow; they gloated over Israel’s calamity; they stood at the fork of the road to cut down their fugitives, and they imprisoned their survivors in the day of their distress.
God will never stand for violence done to Israel. It will always meet retribution. Violence to Israel will be in the Tribulation.
Now we look at our passage. Up to verse 14, Obadiah was detailing just the sins of Moab, but now there is a change; for verse 15 starts – “The day of the LORD draws near on all the nations.” Here we have passed from one aspect of the Day of the LORD applying just to Moab, and now to the whole world. “All the nations” means just that. Verse 15 continues – “As you have done, it will be done to you. Your dealings will return on your own head.” This is retribution from the LORD for what Moab did to the Jews. But in the Day of the LORD in the Tribulation, God will certainly judge the nations of the world for what was done to Israel in the past, now, and in the future.
The sense of verse 16 is that the judgment will be strong and permanent. There is going to be a great judgment on the world for what has been done to Israel and the Jews, most severe, in the Day of the LORD. Russia, Iran (part of Gog), and Germany (possibly Gomer) are all named in the Bible, great persecutors of the Jews.
We must consider this great verse – Obadiah 1:17 “but on Mount Zion there will be those who escape, and it will be holy, and the house of Jacob will possess their possessions.” Just as there were those who escaped from the clutches of Nebuchadnezzar and the Moabites, so too will there be those who will escape from the clutches of Antichrist, and they will be found on Mount Zion. This is the closing verse of Obadiah – Obadiah 1:21 “The deliverers will ascend Mount Zion to judge the mountain of Esau, and the kingdom will be the LORD’S.”
The victors of the preaching of Revelation are found too on Mt Zion with all the nations – types of Moab – defeated: Revelation 14:1 “I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.”
Israel will possess the possessions of the enemy. Zechariah 14:1 “Behold, a day is coming for the LORD when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you.”
In war, in all of human history, the defeated have suffered loss with everything of value taken from them. Maybe the single worst pillaging of people’s possessions was what Germany did to the Jews in WW2. Six million people lost everything. I think something similar will happen in the Tribulation, but God promises this – “and the house of Jacob will possess their possessions.” All that which was taken will be returned to Israel.
There is something else here that may be significant. The land is the possession given to Abraham and thence, the Jews. It is their greatest possession, in fact, because Israel is an earthly people, and this is their entire inheritance. One day it will be theirs, the whole lot of what God promised.
The Day of the LORD will have dark and serious effects for Israel, but the Lord will bring them through. And in the Millennium, they will possess the whole allocation God gave to Abraham.))
Part 6 will follow.