Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Day of the LORD, part 2: "Let there be lightning."


The Word for today:
Zephaniah 2:1-3:7

mark this: Zephaniah 2:1-3 --
Gather together, yes, gather, O shameless nation,
before the decree takes effect --before the day passes away like chaff--
before there comes upon you the burning anger of the LORD,
before there comes upon you the day of the anger of the LORD.
Seek righteousness; seek humility;
perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the LORD.

What day is today?
The biblical answer: Today is Man's Day. Right now, man is having his little day, and his little say, on earth. So have a nice day, while you still can.
If you have not brought your sin to the cross of Jesus Christ, then I would live it up, at both ends of the candle. I would paint the town red. I would trip the light fantastic. I would party hearty. I would wreck my stockings in some juke box dive (or its MP3 equivalent).
Because the Day of the LORD is coming soon to a planet near you.
We've seen this pattern--judgment looming, temporarily withheld--before. Abraham was told that the LORD would relent for four generations before judging the Amorites, for the sin of the Amorites is not yet full (1). Precisely four generations later, when their cup was full, God turned out the lights. Their party was over.
The LORD God is exercising great patience right now as his planet is defiled; as his children are harassed and demeaned; as his crucified Son is scorned. Unwilling (today) that any should perish (2), he grants us time to turn his Way.
But time, and his truth, are marching on. This may be 'last call.' Unless Jesus Christ drinks the cup of God's wrath (3) for you, you will drink it yourself. Someone is going to drink every cup--to the very last sin.
For on the Day of the LORD, God will rescue his people and he will restore His name. The same hand which offered forgiveness through Christ will enforce righteousness and justice. His pitiless hatred of sin will shock and awe our morally equivocating hearts.
Right about here is where most of your preachers--were they even to pronounce these truths--back off by saying, "Now I don't mean to scare you..."
Zephaniah means to scare you. Zephaniah shows us the day when God will loose the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword. Zephaniah is trying to move us to apply the blood of the Lamb to the door of our hearts so that the death angel will pass over.
And the evening and the morning were, on man's day.
And God saw that it was not good.
Then God said, "Let there be lightning,"
and there was lightning.
(1) Genesis 15:16; (2) 2 Peter 3:9; (3) Jeremiah 25:15-17; Revelation 14:10

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