September 6, 2021
"The Word of the Lord came to me: ‘Human being, prophesy; say that the Lord God says, “Wail, ‘Oh no! It’s today!’ For the day is near, the Day of the Lord..."
“The Word of the Lord came to me: ‘Human being, prophesy; say that the Lord God says, “Wail, ‘Oh no! It’s today!’ For the day is near, the Day of the Lord, a day of clouds, the time of the Gentiles.’” Ezekiel 30:1-3
For the first time in Ezekiel’s book, we come across the phrase, “the day of the Lord.” While the “day of the Lord” can sometimes refer to an event in the near future, it usually describes the consummation, the end of time, when God will come to judge the World.
In today’s passage, we find Ezekiel is describing an event that is not in the too distant future, the ransacking of North Africa by the Babylonians. But we must understand that all these passages are forecasts and foretastes of the judgment of what will most definitely come upon the World at the END of time.
For centuries, Israel had entertained the thought that the “day of the Lord” would bring nothing but blessing for them. But that was a naïve view. Isaiah had warned Israel before its collapse to the Assyrians:
“The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled)…the arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.” Isaiah 2:12, 17
Ezekiel, like Amos, warns that the “day of the Lord” will be “dark” (30:18; Amos 5:18, 20; 8:9) And Zephaniah spoke of it as”
“…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” Zephaniah 1:14-15
Four particular features of the “day of the Lord” are worth noting. 1) It is a day of distress, 2) The “day” is imminent, 3) It is a day of judgment, 4) No one (apart from the atonement of Messiah) can escape the effects of this day.
As mentioned before, the error of Israel has been that they believe the Day of the Lord will be a day of judgment against the Gentiles and the vindication of the Jewish people. But upon closer observation, while today’s chapter deals with Gentile nations, a day was appointed by the Lord when Israel was judged and routed by the Babylonians, along with all the other nations. So, the judgment is against apostasy, regardless of nationality.
In the end, it was not ALL Israel who were delivered during the “day of the Lord.” On the contrary, only the Remnant - those who faithfully followed the Lord and believed in His Word – were delivered amid His judgment. Likewise, in the coming Day of the Lord, it will be the Remnant of Israel (those whose trust in Jesus, alone) who will be saved, along with Gentile believers. (Acts 4:12; Romans 9:6)