The day of the Lord is near!
Scripture reading for August 26th: Ezekiel 29-32
One of the bad habits that Israel had developed was a dependence on Egypt for help. Whenever they got into trouble, they would often seek to go back to Egypt. After Moses led them out with a mighty deliverance, they talked of stoning him and choosing a new leader who would take them back. They easily forgot that that was a land of idolatry and slavery for them and that God had called them out of there. Even after Babylon had conquered the nation of Israel and left a remnant there in the land of Israel, that group went down to Egypt for protection against the advice of Jeremiah the prophet of the Lord. (Jeremiah 42:19-22) (Jeremiah 43:7) In Ezekiel 29 we have a prophesy given to Ezekiel concerning Egypt and Pharaoh. God warned them that their pride would bring judgment and defeat. God was bringing a sword against them that would leave the land of Egypt desolate for forty years. (Ezekiel 29:8-12) After forty years, God would bring a remnant of Egyptians back and they would be a lowly kingdom. Israel was to learn not to rely on Egypt any more and that the Lord was sovereign. (Ezekiel 29:16)
The prophet Ezekiel was to then announce that the day of the Lord was near. That day was to be a day of clouds and darkness. It would be a day of doom for the nations that Ezekiel had spoken about. A sword would arise from Babylon that would bring destruction on Egypt and her surrounding friends. (Ezekiel 30:1-4) This “day of the Lord” came to these people during the lifetime of Ezekiel. His word from the Lord came to pass and Egypt went into captivity; Israel, Cush, and Tyre were destroyed as well.
We often hear the messages of the “day of the Lord” and “the end” and tend to think that they are probably a long way off. We think that they apply to a distant time when God will return. We feel that this could possibly be thousands of years away, or at least, not in our lifetime. I want to encourage you that this day could be today! We are told to live in readiness for Christ’s return. (Matthew 22:42-44) We are told that no one will know the day or hour, but that we should be watchful and prepared. (Matthew 24:36) For those who are ready by faith in Jesus Christ, it will be a day of joy and gladness. For those who experience this day outside of God’s mercy, it will be darkness, trouble and doom. We don’t know when that day might come, but we do know that it is nearer today than yesterday!