The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hastens greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD…
I. RAPIDLY APPROACHING. "The great day of the Lord is near, it is Dear, and hasteth greatly" (ver. 14). This was true of the Chaldean invasion, then little more than one generation distant - so near, in fact, that the prophet could hear the bitter cry of the mighty man who saw himself confronted by its terrors; and is true of that other and greater day of the Lord, the day of judgment (2 Peter 2:9; 1 John 4:17; Revelation 6:17), which the Christian is directed always to consider as at hand (Philippians 4:5; James 5:8, 9; 1 Peter 4:7; Revelation 22:12), because the exact moment of its coming no one can tell (Matthew 24:36; Matthew 25:13, 42).
II. TERRIBLY ALARMING. What the Chaldean invasion should prove to the guilty city of Jerusalem and nation of Judah the prophet depicts by heaping together all the images of horror that his mind can conceive or his language express, calling the time of that visitation a day of wrath and fury, in which Jehovah should pour out his indignation upon the land and its inhabitants, letting loose upon them the ferocious warriors of Babylon; a day of trouble and distress, in which men should be hemmed in on every side by calamity and pressed down by anguish, walking like blind men and falling like wounded and dying soldiers; a day of wasteness and desolation, in which fields should be devastated, houses overthrown, and men and women put to the edge of the sword; a day of darkness and gloominess, of clouds and thick darkness, in which not so much as a single star of hope should appear in the political firmament; a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities and against the high battlements, in which their fortified towns and cities should experience the shock of pitiless assailants. But even more appropriately will these images apply to the day of judgment, when the Lord Jesus Christ shall be revealed in flaming fire and with his holy angels (2 Thessalonians 1:8).
III. FIERCELY DESTROYING.
1. Absolutely unavoidable. "The mighty man crieth bitterly there, .... because he cannot save himself, and must succumb to the power of the foe" (Keil). So would it be in the hour of Babylon's descent upon Judah and Jerusalem; so will it be in the day of the revelation of the wrath of the Almighty (Revelation 6:15-17).
2. Utterly consuming. "Their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make an end, yea., a terrible end, of all them that dwell in the land" (comp. Ezekiel 7:19). The same doom of utter extermination will overtake the finally impenitent in the day when God awakes in terrible majesty to execute judgment on the ungodly. Of these "God shall make an utter, terrific, speedy destruction, a living death, so that they shall at once be and not be; be, as continued in being; not be, as having no life in God, but only a continued death in misery" (Pusey). Lessons.
1. Gratitude to God, who hath made provision through the gospel of his Son from delivering men from the wrath to come.
2. The duty of all to whom that gospel is made known to embrace its provisions and escape from impending peril, while yet the day of mercy lasts.
3. The wisdom of living in constant anticipation of that day, and of perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord.
4. The urgency of making known to men the gospel, that they may flee from the wrath to come. - T.W.
Parallel VersesKJV: The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.