If you do a web search for “the Day of the Lord,” you’ll find all kinds of end-of-the-world predictions. But if you carefully trace this theme throughout the story of the Bible, you’ll discover a very different picture. In this week’s Bible Study, we are exploring the true meaning of the Day of the Lord. We invite you to listen to the recording below, watch the video, and interact with the discussion questions to learn more.
How did Tim’s message challenge or encourage you today?
The Day of the Lord is an event in time when God brings judgment on oppressors in order to relieve the oppressed. The Passover event serves as an archetype to best understand this concept. In Exodus 12, we learn that God’s judgment passed through Egypt to hold the nation accountable and passed over Israel to rescue them from death and slavery. God then instructed the people of Israel to observe Passover every year, so that they would remember his deliverance and defense of the afflicted. For Israel, the Day of the Lord was something to celebrate, until Israel began to resemble their former oppressors.
This brings us to the prophet Amos, who exposes Israel’s exploitation of the poor and calls on them to change. Israel is now engaging in the same corrupt ways of Babylon and Egypt. They have made themselves into God’s enemy, and the Day of the Lord, which once brought their rescue, will now bring God’s justice.
What thoughts, questions, or insights came up as you read today’s passage?
Compare the Passover event (Exodus 12:21-27) with the judgment heading towards Israel because of their corruption (Amos 5:16-20). Notice how the words “pass through” or “pass over” are used in both passages. What do you observe, and why is this significant?
Review Amos 5:21-24. God calls his people to show their love for him by loving others. So when Israel robs the poor while offering gifts of worship, God can’t stand it and won’t accept their gifts. How does Israel serve as a mirror for communal reflection and self-critique? Identify one specific area in your life, community, city, or country where love for people is neglected while religious rituals continue.
God urges his people to “let justice roll on like a river, and righteousness like a never-failing stream (Amos 5:24).” The Bible defines justice as actions that correct injustice, and righteousness refers to upholding the standard of right equitable relationships between people despite social differences. What is one practical thing you can do to act with justice and righteousness this week?
Turn your reading and reflections into a prayer from your heart. Thank God for providing a way to escape oppression and be honest about the ways you perpetuate or tolerate the oppression of others. Ask for courage to stand up for the poor and vulnerable in your community.