“For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:3a-5)

As we light our first candle for Advent we note that it signifies Hope. The words of Isaiah encouraged such hope in the people of God because these words looked forward to the day when that hope would be fulfilled with the coming of the Messiah. We rejoice in that hope at Advent because it is a hope fulfilled in Christ but also a hope to be fulfilled again.

The Day of the Lord is a day we believers look forward to with joyful expectation. For the righteous remnant of Judah, it was eagerly awaited as Isaiah depicted here: a day of joy and celebration as the Lord is proclaimed as King and as His justice triumphs over the cruelty and intolerance of human governments. Isaiah tells us that the Day of the Lord brings blessings and peace not just to the Jews but to all the peoples of the earth who acknowledge the Lord as King.

We who are believers in Christ Jesus look forward with anticipation and joy to the Lord’s return and His universal peace, but we must be soberly aware that it will be a day of suffering and terror for those who reject Jesus as their salvation. For those who do not believe in Jesus as their sacrifice for sin, the Day of the Lord will not be a welcome event. They have trusted in gods who cannot help or save them. They have adopted the religions of the east, religions of the pagans, worshipped at the altars of self, fame, social acceptance and materialism. When the Lord reveals Himself in all His majesty, they will fear for their lives and run. We who are believers may rejoice at the coming of the Lord but the tragic events that overtake our unsaved friends and loved ones will be sad. We must, therefore, present the gospel to them before it is too late.