As I’ve been studying the book of Joel, I’ve been feeling such an excitement in my spirit about what the Lord is doing right now. He wants to give us understanding and revelation so we don’t walk in fear but faith, nor trepidation but expectation.
There are some important themes in Joel, which applies to our current situation.
1. The Lord is calling us to awaken.
He is using calamity to wake His people up from their slumber. Plagues and a powerful enemy-nation has come against them. The Sleeping Bride is called to awaken to her position as His Holy Remnant, walking with understanding and revelation. (Joel 1:1-12)
2. A call of separation and consecration.
The Lord is calling His ministers to fast and seek Him. Kept from their priestly duties, they are to call forth God’s people to consecrate themselves and cry out to Him. The Holy Remnant are called to separate themselves before God, knowing that the day of the Lord is near. (Joel 1:13-14)
3. The day of the Lord.
This day heralds destruction for the nations and salvation for God’s people. He releases His Mighty Army to bring forth His judgments on the nations, no one can escape it. The Lord remains a refuge to His Holy Remnant amid the chaos of judgment. (Joel 2:1-11, 3:16)
4. A call to repentance.
This day is set in motion to call people to repentance. The Lord is looking for torn hearts, not torn garments. True repentance can cause the judgment of the Lord to be averted. His people’s response to the call of repentance will determine the Lord’s actions in dealing with their land. (Joel 2:12-14)
5. The Lord restores.
Moved by jealousy and pity for His people as they repent, He answers them. He brings blessing and fruitfulness to their land. He removes the northerner (enemy-nation) far from them. He restores everything that was lost before. His Holy Remnant is vindicated and restored by God. (Joel 2:18-20)
6. The Lord is in their midst.
His people will praise the Name of the Lord who has dealt wondrously with them. He covers them and they will never be ashamed again. They have come into His Presence, knowing Him as their only God. His Holy Remnant lives in the place of His Habitation, for they walk in the revelation that He inhabits the praises of His people.
7. The outpouring of His Spirit.
The Lord pours out His Spirit upon all flesh. He makes His Presence known to all people. He performs miracles, signs, and wonders, and saves everyone who calls on His Name. His Holy Remnant becomes His vehicle of salvation to the nations as they release His Presence and Power through His Holy Spirit outpouring. (Joel 2:28-32)
8. The Lord judges the nations.
The Lord brings judgment on the nations who have come against His people. His Holy Remnant becomes His warriors! Even the weak will say, ‘I am a warrior!’ The nations are in the valley of decision, His warriors will reap the harvest, separating the wheat from the chaff, bringing judgment on the wicked and salvation to those who repent.
9. The Lord establishes His nations.
The Lord dwells in Zion. He dwells in the nation who fears and worships Him. His Holy Remnant becomes the builders of His Sheep Nations. He turns away from Egypt, the wicked nations, and turns it into a desolation and desolate wilderness. Sheep and goat nations are established. (Joel 3:17-21)
5Awake, you drunkards, and weep,
and wail, all you drinkers of wine,
because of the sweet wine,
for it is cut off from your mouth.
6For a nation has come up against my land,
powerful and beyond number;
its teeth are lions’ teeth,
and it has the fangs of a lioness.
7It has laid waste my vine
and splintered my fig tree;
it has stripped off their bark and thrown it down;
their branches are made white.
13Put on sackcloth and lament, O priests;
wail, O ministers of the altar.
Go in, pass the night in sackcloth,
O ministers of my God!
Because grain offering and drink offering
are withheld from the house of your God.
14Consecrate a fast;
call a solemn assembly.
Gather the elders
and all the inhabitants of the land
to the house of the LORD your God,
and cry out to the LORD.
15Alas for the day!
For the day of the LORD is near,
and as destruction from the Almightyc it comes.
16Is not the food cut off
before our eyes,
joy and gladness
from the house of our God?
1Blow a trumpet in Zion;
sound an alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
for the day of the LORD is coming; it is near,
2a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and thick darkness!
Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains
a great and powerful people;
their like has never been before,
nor will be again after them
through the years of all generations.
10The earth quakes before them;
the heavens tremble.
The sun and the moon are darkened,
and the stars withdraw their shining.
11The LORD utters his voice
before his army,
for his camp is exceedingly great;
he who executes his word is powerful.
For the day of the LORD is great and very awesome;
who can endure it?
12“Yet even now,” declares the LORD,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the LORD your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
and he relents over disaster.
14Who knows whether he will not turn and relent,
and leave a blessing behind him,
a grain offering and a drink offering
for the LORD your God?
18Then the LORD became jealous for his land
and had pity on his people.
19The LORD answered and said to his people,
“Behold, I am sending to you
grain, wine, and oil,
and you will be satisfied;
and I will no more make you
a reproach among the nations.
20“I will remove the northerner far from you,
and drive him into a parched and desolate land,
his vanguardb into the eastern sea,
and his rear guardc into the western sea;
the stench and foul smell of him will rise,
for he has done great things.
23“Be glad, O children of Zion,
and rejoice in the LORD your God,
for he has given the early rain for your vindication;
he has poured down for you abundant rain,
the early and the latter rain, as before.
24“The threshing floors shall be full of grain;
the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
25I will restored to you the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent among you.
26“You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the LORD your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
27You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
and that I am the LORD your God and there is none else.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
28e “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.
29Even on the male and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit.
30“And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. 32And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.
1a “For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, 2I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land, 3and have cast lots for my people, and have traded a boy for a prostitute, and have sold a girl for wine and have drunk it.
9Proclaim this among the nations:
Consecrate for war;c
stir up the mighty men.
Let all the men of war draw near;
let them come up.
10Beat your plowshares into swords,
and your pruning hooks into spears;
let the weak say, “I am a warrior.”
11Hasten and come,
all you surrounding nations,
and gather yourselves there.
Bring down your warriors, O LORD.
12Let the nations stir themselves up
and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
for there I will sit to judge
all the surrounding nations.
13Put in the sickle,
for the harvest is ripe.
Go in, tread,
for the winepress is full.
The vats overflow,
for their evil is great.
in the valley of decision!
For the day of the LORD is near
in the valley of decision.
15The sun and the moon are darkened,
and the stars withdraw their shining.
16The LORD roars from Zion,
and utters his voice from Jerusalem,
and the heavens and the earth quake.
But the LORD is a refuge to his people,
a stronghold to the people of Israel.
19“Egypt shall become a desolation
and Edom a desolate wilderness,
for the violence done to the people of Judah,
because they have shed innocent blood in their land.
20But Judah shall be inhabited forever,
and Jerusalem to all generations.
21I will avenge their blood,
blood I have not avenged,d
for the LORD dwells in Zion.”