The phrase “the day of the Lord,” is most often used to refer to the very end of the Bible in Revelation when Jesus returns to bring justice to the world and defeat evil once and for all. But to understand it, we need to go back to the beginning in Genesis. God created mankind and gave him authority to rule over the earth as God’s representatives. Humans were led astray defining good and evil for themselves causing the death and destruction that rebellion brings. Mankind continues defining good and evil for themselves and at the Tower of Babel they try to elevate themselves as gods. Egypt becomes the pinnacle of this process of defining good and evil for their own purposes exemplified by Pharaoh’s enslaving the Israelite people. As a result of the Passover God’s people are liberated from Pharaoh and refer to this as “the day.” The Israelites would celebrate this every year with the Feast of the Passover.
New enemies of the Israelites arose, and the Passover gave them hope that God would again bring “the day” and deliver them from evil. Then the prophet Amos brings news that the day of the Lord was coming again, but this time that the evil existed within Israel itself. The day of the Lord comes upon Israel, they are conquered and taken into exile. Israel is ruled by successive oppressive empires, including the empire of Rome that Jesus is born into. But Jesus doesn’t come to defeat the Romans with violence. Jesus comes to conquer the underlying issue, the sin that exists within mankind. Jesus takes on the full power of sin and evil by dying on the cross, overcoming its one and only weapon – death. Jesus gives His followers this same power over sin and death through the gift of forgiveness. But there is a day Jesus will return and destroy evil completely, freeing our world from corruption and bringing about the good and perfect world that God had planned for us from the start.
Look In: Discussion
- Do humans still try to define good and evil for themselves? What are some examples?
- Are human definitions of good and evil designed to benefit self or others?
- Are human definitions of good and evil the same world-wide? Within our own country, state, city? What does this lead to
- How would you compare our society’s definition of good and evil to that of the time of Babylon or Pharaoh?
Point: Jesus will return and destroy evil completely, freeing our world from corruption and bringing about the good and perfect world that God had planned from the start. But access will only be granted to the followers of Jesus.
- Do you sometimes act like a Babylonian – trying to make your own definitions of good and evil to suit your own purposes
- What are examples (physical, relational, emotional, spiritual) we must sacrifice to resist the culture of today’s Babylon?
- Is there one thing (physical, relational, emotional, spiritual) God is telling you that you need to sacrifice, resist/stop doing this week?
- How will you do this?
Pray for one another to do it and be ready to share what God does with your obedience.
The Bible Project: The Day of The Lord