Woe to you who long for the Day of the Lord!
What will the Day of the Lord be for you?
It will be darkness and not light.
It will be like a man who flees from a lion
only to have a bear confront him.
He goes home and rests his hand against the wall
only to have a snake bite him.
Won’t the Day of the Lord
be darkness rather than light,
even gloom without any brightness in it?
I hate, I despise your feasts!
I can’t stand the stench
of your solemn assemblies.
Even if you offer Me
your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
I will have no regard
for your fellowship offerings of fattened cattle.
Take away from Me the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
But let justice flow like water,
and righteousness, like an unfailing stream.
Here is a terrifying, dangerous passage that should keep pious, self-righteous people (like me) in check. If we are unjust and unrighteous in our walk, then our worship assemblies, happy songs of praise and religious sacrifice are useless. They literally ‘stink to high Heaven’. If we long for this ‘Day of the Lord’ when reckoning will come to all of these nasty sinners that surround us; yet, we also live like ‘white washed tombs’, this Day of God’s wrath on sin will not be the happy happy joy joy time of justice we might be expecting. (Nor do I think it ever will be regardless of how we live). It might just be a day of darkness and pain. In this darkness we might even find ourselves confronted with pain and destruction that we never expected. We might just find ourselves running from a lion and bumping into a bear.
God does not enjoy the death of His creation. He does not take pleasure in bringing pain and destruction. Nor must we! We who prance around in self-righteousness must be humbled also. We must repent and realize that true justice and true righteousness in our lives is what Father God seeks, even demands, from His children. The Day of the Lord is terrible for all involved who are not humbly submitting themselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Worldly pride as well as religious pride precedes a fall. God’s wrath against arrogant sin will fall on all who practice such. It won’t be a party for anyone. Vengeance belongs to God. He is Just. He is Righteous. He will prevail against sin. Have mercy on us Lord. We are sinners saved only by Your blood.