The Day of God's Visitation

In the King James Version, the phrase “day [or time] of visitation” is found in the following passages: Isaiah 10.3; Jeremiah 46.21; 50.27; Micah 7.4; 1 Peter 2.12. A reading of these passages shows that this phrase refers to God’s justice (blessing or cursing) being pronounced upon individuals or nations. God announces what will be done when he “visits” in justice.

Quite often, people pass judgment upon one another based upon what is seen externally. One may be undergoing a rough period in his or her life, suffering gravely in the process. It may be assumed that the person is being punished by God. Prosperity may likewise be wrongfully judged as a sign that God is blessing, or has blessed, that individual. When the day of God’s visitation comes, justice will be served.

Job is one such example of one whose suffering was misjudged. He was wrongfully accused by his friends of having committed sin, then refusing to acknowledge it, therefore deserving his suffering (Job 2.9; 4.8-9). However, Job pleaded to God: “Thou knows that I am not wicked (Job 10.7). God “visited” Job. Afterward, Job said in v. 12, “…thy visitation hath preserved by spirit.” Job was not guilty as his wife and friends had charged him. After God “visited” Job, Job’s integrity was vindicated.

At other times, God’s “visiting” does find his people indeed guilty, although men may not see it that way. Still, justice was served. The prophet Jeremiah wrote of the day of visitation upon the people of God in his lifetime in Jeremiah 5> God’s people were indeed guilty. They were inwardly wicked, although outwardly religious and reverent. Yet, when the day of God’s visitation came upon them, they asked, “Why?” Here was God’s answer through the pen of Jeremiah: “And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, ‘Wherefore doeth the Lord our God all these things unto us?’ then shalt thou answer them, ‘Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours.’ Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying, ‘Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes and see not; which have ears, and hear not: Fear ye not me?’ saith the Lord: ‘Will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?’ But this people hath a revolting and rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone. Neither say they in their heart, ‘Let us now fear the Lord our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.’ Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you. For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. They are waxen fat, they thing: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. ‘Shall I not visit for these things?’ saith the Lord: ‘Shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?’” (Jeremiah 5.19-29). We need to live life in view of the day of God’s visitation. If we fear God, as Ecclesiastes 12.13 states, we will rejoice in that day, being vindicated (1 Peter 3.15-16).