Book of Joel
This chapter continues to focus on destruction and commences with a cry to blow the trumpet in Zion and to sound the alarm on God’s Holy hill. (Joel 2: 1). There is every indication that dealing with this disaster is not going to be easy. The mighty army of locusts, the disaster that God has sent to his people is on the march and they are prepared to lay waste to all the land. This is an oncoming disaster of relentless proportions and no human power can withstand the pounding force of the locusts, who are beyond number.
Evidently, this disaster is designed to move a complacent people to repentance. And this repentance must be heartfelt. In the face of the disaster that is right around the corner, the people of Judah face an irresistible demand to transform their inner heart, mind and soul. The Lord says: “Even now, declares the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend 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.” (Joel 2: 12-13)
This section of the chapter is followed by a prophecy of restoration, which is directly related to the call for repentance. In essence, Joel is saying the land may have been devastated, but God, the author of the universe, will come and restore the land for a people who love and trust him above all else. In addition to physical restoration the Lord promises a spiritual rebirth after the nation returns to him. This portion of scripture states that the Lord “will pour out his Spirit on all people. You sons and daughters will prophesy, and 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.” Joel 2:28-29. This foretells the coming day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came with great power and initiated the public ministry and preaching of the Christian church (Acts 2:16-21). When we turn to the Lord, he will not look away because he is a God that restores us what has been taken away and restores to us hopes, dreams and lives that on the surface appear dead. The Lord himself says to the people of Judah and to his people today, yet shall those hopes, dreams and lives, live again.
“And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the survivors whom the Lord calls.” ~ Joel 2:32
Questions to ponder:
- In what areas do you need to move toward heartfelt and thorough repentance?
- In what areas are you crying out for restoration and renewal?
- How can those that surround you help you repent and encourage you toward restoration?