Amos 5:16–20 (NKJV)
16 Therefore the Lord God of hosts, the Lord, says this: “There shall be wailing in all streets, and they shall say in all the highways, ‘Alas! Alas!’ They shall call the farmer to mourning, and skillful lamenters to wailing.
17 In all vineyards there shall be wailing, for I will pass through you,” says the Lord.
18 Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! For what good is the day of the Lord to you? It will be darkness, and not light.
19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him! Or as though he went into the house, leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him!
20 Is not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light? Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it?
The Day of the Lord was thought to be a time when God would come and destroy the enemies of His people in a day, delivering them and restoring their freedom and fortunes. However, in this case, the roles are reversed, and Israel is the one to be destroyed. The language points to the lament and mourning that will ensue in Israel. It also describes a situation where Israel will not be able to escape the coming judgment. Escape a lion, and a bear shows up. Stop long enough to rest in the safety of your house, and a snake bites you! Even the sky will be dark in the middle of the day because of the awesome presence of the God of judgement.
While this is not one of the most pleasant thoughts and images of God for anyone, much less a sinner or idolater, it is a view that should give one pause. Sin brings trouble, and–at times–judgment. Do not neglect the need for holiness in the sight of the Lord. The Day of the Lord was not designed for God’s people, but it will come to their doorstep if they neglect the commands and expectations of God. Live holy and the Day of the Lord will be for your defense and not your judgment!