Read: Zech 14:1-21
Zechariah 14:1-2 Watch, for the day of the LORD is coming when your possessions will be plundered right in front of you! I will gather all the nations to fight against Jerusalem. The city will be taken, the houses looted, and the women raped. Half the population will be taken into captivity, and the rest will be left along the ruins of the city.
Zechariah 14:6-7 On that day the sources of light will no longer shine, – yet there will be continuous day! Only the LORD knows how this could happen. There will be no normal day and night, for at evening time it will still be light.
Zechariah predicts the coming “Day of the LORD”. What strikes me as odd is the opening of this prophecy. That the LORD would raise up other nations against Jerusalem and rain down all kinds of destruction upon her. Then it turns to the blessing He will pour out upon her and the plague He will execute against her enemies.
The Day of the Lord is something that has been predicted going back to Isaiah the Prophet and up through the New Testament including Jesus’ mention of it. It seems more of a season than a day, and it is fearful to read about and I certainly would not be excited about living through it. There will be a cleansing of the earth, a judgment against the wicked, and suffering by seemingly everybody. But then the Lord will establish His rule on the earth and things will be made right. His enemies will be defeated, and everyone will eventually worship the LORD. I guess I wouldn’t mind being around for the end part…
The Apostle Peter put it this way: 2Peter 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.”
Prophetic literature can be hard to understand and regardless of what that guy who thinks he has this all figured out tells you… we don’t have a clear theology of the end – other than it’s coming and it won’t be pretty, at first. Some people claim that it has already happened or is about to happen or will happen long from now. Some say that Jesus’ followers will miss the suffering, others say that we will be here for part of it, and still others say that we will experience all the difficulties of that day.
The truth is, we don’t know about dates and times and we don’t know the specifics of who and how it will shake out. What we do know is that Jesus is coming back to fully establish His Kingdom, and that when He comes, there will be a great struggle and cleansing. And then His Kingdom will be established and His followers will be rewarded.
Jesus believed in the “Day of the Lord,” but cautioned His followers not to get caught up trying to figure it all out. He told them to be prepared for His return. To live faithful lives day in and day out, to be about His work of helping others find and follow God, and to be tightly connected with Him through the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said we won’t see it coming and we can’t know the day or time.
Zechariah says watch for it and Jesus clarifies what that watching really means. Watch your heart, your relationship with God, your faithfulness to Him in service, and your relationships with others. Make sure you are always right with Him so no matter when that day comes you’ll be ready. So are you ready?
God – only you know how all this will unfold. Today I place my hope and trust in you for the end and for everything leading up to it. I don’t understand it all but I know you are good and that you love me. Help me to watch my heart and my relationship with you. Draw me near and help me to remain faithful to you each and every day. In Jesus’ name, amen.