“Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come” (Joel 1:15).
When the prophet Joel penned these words 2800 years ago, he saw the day of the Lord as at hand! “The day of the LORD is near” (Joel 3:14). Similarly, another prophet said, “The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly” (Zephaniah 1:14), 150 years after Joel’s prophecy. Then, sixty years still later, Ezekiel prophesied: “For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near” (Ezekiel 30:3). Obadiah, one of the first of the writing prophets, had said: “For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen” (Obadiah 15).
All of these prophets were translated into the future, as it were, to see in vision the imminent approach of the day of the Lord. And lest anyone think that day will be a day of peace and joy, Amos warns otherwise: “Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light” (Amos 5:18).
The day of man has continued a long, long time, but the inevitable day of God is coming soon. If it was at hand in Joel’s day, and near in Isaiah’s day, think how much nearer it must be now! Our God of grace has been patient and long-suffering through long years of human indifference and rebellion and wickedness, but His day is coming, “for He is strong that executeth His word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” (Joel 2:11).
There is a different promise, however, for those who know their Creator and Lord Jesus Christ in forgiveness and salvation. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; . . . Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (II Peter 3:10,13). HMM