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Amos 8:4-12 – The Day of the LORD

Israel is living in peace and luxury, but they are also acting with social injustice particularly toward the poor. Amos, like many of the Old Testament prophets, speaks of a future Day of the LORD – a day of judgment upon Israel and the nations.

The Day of the LORD is catastrophic and cosmic. The land trembles and rises and sinks like a river – an earthquake. Not only the land but the heavens are also affected as the sun goes down at noon – an eclipse. The chaos of creation’s disintegration is matched by the trauma of Israel’s (and the earth’s) inhabitants. Holy days usually characterized by care-free feasting, singing and wearing fashionable clothing will be replaced – feasting will become mourning, singing will become lamentation, clothing will be exchanged for sackcloth. The Day of the LORD will be a bitter day like when one mourns at the death of an only son. Death will accompany the Day of the LORD.

Even worse, people will experience a famine – not of bread but of hearing the words of the LORD. People will try to make sense of their experience and desire hope in God, but both will allude them. In the Bible one of the most frightening judgments of God is when he withdraws his word from a person or from a nation.

Western countries have had the privilege of God’s word from the days of the early church. Our recent rejection of that word regarding the worship of God, the twisting of morals and the lack of true social justice leaves us vulnerable to the wrathful Day of the LORD. For those who are Christians the concept of the word of God being removed ought to cause us to seek increasingly after God in his word. For those who are non-Christian now is the time to seek him in the Bible while he may be found.

The Day of the LORD is a terrible day, but the Bible tells us that for Christians the Day of the LORD has passed. The world awaits a day of wrath, chaos and cosmic disintegration but for us the Lord Jesus has already taken the Day upon himself. A sign of this was how at Jesus’ death there was a great earthquake, the sun went down at noon and the death of the only son of God took place at the Passover feast when joy was turned to mourning. All these things indicate to us that Jesus personally experienced the Day of the LORD that we might have everlasting feasting and joy in the kingdom of God.