Prophecies about the ‘last days' (see Acts 2:16-21)
an unknown Joel
written : unknown and
scholars vary between 6th and 9th centuries BC!
such a short book, in what follows, in the Brief Synopsis,
the Outline and the Key Verses we will be doing the same thing in three
different ways, laying out what is here in this little book
A plague of locusts (1:4) has ravaged
the land and Joel calls for a holy fast (1:14) to cry out to the Lord
and appears a warning of yet a worse day (the ‘day of the Lord') that
is coming (2:1,2) that may yet be a worse plague stripping the land
(2:3) and again the Lord calls for repentance (2:12-17).
When this happens the Lord will bless
His people (2:18-27) and afterwards will pour out His Spirit and bring
When he restores Judah and Jerusalem (3:1)
He will hold all nations to account (3:2-16a) but will bless His people
Experiences a Foretaste of the Day of the Lord
A Call to Mourning and Prayer
The Announcement of the Day of the Lord
A Call to Repentance and Prayer
Judah Is Assured of Salvation in the Day of the Lord
The Lord's Restoration of Judah
The Lord's Renewal of His People
The Coming of the Day of the Lord
calamity has fallen on the land
this, you elders; listen, all who live in the land. Has anything like
this ever happened in your days or in the days of your forefathers?
plague of locusts has stripped it
the locust swarm has left the great locusts have eaten; what the great
locusts have left the young locusts have eaten; what
the young locusts have left other locusts have eaten.
has been stripped, there is no food left
you farmers, wail, you vine growers; grieve for the wheat and the barley,
because the harvest of the field is destroyed.
need to call on the Lord
a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live
in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.
ready, something worse is coming
the trumpet in Zion ; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live
in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming. It is close
at hand…… such as never was of old nor ever will be in ages to come.
your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he
is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.
repentance comes, blessing from the Lord will follow
the LORD will be jealous for his land and take pity on his people. The
LORD will reply to them: "I am sending you grain, new wine and
oil, enough to satisfy you fully; never again will I make you an object
of scorn to the nations.
Lord will provide in abundance for His people
will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the
name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again
will my people be shamed.
then He will pour out His Spirit
afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters
will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see
visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my
Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the
earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
the last day He will judge the natiosn for the way they treated Israel
those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and
Jerusalem , I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley
of Jehoshaphat . There I will enter into judgment against them concerning
my inheritance, my people Israel ,
in that day blessing will be there of Israel
that day the mountains will drip new wine, and the hills will flow with
milk; all the ravines of Judah will run with water. A fountain will
flow out of the LORD's house and will water the valley of acacias
The picture is clear – a calamity presages
the coming of a great day of judgment, which necessitates a call to
repent and seek the Lord. When His people will do that the Lord will
bless them and pour out His Spirit on them, and then into a time of
accounting with all other nations while continuing to bless His people.
The difficulty is the interpretation of
all this. It starts with the ‘locusts'. Were they a literal plague of
locusts or is it a symbolic picture? Commentators take both sides. For
interest sake, some suggest that the four locusts mentioned in 1:4 could
represent the rule of first Assyria, then Babylon , then Greece and
finally before the next fulfilment, Rome .
The fact is that the apostle Peter under
the anointing of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost declared that
what happened on that day was in fact a fulfilment of the Joel chapter
2 references to the Holy Spirit which would imply that what was recorded
before that had already happened. Today we might see ourselves as in
the era of the Spirit which will be concluded when Jesus returns and
the day of worldwide accounting takes place, that ‘day of the Lord'..
The remaining question mark might be in
respect of the meaning of the word ‘ Israel ' near the end of Joel's
prophecies. Does it mean the literal nation of Israel alive in the Middle
East , or does it simply mean all believers, the people of God worldwide?
Only time will tell.
The end picture is of the people of God
blessed by God while all unbelieving ‘nations' will be held accountable
for the way they have responded to the witness of the people of God.
it is a strong message.
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