The prophet Isaiah has given us a fascinating picture of the Day of the Lord. It is found in Isaiah 26:16 through 27:3. I must thank Dr. J. R. Church for pointing this out in his magazine Prophecy in the News. (http://www.prophecyinthenews.com)
The passage starts with a description of a woman in labor (Isaiah 26:17). This is a common Biblical picture of the End Times. Just as a pregnant woman does not know the day or hour of her delivery, neither does anyone know the day or hour of the Return of the Lord Jesus. But . . . the pregnant woman does know when the time is near. So will the Church.
Next is a picture of the Resurrection (Isaiah 26:18). “You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy!” For those Christians who are alive when the Lord calls us Home, this will be the Rapture.
If Isaiah 26:18 is the Rapture, the next verse presents an interesting pre-Tribulation scenario. “Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until His Wrath has passed by.” (Isaiah 26:20) Perhaps these are the rooms Jesus spoke of in John 14:2, “In my Father’s house are many rooms.” It is hard to argue with Scripture.
Following this is a description of the Lord punishing the people of the earth for their sins. (Isaiah 26:21) Believers have been forgiven of their sins. I do not believe we will be here for this punishment. There is also mention of punishment for Leviathan, the coiling serpent, the monster of the sea. (Isaiah 27:1) See Revelation 13:1 for a description of the Beast coming out of the sea.
Just as in the Revelation, the punishment of the people of the earth and the serpent is followed by the Lord’s Millennial Kingdom. “Sing about a fruitful vineyard; I, the Lord, watch over it; I water it continually. I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it.” (Isaiah 27:2) What a beautiful picture of the Lord’s Kingdom!
This is not the only picture found in the Old Testament of the Church being spared the terrible events of the Tribulation. The prophet Zephaniah speaks of a “shameful nation” in chapter 2:1-3. The word for “nation” in Hebrew is goy, or gentile. Zephaniah is speaking of gentiles. He says to gather together before the day of the Lord’s Wrath. He suggests that we Gentiles seek righteousness and “perhaps you will be sheltered on the Day of the Lord’s Anger.”
The prophets Isaiah and Zephaniah offer us much comfort in the words they wrote some 2700 years ago. There is much comfort in the Word of God. Praise His Name!