Isaiah's description of judgment uses the term "day of the Lord" (13:9). This is a technical term for a specific day of judgment which is used 30 times in the Bible. In Isaiah 13 it speaks of the day God would bring judgment upon the nation of Babylon. He would come upon them for their sin and horrific treatment of Israel. This judgment and overthrow of Babylon occurred in 539 BC. This day of the Lord is a past event but the New Testament uses "day of the Lord" to speak of the future return of Christ and the judgment he will bring.
God's past judgments/days of the Lord become a glimpse of what is ultimately going to happen in the future. As one of my seminary professors said, "What God has done in the past is a promise and a model for the future, but he is too creative to do it the same way twice."
When we read the stark account of judgment in Isaiah and the rest of the prophets it should take our imagination to the future and cause us to live in light of this reality.
Question of the day: How should God's past and future "day(s) of the Lord" cause us to live differently today?
Father God, thank you that you will come in judgment and vanquish all evil and sin. Thank you that everything that opposes you will be destroyed and the sin in my own life will be finally dealt with. Help me to live today in light of the future and share the hope that you offer to others. Thank you that through Jesus I have been redeemed and don't have to be afraid of a future judgment that will lead to separation from you. Amen.