Those who were old enough in 2003 to watch the news reports can well remember these two words. The encyclopedias define it as—“ the rapid, overwhelming dominance of military power; the spectacular display of force.” This was exactly what happened to Saddam Hussein, the dictator, and his vaunted Republican Guards as the U. S. military rushed across Iraq towards the capital of Bagdad with tanks and soldiers. Very soon the Nebuchadnezzar-like palaces of Saddam became the headquarters of the U. S. forces. The enemy’s will to fight was quickly demoralized and rendered incapable of resistance.
Many hundreds of years before this war, God sent the first Nebuchadnezzar to punish the unfaithful, rebellious Jews of Israel and Judah. They faced a type of shock and awe of their own when finally, after many warnings by prophets such as Jeremiah and Ezekiel, God allowed the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. All but a small remnant were killed or taken into exile in Babylon. This grieved God, but His justice demanded that the corruption and sin be punished.
Satan and all his allies will one day experience their own “shock and awe” on a great day of God’s judgment (Rev 20:10). “…Every knee will bow before the Lord and give an account of himself to God.” (Rom 14: 11-12) There will be a shock and awe far beyond any kind humans have imposed. “…This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with His powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord…” (2 Thes 1: 7-9)
However, there will be a very different emotion among Christians on that day. They will stand in awe, but in the reverential kind of those who have loved and worshiped the Lord (2 Thes 1:10). They will be escorted into the places prepared by Jesus for them (Jo 14:2-3). They will be caught up into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thes 4: 14-18). What a day of rejoicing that will be.