mark this: Zephaniah 1:14-16 --
The great day of the LORD is near; It is near and hastens quickly.
The noise of the day of the LORD is bitter; There the mighty men shall cry out.
That day is a day of wrath, A day of trouble and distress,
A day of devastation and desolation, A day of darkness and gloominess,
A day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of trumpet and alarm.
God is a God of love, but he is also a God of judgment. Judgment and love must go hand in hand in order for God to achieve deliverance, or salvation.
If God were not willing to judge the Egyptian army, drowning them in the sea, then Israel would not have been delivered. If God had not taken the judgment of sin upon himself at the cross, then we could not be saved. The same act which judges some is--at the very same time--saving others.
You will not find judgment declared any more harshly than it is in the book of Zephaniah. And you will not find mention of "the Day of the LORD" more often than in Zephaniah. The phrase occurs seven times in this brief prophecy. The Day of the LORD is a coming period of judgment which is described throughout the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments.
Sometimes referred to as "that day," the Day of the LORD is a technical expression in Scripture which is fraught with meaning. It is a time of judgment for some, blessing for others--when the Lord Jesus Christ will openly intervene in the affairs of men, putting down all unrighteousness and establishing His eternal kingdom here upon the earth.
It is difficult to be exact about this term, but a consensus of commentators agree that the Day of the LORD begins with the Rapture, the removal of the church. It continues through the 7-year Great Tribulation Period. Then it proceeds through the 1000-year millennial kingdom on earth. It is best, therefore, to think of the Day of the LORD as an era or an "age."
The creation of the new heavens and the new earth seems to mark the end of this age.
Tomorrow, we will look at some spiritual implications of "that day."