We speak of Sunday being the Lord's Day. Aren't all days the Lord's? Jesus told us that He is even Lord of the Sabbath. Matthew 12:8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
The Bible uses the phrase "The Day of the Lord" about 26 times in 13 different books. Nine of the 16 old testament prophets mentioned it. Peter and Paul spoke about it in the New Testament. Jesus used parables to speak of the judgment day.
Matthew 24:50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looks not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Luke 12:46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looks not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in pieces, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
I think these passages point out the reality that all days belong to God, and that there will be a final day of reckoning where we will account for the use of our days. Robert Brault has a humorous blog about the topic, which I have pasted in below, about Judgment Day.
Ten Ways to Ace Your Judgment Day Interview
1. Be on time.
2. Tell the Lord you've heard a lot about heaven and like what you hear.
3. Be neat, alert, make direct eye contact.
4. Don't stare at the beard.
5. When the Lord speaks, lean forward, look interested.
6. Be familiar with the Lord's background. ("I really liked your Ten Commandments.")
7. Be clear on where you want to be in five years.
8. Be honest about personal flaws. ("I tend to be too forgiving.")
9. Do not hesitate to underscore qualifications. ("I go to church every Easter.")
10. Make it clear that you'll accept the standard benefits package.
~~ Robert Brault
It becomes obvious in reading through these how different of an experience that the "Day of the Lord" is going to be from anything we have ever experienced. What do you think about Judgment Day?......
Hear the Parable of the Cedar:
Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair
branches, and with forest shade, and of a high stature; and his top was among
the thick boughs.
The waters made it great, the deep set it up on high with its
rivers running round about its plants, and sent out its little rivers unto all
the trees of the field.
Therefore its height was exalted above all the trees of
the field, and its boughs were multiplied, and its branches became long because
of the multitude of waters, when it shot forth.
All the fowls of heaven made
their nests in its boughs, and under its branches did all the beasts of the
field bring forth their young, and under its shadow dwelt all great nations.
Thus was it beautiful in its greatness, in the length of its branches: for its
root reached to great waters. The cedars in the garden of God could not hide it:
the fir trees were not like its boughs, and the chestnut trees were not like its
branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto it in its beauty.
I have made it beautiful by the multitude of its branches: so that all the trees
of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied it.
Ezekiel prophesied this parable to the Pharaoh of Egypt, who was apparantly from Assyria. Egypt often had foreign Pharaohs. Quite an odd thing. We wouldn't do well to have a Japanese President of the United States, I don't imagine. Oh, but this Pharaoh had prospered, and multiplied his greatness. He saw himself as a cedar, so to speak, but forgot he was planted in the Garden of God.
If you compare the NKJ text above to the Old King James, it only differs basically by substituting male and female pronouns for the pronoun "it," when referring to the Cedar and the waters of the deep. The Old King James uses "He" for the Cedar because the Cedar is symbollic of the Pharaoh, a man. Likewise, the groundwaters (waters of the deep) are personified as "her." The waters in Revelation are symbolic of "many people." That leads you to see many people here who are fed and made rich by the Assyrian, putting them on the receiving, or feminine, end of the trade. In the same way today, America is a woman, Russia is a Mother, etc. They are feminine because they are traditionally led by men, it seems. It is only metaphoric, so they are basically the same.
God had bad things in store for the Assyrian, Pharaoh of Egypt, which is a symbolic name of the devil and of the Antichrist, along with the name, "the Man of Sin." You see, God sees you in respect to whose side you are on... or rather, whose work you are doing. Are you against Christ? Then He sees you as Antichrist. Are you for Christ? Then you are a Christian. There is no middle of the road, no purgatory either, no other garden in which to be planted.
Luke 11:23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathers not with me scatters.
No neutral territory it seems. Either you become a planting of the Lord, or you become plucked out of the Garden of God. But, that's not my point. What most strikes me about this parable sleeping among the prophets, is the fact that the Assyrian was in God's Garden. He was planted by God. He was given his dominion from the Lord of Hosts. The Magnificent Creator delivered all this into his hands, then judged him for his works.
We are saved by grace, through faith in the blood of Jesus. But, that does not cause us to despise works, does it? James says that if we say we have faith without works, then he will show us his faith by his works.
James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me
your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
But, we are judged by grace, right? Wrong. try door #2.
Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God;
and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of
life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the
books, according to their works.
Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it; and death
and hades delivered up the dead who were in them: and they were judged every man
according to their works.
This pretty much measures up to what Jesus taught in the Parable of the Talents. The Master judged the servants for the works they did with the talents they had been given. But, there are two interesting things to note here in this Old Testament Parable.
1. We all belong to God... whoever you are...however you see yourself.
2. God is in charge.
Whose side are you on?
Matthew 25:14-15 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling
into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his
goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to
every man according to his own ability; and immediately took his journey.
Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up
your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he comes and rains
righteousness upon you.
What a beacon of hope imbedded in this passage of judgment! It begins in
verse ten with God longing to punish. Then comes the harvester metaphor. Then
this gem of a promise in verse twelve, and then a reversal of the promise is
given in an indictment against the people of God who have not listened.
The Harvester Metaphor points out the loving care God has given to His
people. They were like a heifer that has been trained gently how to thresh the
corn in the threshing barns. This is quite an easy job for a cow, considering
the care the heifer would get. They were fed all they could eat, and were not
yoked together to plow, which is very hard work for a cow. They were not
muzzled, but were allowed to eat as they worked.
Deuteronomy 25:4 You shall not muzzle the ox when it treads out the grain.
1 Timothy 5:18 For the scripture says, You shall not muzzle the ox that
treads out the grain. And, The laborer is worthy of his reward.
But, now due to the sin of the people, God is going to “yoke them to a
plow,” so to speak. They will be sold into bondage to another country, and
forced to work, backbreaking work. Sin is never easy on the flesh or spirit of
man. And, sin makes our life much more difficult than God intended it to be.
Take the Fall in the Garden of Eden. God promised life for obedience,
and death for sin. Adam and Eve chose “Door #2.” So now we work with the sweat
of our brow, suffer in childbearing, and eventually we all will die. But, that
was not what God had planned for us, was it? No. And, now what have we gained?
We have worked for 6,000 years, and the job is not finished yet! We toil day in
and day out, and we’re getting nowhere fast. The earth spins around one more
time, as we work and toil at our labors. But, the job isn’t completed. Pointless
work… work that is forever incomplete, as earth spins.
Hosea 11:10 They shall walk after the LORD: he shall roar like a lion:
when he shall roar, then the children shall come trembling from the west.
Notice that God is comparing Himself to a ferocious, destructive
Hosea 5:14 For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to
the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear them and go away; I will take them
away, and none shall rescue him.
Next He compared the tribe of Ephraim to a silly dove. But in chapter 11 the
lion is no longer behaving fiercely, nor is the dove acting stupidly, like it
has no sense. But, the lion is sounding a call to bring His people home. Oh, can
you hear that call of the Lion of Judah??!! He is calling His children home from
afar! And, now the silly doves are no longer muddleheaded in sin, but they are
winging their way home from the land of bondage, following their Lion-Savior’s
God transacts a change in our lives as we allow ourselves to be changed.
Only by listening to His call can we ever escape the bondage of the world. Only
a birdbrain would choose “Door #2.” We must not allow ourselves to remain in
this land of bondage, but we must break free into God’s Kingdom. One day soon we
will wing our way home.