The Day of the LORD:

The Destruction and Restoration of National Israel: the Promised Land Fulfilled.

In chapter 4 I showed from the Scripture that the Day of the LORD includes the final judgment and punishment of national Israel, followed by the genuine and permanent repentance of the remnant who survives that judgment (the beginning of the New Covenant with Israel).

[I devote an entire chapter in another series, The LORD, the Author of Calamity, to the judgment and punishment of Israel and so cover only a few texts which detail that event here.

The emphasis of this chapter is to detail the restoration of national Israel after their judgment is complete.]

It is now time to review the remainder of Isaiah’s prophesy of chapter 61. There are two distinct components:

  • judgment (61.2) and
  • the restoration and comfort of national Israel (61.2-7).

In an amazing chapter which deals largely with their restoration, there are these warnings to Israel through Jeremiah:

Jer 30.7
‘Alas! for that day is great,
There is none like it;
And it is the time of Jacob’s distress
,
But he will be saved from it.

Jer 30.10-11
‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant,’ declares the Lord,
‘And do not be dismayed, O Israel;
For behold, I will save you from afar
And your offspring from the land of their captivity.
And Jacob will return and will be quiet and at ease,
And no one will make him afraid.
‘For I am with you,’ declares the Lord, ‘to save you;
For I will destroy completely all the nations where I have scattered you,
Only I will not destroy you completely.
But I will chasten you justly
And will by no means leave you unpunished.

Jer 30.23-34
Behold, the tempest of the Lord!
Wrath has gone forth,
A sweeping tempest;
It will burst on the head of the wicked.
The fierce anger of the Lord will not turn back

Until He has performed and until He has accomplished
The intent of His heart;
In the latter days you will understand this.

Likewise, the prophet Ezekiel spoke. In this passage, it makes a seamless transition from the then present destruction by the Chaldeans and their taking captive the majority of the Southern Kingdom into what is clearly an additional future fulfillment:

Eze 36.16-36
Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, when the house of Israel was living in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their deeds; their way before Me was like the uncleanness of a woman in her impurity. Therefore I poured out My wrath on them for the blood which they had shed on the land, because they had defiled it with their idols. Also I scattered them among the nations and they were dispersed throughout the lands. According to their ways and their deeds I judged them. When they came to the nations where they went, they profaned My holy name, because it was said of them, ‘These are the people of the Lord; yet they have come out of His land.’ But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations where they went.

[The preceding appears to be current, from Ezekiel’s perspective. But notice the change of time-perspective in what follows.]

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,” declares the Lord God, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you. I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field, so that you will not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations. Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations. I am not doing this for your sake,” declares the Lord God, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel!”

‘Thus says the Lord God, “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places will be rebuilt. The desolate land will be cultivated instead of being a desolation in the sight of everyone who passes by. They will say, ‘This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste, desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.’ Then the nations that are left round about you will know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted that which was desolate; I, the Lord, have spoken and will do it.

[It should be obvious to even the casual reader that such a time has not yet occurred in Israel. Nothing less than the application of the New Covenant to Israel could accomplish this, something associated with the Day of the Lord as we’ll see below.]

The coming judgment of Israel was revealed to the prophet Amos:

Amo 9.7-10
“Are you not as the sons of Ethiopia to Me,
O sons of Israel?” declares the Lord.
“Have I not brought up Israel from the land of Egypt,
And the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir?
Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are on the sinful kingdom,
And I will destroy it from the face of the earth;
Nevertheless, I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob,

Declares the Lord.
“For behold, I am commanding,
And I will shake the house of Israel among all nations
As grain is shaken in a sieve,
But not a kernel will fall to the ground.
All the sinners of My people will die by the sword,
Those who say, ‘The calamity will not overtake or confront us.’

The restoration of national Israel will follow the day of her judgment. Moreover, once that restoration began, it will be both complete and permanent.

For the first time in its history, Israel would be safe and secure.

[Even during the reign of David and Solomon the statement above could not be made. The Israel of those days was secure only because of the relative strength of its military; they were always surrounded by enemies and had to station garrisons in many places to ensure their relative security.

This will not be the situation in days to come because it will be the LORD who protects them.]

Notice also how the disposition of other nations toward national Israel will change dramatically during that time:

Isa 14.1-2
When the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and again choose Israel, and settle them in their own land, then strangers will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob. The peoples will take them along and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them as an inheritance in the land of the Lord as male servants and female servants; and they will take their captors captive and will rule over their oppressors.

Isa 49.22-23
Thus says the Lord God,
“Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations
And set up My standard to the peoples;
And they will bring your sons in their bosom,
And your daughters will be carried on their shoulders
.
Kings will be your guardians,
And their princesses your nurses.
They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth
And lick the dust of your feet;

And you will know that I am the Lord;
Those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame.

Isa 61.5-6
Strangers will stand and pasture your flocks,
And foreigners will be your farmers and your vinedressers.
But you will be called the priests of the Lord;
You will be spoken of as ministers of our God.
You will eat the wealth of nations,
And in their riches you will boast.

Isaiah was shown much more concerning this divinely-granted favor toward Israel. Not only would national Israel not be continually assaulted (as it has been throughout its history), the nations of the earth would help in her reconstruction:

Isa 60.1-3
Arise, shine; for your light has come,
And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness will cover the earth
And deep darkness the peoples;
But the Lord will rise upon you
And His glory will appear upon you.
Nations will come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.

Isa 60.10-14
Foreigners will build up your walls,
And their kings will minister to you
;
For in My wrath I struck you,
And in My favor I have had compassion on you.
Your gates will be open continually;
They will not be closed day or night,
So that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations,
With their kings led in procession.
For the nation and the kingdom which will not serve you will perish,
And the nations will be utterly ruined
.
The glory of Lebanon will come to you,
The juniper, the box tree and the cypress together,
To beautify the place of My sanctuary;
And I shall make the place of My feet glorious.
The sons of those who afflicted you will come bowing to you,
And all those who despised you will bow themselves at the soles of your feet;
And they will call you the city of the Lord,
The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

Indeed, as this text shows, the LORD will punish any nation which, in the best case, tries not even to help Israel and, in the worst case, attempts any hostile action toward her.

It will be that as a nation treats Israel, so the LORD will treat that nation.

Since the LORD lacks no power to “persuade” obedience, the nations of the earth will conform (albeit some(many?) will learn “the hard way”).

There are many other Scriptures which detail the same thing. We begin with Jeremiah:

Jer 30.1-3
The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Write all the words which I have spoken to you in a book. For behold, days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah.’ The Lord says, ‘I will also bring them back to the land that I gave to their forefathers and they shall possess it.’”

Jer 30.8-9
‘It shall come about on that day,’ declares the Lord of hosts, ‘that I will break his yoke from off their neck and will tear off their bonds; and strangers will no longer make them their slaves. But they shall serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.

Jer 30.10-11
‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant,’ declares the Lord,
‘And do not be dismayed, O Israel;
For behold, I will save you from afar
And your offspring from the land of their captivity.
And Jacob will return and will be quiet and at ease,
And no one will make him afraid.
‘For I am with you,’ declares the Lord, ‘to save you;
For I will destroy completely all the nations where I have scattered you
,
Only I will not destroy you completely.
But I will chasten you justly
And will by no means leave you unpunished.’

Jer 30.16-17
‘Therefore all who devour you will be devoured;
And all your adversaries, every one of them, will go into captivity;
And those who plunder you will be for plunder,
And all who prey upon you I will give for prey.
For I will restore you to health
And I will heal you of your wounds
,’ declares the Lord,
‘Because they have called you an outcast, saying:
“It is Zion; no one cares for her.”’

Jer 30.18-22
“Thus says the Lord,
‘Behold, I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob
And have compassion on his dwelling places
;
And the city will be rebuilt on its ruin,
And the palace will stand on its rightful place.
‘From them will proceed thanksgiving
And the voice of those who celebrate;
And I will multiply them and they will not be diminished;
I will also honor them and they will not be insignificant
.
‘Their children also will be as formerly,
And their congregation shall be established before Me;
And I will punish all their oppressors.
‘Their leader shall be one of them,
And their ruler shall come forth from their midst;
And I will bring him near and he shall approach Me;
For who would dare to risk his life to approach Me?’ declares the Lord.
You shall be My people,
And I will be your God
.’”

The prophet Joel also spoke of the restoration of national Israel:

Joe 2.18-20
Then the Lord will be zealous for His land
And will have pity on His people.
The Lord will answer and say to His people,
“Behold, I am going to send you grain, new wine and oil,
And you will be satisfied in full with them;
And I will never again make you a reproach among the nations.
“But I will remove the northern army far from you,
And I will drive it into a parched and desolate land,
And its vanguard into the eastern sea,
And its rear guard into the western sea.
And its stench will arise and its foul smell will come up,
For it has done great things.”

Joe 2.28-29
“It will come about after this
That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will dream dreams,
Your young men will see visions
.
“Even on the male and female servants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

Joe 2.30-32
“I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth,
Blood, fire and columns of smoke.
The sun will be turned into darkness
And the moon into blood
Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.”
“And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Will be delivered;
For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
There will be those who escape,
As the Lord has said,
Even among the survivors whom the Lord calls.

Joe 3.1-3
“For behold, in those days and at that time,
When I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will gather all the nations
And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat.
Then I will enter into judgment with them there
On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel
,
Whom they have scattered among the nations;
And they have divided up My land.
“They have also cast lots for My people,
Traded a boy for a harlot
And sold a girl for wine that they may drink.

Joe 3.9-17
Proclaim this among the nations:
Prepare a war; rouse the mighty men!
Let all the soldiers draw near, let them come up!
Beat your plowshares into swords
And your pruning hooks into spears;
Let the weak say, “I am a mighty man.”
Hasten and come, all you surrounding nations,
And gather yourselves there.
Bring down, O Lord, Your mighty ones.
Let the nations be aroused
And come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat,
For there I will sit to judge
All the surrounding nations.
Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe.
Come, tread, for the wine press is full;
The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great.
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!
For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
The sun and moon grow dark
And the stars lose their brightness.
The Lord roars from Zion
And utters His voice from Jerusalem,
And the heavens and the earth tremble.
But the Lord is a refuge for His people
And a stronghold to the sons of Israel.
Then you will know that I am the Lord your God,
Dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain.
So Jerusalem will be holy,
And strangers will pass through it no more
.

Joe 3-18-21
And in that day
The mountains will drip with sweet wine,
And the hills will flow with milk,
And all the brooks of Judah will flow with water;
And a spring will go out from the house of the Lord
To water the valley of Shittim.
Egypt will become a waste,
And Edom will become a desolate wilderness,
Because of the violence done to the sons of Judah,
In whose land they have shed innocent blood.
But Judah will be inhabited forever
And Jerusalem for all generations.
And I will avenge their blood which I have not avenged,
For the Lord dwells in Zion.

Here is the second half of a prophesy from Amos I cited above:

Amo 9.11-15
“In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David,
And wall up its breaches;
I will also raise up its ruins
And rebuild it as in the days of old;

That they may possess the remnant of Edom
And all the nations who are called by My name,”
Declares the Lord who does this.
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“When the plowman will overtake the reaper
And the treader of grapes him who sows seed;
When the mountains will drip sweet wine
And all the hills will be dissolved.
“Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel,
And they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them;
They will also plant vineyards and drink their wine,
And make gardens and eat their fruit.
I will also plant them on their land,
And they will not again be rooted out from their land
Which I have given them
,”
Says the Lord your God.

From the prophet Obadiah:

Oba 1.15-21
“For the day of the Lord draws near on all the nations.
As you have done, it will be done to you.
Your dealings will return on your own head.
“Because just as you drank on My holy mountain,
All the nations will drink continually.
They will drink and swallow
And become as if they had never existed.
But on Mount Zion there will be those who escape,
And it will be holy.
And the house of Jacob will possess their possessions.
“Then the house of Jacob will be a fire
And the house of Joseph a flame;
But the house of Esau will be as stubble.
And they will set them on fire and consume them,
So that there will be no survivor of the house of Esau
,”
For the Lord has spoken.
Then those of the Negev will possess the mountain of Esau,
And those of the Shephelah the Philistine plain;
Also, possess the territory of Ephraim and the territory of Samaria,
And Benjamin will possess Gilead.
And the exiles of this host of the sons of Israel,
Who are among the Canaanites as far as Zarephath,
And the exiles of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad
Will possess the cities of the Negev.
The deliverers will ascend Mount Zion
To judge the mountain of Esau,
And the kingdom will be the Lord’s.

[Notice that the restoration of national Israel followed the destruction of Edom.]

 

Finally, from Haggai and Malachi:

Hag 2.4-9
But now take courage, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord, ‘take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts. ‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!’ For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the Lord of hosts. ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the Lord of hosts.

[The immediate context here is the return of the Jews from their captivity in Babylon. Note, though, the transition to the LORD’s enduring blessing to national Israel demonstrated by their new global status.]

Mal 5.1-6
“For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the Lord of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.” “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,” says the Lord of hosts.

“Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel.

“Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”

The restoration of Israel is inextricably intertwined with the return of the Lord Christ and the realization of His Day!

Indeed, the fantasies—heresies, really—of the postmillennialist and amillennialist are stunning who expressly eliminate the 1000-year rule of the Lord Christ over national Israel in her restoration.

I want to close this chapter with a particularly poignant Scripture. The LORD had just upbraided Israel through His prophet Isaiah concerning their constant idolatry:

Isa 44.18-20
They do not know, nor do they understand, for He has smeared over their eyes so that they cannot see and their hearts so that they cannot comprehend. No one recalls, nor is there knowledge or understanding to say, “I have burned half of it in the fire and also have baked bread over its coals. I roast meat and eat it. Then I make the rest of it into an abomination, I fall down before a block of wood!” He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside. And he cannot deliver himself, nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?

But the passage does not end there. Unconditional blessing awaits national Israel, a blessing guaranteed by the LORD Himself:

Isa 44.21-23
“Remember these things, O Jacob,
And Israel, for you are My servant;
I have formed you, you are My servant,
O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me.
I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud
And your sins like a heavy mist.
Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.

Shout for joy, O heavens, for the Lord has done it!
Shout joyfully, you lower parts of the earth;
Break forth into a shout of joy, you mountains,
O forest, and every tree in it;
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob
And in Israel He shows forth His glory.

Did you notice how many times the LORD refers to Israel by name? This stands in stark contrast to the fantasies of amillennialism, for example, which conflates Israel and the church.

The prophesies above can be fulfilled only during that time when the Lord Christ rules national Israel as her king during the Millennium.

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