The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists recently announced that the position of the “doom’s day” clock will remain where it has been – at 100 seconds to midnight.  “The doorstep of doom is no place to loiter,” the Bulletin noted in explaining its decision.  The clock was created 75 years ago to alert Americans to the danger of nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union.  It was intended to “frighten men into rationality” said Eugene Rabinowitch, a biologist and the first editor of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

There is some reassurance knowing the position of the clock remains the same.  But all indications point to a world that is more uncertain about the future than ever before.  I thought of the Old Testament prophets warning Israel of the “Day of the Lord.”  This is “a special day at the end of time when God’s will and purpose for mankind and His world will be fulfilled.” (Nelson Bible Dictionary).  Since Jesus conquered death and the devil, that day has be seen as an instantaneous event when Christ will return victorious and reign on the earth.

The earliest recording of the Day of the Lord is found in Amos 5:18: “What sorrow awaits you who say, ‘If only the day of the Lord were here.’  That day will bring darkness, not light.”  On that day, God will finally make things right on the earth.  Paul warned the Thessalonians of the day of the Lord: “Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night” (II Thess. 5:1-2).  

The folks who developed the “doomsday clock” have no idea when the end will take place. They seem to assume they possess some knowledge of what might be on the horizon, allowing them to predict the future – all the while ignoring the One who really controls the clock.  Isaiah warned of thinking we can hide our intentions from the Lord. “Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their work in darkness and think, ‘Who sees us? Who will know?'” (Is. 29:15).   

Long before God’s people were led out of captivity by Cyrus, Isaiah spoke of Cyrus as “my shepherd.”  “He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say to Jerusalem, ‘Let it be rebuilt’, and of the temple, ‘Let its foundations be laid'” (Is. 44:28).  God declared his intentions to use unusual means to liberate his people from captivity.  He was reminding the people of his sovereign rule in history.

God challenged those in authority , during Isaiah’s time, to come up with a plan for the future: “Take the stand on behalf of your idols, offer arguments, assemble reasons.  Spread out the facts before us so that we can assess them ourselves.  Ask them, ‘If you are gods, explain what the past means – or, failing that, tell us what will happen in the future” (Is. 41:22-23 – Message). 

Several months have passed since I first drafted this blog.  Now as I review it, there is serious speculation about the use of nuclear weapons because of Vladimir Putin’s frustration with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  It is a sober reminder of instability of  our world and the wishful thinking of those who speak about peace.  Jeremiah warns us when he said, “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace” (Jer. 6:14).