Sunday, May 5, 2013

Isaiah 2: The Day of the Lord

Isaiah 2:2-4 It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

Isaiah 2:12-19 For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up—and it shall be brought low; against all the cedars of Lebanon, lofty and lifted up; and against all the oaks of Bashan; against all the lofty mountains, and against all the uplifted hills; against every high tower, and against every fortified wall; against all the ships of Tarshish, and against all the beautiful craft. And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. And the idols shall utterly pass away. And people shall enter the caves of the rocks and the holes of the ground, from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth.

The Day of the Lord is both Good and Bad News. It is good news for those who are members of God’s Kingdom through faith in Jesus Christ—it will be a day of redemption, when Jesus Christ Himself will return to rule the nations from Jerusalem (Zion) by His law and His word. When the Day of the Lord has come, there will be universal peace because Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace will rule with an iron rod from Zion: “For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; e nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” The lofty words from these verses are inscribed on the base of a sculptor at the entrance to the United Nations: "We shall beat our swords into plowshares". But since the United Nations was set up after World War II, there have been countless wars fought around the globe in the last 70 years: from Korea to Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, India-Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Middle-east, Iran-Iraq, Gulf Wars, Africa from the south to the north, Latin America, etc

The truth is universal peace will not come to earth without divine intervention—and this is the Good News: the Day of the Lord is coming and it will arrive when Jesus Christ returns in the not-too-distant future. (If you have not put your faith in Jesus Christ, the time to do it is TODAY!)

But the Day of the Lord is Bad News for those who reject the gift of salvation offered in Jesus Christ, which is free membership in the Kingdom of God, where “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” is experienced even today by true disciples of Christ. Those who reject God’s offer of salvation do so because of pride: “For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up… And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.” It will be a terrifying day for those who reject God’s gracious offer of salvation through His Son—there will be no more second chance because the offer of the free gift of salvation expires on the Day of the Lord.

Isaiah describes the terror of that Day in these words: “And people shall enter the caves of the rocks and the holes of the ground, from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth.” The people who are alive when Jesus Christ returns will try to hide themselves in caves in the mountains and holes in the ground in an attempt to escape the terrible wrath of God’s judgments in that Day.  Revelations 6:12-17 gives a more graphic details about the terror of divine wrath:

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

Are we on the right or wrong side of the Day of the Lord? Will it be for you a Day of Delight or Dread? You can decide today whether the Day of the Lord is Good News or Bad News. If you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead and confess him as your Lord today then you will be saved on that Day: “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” (Rom. 10:9-10).

Thank You Lord Jesus for saving us from our sins. Maranatha! Amen.

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