DIG: What will the Day of the LORD be like for the proud in 2:10, 19 and 21?
REFLECT: When you think of the Day of the LORD for you personally, is it a day of joy or a day of terror? Why?
When the LORD comes to establish justice on the earth, human values will be reversed. Things that people had once considered important will be considered worthless. And some things that people thought were insignificant will be highly valued. God has a day of judgment in store, a scheduled time of reckoning for sinners. When He comes, nothing or no one will be able to stand against Him. He has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, and their self-aggrandizement will come to an end.
The LORD of heaven’s angelic armies (CJB) points to God's military might and strength, and here He lists the five things He will judge. First, YHVH will judge the proud and lofty, secondly, the trees; thirdly, the mountains and high hills; fourthly, the defensive towers and the city walls; and lastly, foreign wealth will be judged. The very things that these men trust in are the very things the LORD is going to judge. Then ADONAI spells out three results of the Great Tribulation upon Isra'el.
First, all the proud and lofty and all who are exalted will be humbled (2:12). Both high and low in the social order will have to answer on the Day of Judgment. This will be fulfilled where we read: The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled and human pride brought low; ADONAI alone will be exalted on that Day (2:11). Humanity will tremble before God’s majesty as He displays His power and judgment. For all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan, for all the towering mountains and all the high hills, for every lofty tower and every fortified wall, for every trading ship and every vessel will be brought low (2:13-16). If all these will be humbled, how much more so the inhabitants of the earth (Revelation 11:10). The arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled (2:9, 11, 17a).
Secondly, ADONAI alone will be exalted in the Day of the LORD, and idols will totally disappear (2:17b-18). The people will do anything to escape judgment. In that day unbelievers will throw away to the rodents and bats their idols of silver and idols of gold, which they made to worship because it will hinder their escape (2:20). They had turned their gold and silver into idols. But in the end, they threw away the very things they had worshiped. The recipient of their idols, rodents and bats, were both blind. So this is a case of the blind leading the blind. The spiritually blind idol worshipers were throwing away their worthless idols to the physically blind rodents and bats!
Thirdly, those living on the earth who sought to sit on the throne of God will scurry for shelter in the rocks when ADONAI, the only God, returns. When He rises to shake the earth, people will flee to the caves in the rocks, to the overhanging crags and to holes in the ground to escape from the dread of the LORD and the splendor of His majesty (2:19 and 21). Their ravenous ambition to be God had robbed them of the dignity that could have been theirs. If they only had the fear of the LORD (Proverbs 1:7), then they would have been friends (Psalm 25:14). But having refused it, they would then know His terror for He would come as their enemy and they would have no defense (1:24). This is the paradox of faith. Those attempting to exalt themselves become nothing; but those who submit to the LORD are declared His child to reign with Him. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His suffering in order that we may also share in His glory (Romans 8:17).
This is exactly the way the apostle John describes the last days: Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand (Revelation 6:15)? This was the fulfillment of 2:10, and will be expanded in detail in Chapters 24 through 27.
In view of the LORD’s coming judgment in the future, Judah should turn to YHVH in the present. God’s glory should cause them to live righteous, holy lives and thus escape His severe judgment.
The Teaching Ministry of Jay Mack 2006-2017