Please allow me to survey what we have learned from the book of Joel.
The book was written by the prophet Joel whose name means, “Jehovah is God.” We know nothing about Joel or his father Pethuel’s personal backgrounds, or even when they lived. He records nothing of himself except his divine commission.
Joel was a prophet of Judah, the Southern Kingdom, possibly a contemporary of Elisha. The date of his writing is believed to be the 8th century B.C. He desired to live his life in the presence of God, and to be known among men only as the voice which gave utterance to the Word of the Lord that came to him. He would have us to receive his word as not his own, but the word of Yahweh.
During Joel’s time, there was a severe locust plague, an event of such immensity, that people would be talking about it for years to come. Joel’s message will be relevant for generations to come. It has come all the way down to us. His message is still relevant, continuing to accomplish God’s purpose long after Joel left the scene.
This locust plague effected everyone. The drunks, because of the destruction of the vineyards. The priests were effected because All the outward and visible signs of communion with God are cut off. This locust invasion caused famine in the land for over a year.
Joel 1:16-18, “Is not the food cut off before our eyes, joy and gladness from the house of our God? The seed shrivels under the clods, storehouses are in shambles; barns are broken down, for the grain has withered. How the animals groan! The herds of cattle are restless, because they have no pasture; even the flocks of sheep suffer punishment.”
Joel was the first of the literary prophets, and he writes about the last days. He writes about a devastating locust invasion, and ultimately, the great day of the Lord. The locust plague was a warning to the people for the coming destruction if they did not repent from their sins.
So, the overriding theme of the Book of Joel is the day of the Lord, a day of God’s wrath and judgment. This is the Day in which God comes in power and holiness and it is a terrifying day to His enemies.
In Joel 1:14, he calls for “sacred assembly”
“Consecrate a fast” Joel called on the priests not only to mourn (1:9), but also to assemble all the people at the temple for a “sacred, holy fast.”.
The condition of our world today should lead every body of believers to call a “Sacred Assembly.” Can you imagine if all believers were to lay aside our doctrinal, denominational, ethnic and political identification and gather together for prayer and fasting, for a public “Sacred Assembly,” asking God to forgive the sins of the church, and to change the direction of our nation?
Joel 2:28 begins the second half of the book where he writes that God’s Spirit will be poured out, not just on the Day of Pentecost, but also at some future day.
“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, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”
Joel 3:1, “For behold, in those days and at that time when I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem…”
Joel’s prophecy concerns the day of the Lord, which will begin at the rapture of the church, when Jesus comes to take all believers out of this world, and continues through the great tribulation (seven years) and the battle of Armageddon, and the Millennium (one-thousand years).
The next part of Joel’s prophecy brings us up to judgment in the Valley of Jehoshaphat. In 3:14 NLT, “Thousands upon thousands (multitudes, myriads) are waiting in the Valley of decision. There the day of the Lord will soon arrive.”
The Valley of Jehoshaphat is now identified as the “Valley of Decision,” the place where the Lord's judgment will be passed upon His enemies. Joel spoke of this day in 1:15 and 2:1, this battle is going to be against the nations assembled together who hate Israel and God.
“They want to rid the world of God. when He will bring vengeance on the nations. They come to fulfill their own ends; but His shall be fulfilled on them. They are left to bring about their own doom; and being abandoned by Him, rush on the more blindly because it is at hand. When their last sin is committed, their last defiance of God spoken or acted against Him, it is come. At all times, indeed, “the Lord is at hand” Philemon 4:5. It may be, that we are told, that the whole future revealed to us “must shortly come to pass” Revelation 1:1, in order to show that all time is a mere nothing, a moment, a dream, when it is gone. Yet here it is said, relatively, not to us, but to the things foretold, that it “is near” to come” –Copied and adapted from Barnes notes
Verse 15: “The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness.”
Joel also spoke of the darkened skies in 2:31, “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.” And in 2:10, “The earth quakes before them,
the heavens tremble; the sun and moon grow dark, and the stars diminish their brightness.”
The whole creation responds to this judgment of God against the Antichrist and his cohorts.
Verse 16: “The Lord also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; but the Lord will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.”
Not only will the heathen nations see the eclipse and sense the darkness, sound will be ear-shattering as the Lion of the tribe of Judah roars.
Amos 1:2, “The Lord roars from Zion, and utters His voice from Jerusalem…”
Jeremiah 25:30, “The Lord shouts from above. He shouts from his holy Temple. He shouts against his people.”
Isaiah 42:13, “The Lord shall go forth like a mighty man; He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war. He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud; He shall prevail against His enemies.”
“Christ, the Lamb, shall now appear as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and utter his voice in his providence and judgments on the behalf of his church and people, signified by Zion and Jerusalem; and therefore said to roar, and utter his voice from thence; he will be heard far and near, and strike terror in the hearts of his enemies.” –John Gill
“He shall strike the enemies of his people with astonishment, as the roaring of the lion astonishes the weaker beasts of the forest.” –Benson
Verse 17: “So you shall know that I am the Lord your God, dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, and no aliens shall ever pass through her again.”
“This will be the lot of the chosen people in the millennial age. The Holy God will make the city in which He resides a Holy place. But it is true universally. Wherever the Holy God dwells, there you have holiness—for it is the attribute of his nature, as heat is of fire. Holiness is not It, but He. Do you want it? Then you must invite Him to come.
When God comes into a day, it becomes holy unto Him. When his presence is revealed in a bush, it is holy ground. When He descends on a mountain, the fences are erected, that unhallowed feet may not draw nigh. When He fills a building like Solomon’s Temple, the whole is consecrated, and may not be employed for sacrilegious purposes. Best of all, if He dwell in our hearts, they too are rendered holy to Himself.” –F.B. Meyer
God’s great victory will demonstrate to His people that He and He alone is Israel's covenant keeping God and that His special place of abode is Mt. Zion. Joel 2:27, “Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: I am the Lord your God and there is no other.” After this battle Jerusalem will truly be the holy city, set apart entirely for God's people and no longer defiled by pagan invaders.
Verse 18: “And it will come to pass in that day that the mountains shall drip with new wine, the hills shall flow with milk, and all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water; a fountain shall flow from the house of the Lord and water the Valley of Acacias.”
After Gods final victory, there is lasting abundance and the days of drought are just a distant memory.
This pictures the Millennium, when The battle of Armageddon ends, that will usher in the one-thousand year reign of Christ on earth
Isaiah 35:1,2;5-7 “The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the excellence of Carmel and Sharon. the glory of the Lord, the excellency of our God…Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water; in the habitation of jackals, where each lay, there shall be grass with reeds and rushes.”
In this day, the Antichrist will be destroyed; the Jews will be converted; the power of godliness revived, and the presence of God among his people enjoyed.
Verse 19: “Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom a desolate wilderness, because of violence against the people of Judah, for they have shed innocent blood in their land.”
Two ancient enemies of Israel are schedules for desolation: The Egyptians were their oppressors when they first became a nation, and afterward exercised great cruelties upon them, during the reign of the Egyptian kings. The Edomites were the nearest allied to them, but had, from the time of their approach to the promised land, been hostile to them, and showed a malicious joy in all their calamities.
John Gill writes, “These two nations having been the implacable enemies of Israel, are here put for the future adversaries of the church of Christ, Pagan, Papal, and Mohammedan; who will all be destroyed as such, and be no more: Rome is called, spiritually or mystically, Egypt, Revelation 11:8; and Edom is a name that well agrees with it, it signifying “red,” as it is with the blood of the saints…”
Verse 20: “But Judah shall abide forever, And Jerusalem from generation to generation.”
Amos 9:15, “I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them, Says the Lord your God.”
“This is not a prophecy; this is a Promise from God! God is simply laws that control the universe. Can anyone stop the sun, moon and stars from giving their light? Can anyone stop the waves of the sea? Can anyone measure the heavens or explore the foundation of the Earth? NO! Absolutely NOT! Then NO one shall ever be able to ruin or annihilate Israel! I think those who hate the Jews should seriously consider this.” –godcannotlie.org/joel
Verse 21: “For I will acquit them of the guilt of bloodshed, whom I had not acquitted; for the Lord dwells in Zion.”
God shall one day pardon Israel’s sins, which He has not yet pardoned; and He shall make His Home in Jerusalem with His people.
I conclude with a few thoughts about our one-thousand year reign with Christ:
First, it will be a time of plenty. Joel 3:18, “In that day that the mountains shall drip with new wine, the hills shall flow with milk, and all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water; a fountain shall flow from the house of the Lord and water the Valley of Acacias.” Flowing streams will irrigate the land. The mountains shall be covered with vineyards. The well-fed cattle will give an abundance of milk. Everything we need will be provided for us. Poverty will be erased, and homelessness with be abolished. How can this be? The King will be reigning in Zion!
Second, it will be a time of absolute peace. Isaiah 2:4,” He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” Isaiah 66:12, ““Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream.” How can this be? The King will be reigning in Zion!
Third, it will be a time of great joy and happiness. Isaiah 66:1,11, ““Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you who love her; rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her; that you may feed and be satisfied with the consolation of her bosom, that you may drink deeply and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.” How can this be? The King will be reigning in Zion!
It will be a time of holiness. Satan will be bound for a thousand years! Revelation 20:2,3, “He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him.” Zechariah 8:3, “Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, the Mountain of the Lord of hosts, the Holy Mountain.” Isaiah 52:1, “O Jerusalem, the holy city; for the uncircumcised and the unclean will no longer come into you.” Zechariah 13:1, “In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity.” How can this be? The King will be reigning in Zion!
Behold He comes, riding on the clouds,
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call!
So lift your voice it's the year of Jubilee,
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes!
And we shall behold Him! We shall behold Him!
Face to face in all of His glory
We shall behold Him, yes we shall behold Him
Face to face our Savior and Lord!
Unless otherwise noted, the New King James Version of the Bible was used. Also The New Living Translation (NLT); The New American Standard Bible (NASB); The Message (MSG); The New Century Version (NCV); The Amplified Bible (AMP); The King James Version (KJV), The New Life Version (NLV); English Standard Version (ESV); J.B. Phillips New Testament; Easy to Read Version (ERV); Common English bible (CEB); NET Bible (NET) and The Living Bible (TLB).