Chapter 24 begins the long apocalyptic vision of the Day of the Lord, which continues until chapter 27. It seems impossible to give it any certain historical background, and it was probably intended to be an ideal description of the last great judgment which will engulf the whole world. The horizon is very black except for the bright gleam of light that appears in verse 23, and which leads on to the burst of praise in chapter 25, just as chapter 12 follows chapter 11. First in his own name (25), and then in the name of the redeemed community (26), the prophet gives thanks for their certain deliverance from the final judgment and for their everlasting bliss and security.
- In chapter 24 contrast the emotions of unbelievers when faced with the calamity of God’s judgment with the reactions of believers. Can you still praise God in the midst of seeming disaster? Cf. Hab. 3:16-19.
- What does chapter 25 teach us about God’s ‘faithful and sure’ plans for this world and for his people?
- Compare this Old testament picture of God’s ultimate purpose for his people with the New Testament one in Rev.7:15-17; 21:1-4.
25:2. In this verse, as in 24:10, 12 and 26:5, 6, ‘the city’ refers to no special town, but to any stronghold of opposition to God, in contrast to God’s ‘strong city’ (26:1). The former will be ‘made a heap’, but the latter fortified with impregnable bulwarks.