-The alarms are sounded for the day of the LORD is coming upon Zion and its inhabitants. It is a day of darkness and doom, a day of clouds and thick darkness as a mighty army comes like nothing ever seen before, nor will there be after it (Joel 2:2). This army is programmed with incredible discipline and fierce force with destruction and desolation left behind them. They carry out the word of the LORD in vengeance (Joel 2:11). *Application* When the LORD gives a prophecy it will be carried out. His word never fails. “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31).” O the devastating effects of turning away from the LORD in our lives.
-Yet He always gives us a chance to return to Him and bless us. The ray of hope is given beginning in verse 12 as we see God pleading for a return back to Him with fasting, weeping, and mourning. The LORD wants the heart rent in two rather than the traditional outward sign of rending clothes apart in anguish. He wants to show His grace and compassion. He is slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness and relents of evil (Joel 2:13). There is a sliver of a chance that He could take pity and relent of the coming doom leaving a blessing behind Him (Joel 2:14). A gathering is prescribed with fasting and a solemn assembly to sanctify the congregation and a crying out for sparing them (Joel 2:15-17). *Application* God always leaves a way out of trouble and doom. The Word says He will never put on us more than we can handle. There will be a way out if we care to take it (1 Corinthians 10:13). God always has a way of escape for our endurance and well being. Take His way today and be satisfied eternally with His presence.
-A change in fortune occurs in the prophecy beginning in verse 18. The LORD will be zealous for His land and will have pity on His people. He will bless again after the destruction and malaise that has occurred. He will never again make them a reproach among the nations in this season and He will remove the northern army far from them (Joel 2:19-20). The pastures will turn green again and the land will yield its produce (Joel 2:22). The rains will be plentiful in their season and the LORD will make up for the years the swarming locust has eaten (Joel 2:23-25). They will have plenty to eat and be satisfied praising the LORD their God and knowing that He is in their midst as no other (Joel 2:26-27). *Application* God is true to His promises and will come through even after He allows for misfortune. Stay reliant upon Him in the tests and trials of life and count on His provision through it all. It is His way of drawing us close to Him and letting us know our power is limited, but His is all sufficient. Trust in Him alone!
-This next section is quoted by Peter at the time of the Holy Spirit’s coming in Acts 2. I believe this to be a prophecy that has multiple applications in its fulfillment. God’s Spirit is no doubt poured out at Pentecost on the disciples. We are now experiencing the church age where the Gentiles are being gathered into the Kingdom of God as all the nations (Matthew 24:14, Luke 21:24-25, Romans 15:10-16). There is coming a time again when the Spirit will be poured out like never before as the day of the LORD approaches. Prophecy, signs and wonders, dreams, and visions will intensify and wonders in nature will be displayed preceding the LORD’s return (Joel 2:30-31). *Application* It is important for us to remember Joel 2:32 in summation. Whoever calls upon the Name of the LORD will be delivered from the day of the LORD. There will be those who escape and there will be survivors whom the LORD calls. God’s way out should be taken while there is a chance and a hope. Otherwise, His wrath will be on you. Don’t delay, His return is sudden and will not be known (1 Thessalonians 5:2-4, Revelation 3:3; 16:15).
Verses to Memorize: Joel 2:12-13