“Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord God:
“Wail, ‘Alas for the day!’
For the day is near,
the day of the Lord is near;
it will be a day of clouds,
a time of doom for the nations.´¨
The "Day of the LORD" is a phrase found all throughout the Old and New Testaments. It is eschatological prophetic shorthand for God's appointed final judgment for all the nations of the earth. Ezekiel evokes that final day for a reminder to his generation as God announces through the prophet a specific judgment to fall on Egypt. It will come at the hands of Babylon. It will be severe in its effects, but even as brutal as it will be, it will not be the final "Day of the LORD". Not all judgment is "the Day of the LORD".
Yet this destruction that Babylon wrought on Egypt over decades of war was very real. Historical records from Babylon describe the victor's account of this war in which Babylon subjugated the mighty Egyptian empire. And all of this was just a small, prefiguring picture of what the future "Day of the LORD" shall be. It will be a time of complete judgment and final dealings with nations. It is inesapable. Just like Egypt's past power could not save them from Babylon, no group will resist or escape God's final accounting. In fact, nobody puts up any resistance. God wins.
Those two words best summarize why "the Day of the LORD" is a vital biblical motif. We need to submit to the sovereign rule of God. He wants us to do so willingly and in repentance to know His loving care and grace. But all the earth will do so on that final appointed day as He deals decisively with all human rebellion. The Day of the LORD motivates us to reach out to those who need the gospel. And it encourages us to be confident even as evil men defy God. They will never succeed, because God has His Day! God wins.