From Joel 1-3
Little is known about the prophet Joel, although his concern for Judah and Jerusalem suggests that he ministered in Judah. Joel told of a locust plague that had struck Israel and which, he said, foreshadowed the “day of the Lord.” The day of the Lord was a time greatly anticipated by the Israelites because they believed that God would then judge the nations and restore Israel to her former glory. Yet, said Joel, God would punish not only the nations but unfaithful Israel as well. Joel urged everyone to repent, and told of a day when God would “pour out [his] Spirit on all flesh” (2:28). That day arrived on the first Christian Pentecost (Acts 2:17). While the date of the book is uncertain (ninth to sixth century B.C.), its message is valid for all time. (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.)
Q. What is the name of the LORD?
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
Todays reading includes a couple prophecies that are used later on in the New Testament. In Joel the LORD judges Judah and sends a terrible locust swarm. Nothing will remain. But as with most of the judgments we have seen the LORD judges and punishes, but then foretells in the future he will restore his people. The LORD gives his people hope. Joel is no different.
28 “And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
29 Even on the male and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit. (Joel 2.28-29)
This is an amazing promise. The LORD will pour out his Spirit on all people. Not just on the kings and prophets. On all people, that means the lowest of their social order – servants as well. Joel continues;
30 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. 32 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls. (Joel 2.30-32)
Joel then predicts various supernatural events. When will be the day of the LORD? He assures his listeners, ‘everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved’. Which is a wonderful promise for those who believe in him.
These promises are not fulfilled in Joel’s time. We are not sure when Joel was written, but we know by the time Judah did return to the promised land after their exile, they had not received the Spirit as Joel predicted.
It wasn’t until Jesus died and rose again that we see the prophecy of Joel recalled by Peter the apostle.
2 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2.1-4)
14 Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:
17 “ ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
even on my male servants and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
And I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
the sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ (Acts 2.14-21)
Joel’s prophecy was fulfilled. Why? What happened? The messiah came. Peter shares the gospel.
22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. (Acts 2.22-24)
The Spirit of the LORD was unleashed by the gospel. Those who call on the name of the LORD Jesus shall be saved (Rom 10.9-13)
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