The Day of Darkness and Gloom
by Zack Howard
Are you ready for God’s judgment? Judgement is an alarming situation, and the more we learn about how terrifying it is the more we can respond properly.
Judgment is Alarming.
Judgment is described in alarming images: “Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; it is near…” (1). Judgement is encompassing of all, coming across as “…a day of clouds and thick darkness! (2)”. It will be unimaginably scary, something “their like has never been before, nor will be again after them through the years of all generations” (2). Joel envisions a terrifying army, that will devour the land like a roaring fire, something the Israelites had never seen before. We also await a final judgment. God will judge his people for their actions, and his judgment is frightening. We can expect something we have never seen before, something that is terrifying and alarming in its nature. Joel tells the inhabitants to tremble at the judgement, and we can only imagine the trembling that will come from the final judgment. Judgment is alarming; the thought of it should frighten us and call us to faith in the Lord.
Judgment Should Elicit a Response.
This alarming judgment should elicit a response. “12 Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; 13 and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. 14 Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord your God” (12-14). There is an opportunity for all before judgment respond to God, “12 Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart”. Why should we respond to God? Because “he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster (13)”.
Judgement will cover all people, and all people are called to respond to God. God is patient, but his patience will come to an end with judgement as stated in Acts 17.30-31: “30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” The alarming judgement should elicit our response, turning from sin, and putting our trust and faith in God. With the proper response, we won’t have to fear judgment. We can have full confidence in God and his salvation.
Judgment is a scary, alarming thought. But with God, and through God we can have comfort and confidence in salvation.