Read Joel 1 -- 3
In Today's Reading:
Plague of locusts followed by famine and desolation; Joel's warnings and call to repentance; future day of the Lord; outpouring of the Holy Spirit; the promise of Israel's restoration; judgment on nations; Judah and Jerusalem shall dwell forever.
Verses for Today:
The day (of judgment) of the Lord cometh . . . A day of darkness and gloominess . . . (there comes) a great people and a strong (people). . . . and nothing shall escape them. . . . The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble. . . . He is strong that executeth His Word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible. . . . Therefore . . . turn . . . to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning (2:1-12).
Joel warned of the impending destruction of Jerusalem. In mercy, the Word of the Lord . . . came to Joel. . . . Blow . . . the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain (Joel 1:1; 2:1). The trumpet was often used for religious purposes to call the congregation together and to announce solemn days and festivals, and by watchmen to warn of approaching danger (Numbers 10:1-10). For instance, in Joel, the trumpet was used to warn the people of a great enemy army; but the sins of the enemies within were even more serious.
Throughout the Scriptures, the one indispensable condition for forgiveness and acceptance by the Lord is genuine repentance which is threefold. First, it is a sorrow for our sins against God, as well as against others; second, it is a turning to the Lord, asking Him to forgive all our sins; and third, it is forsaking sin to live a life pleasing to Jesus Christ, the Savior and Lord of our lives. Joel foretold: Afterward . . . I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh. . . . Whoever shall call on the Name of the Lord shall be delivered (2:28,32).
Peter preached the prophetic meaning of Joel's words: Whoever shall call on the Name of the Lord shall be saved (Acts 2:21). He concluded his message by saying: Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission (forgiveness) of sins, and [you] shall receive the gift of the Holy [Spirit]. For the promise is [to] you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off (2:38-39).
The prophet Joel also foretold of the final day of the Lord (Joel 2:11). It was partially fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians and then by the Romans; and there will be a final attempt by the Antichrist that is yet to take place. Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come (1:15). A great people and a strong (people); there [has never] been the like, neither shall be any more after it (2:2-3). This will bring to a close the miserable rule of sinful mankind and usher in the glorious reign of Jesus the righteous King of Peace.
Jesus spoke of the coming great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. . . . (But, praise the Lord, He concluded triumphantly) They shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory (Matthew 24:21).
As the One Who will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh (Joel 2:28) -- fulfilled (in part) on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:16-18).
1:7 barked = broken, splintered; 1:12 languisheth = wastes away, dies; 1:16 meat = food; 1:17 garners = storehouses; 2:6 all faces shall gather blackness = their faces will turn pale with terror.
Pray for your Sunday School teacher · Country: Uganda (23 million) in eastern Africa· Major languages: English and Luganda · Religious freedom · 51% Roman Catholic; 30% Protestant; 10% animist; 7% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Praise God for the power of His Word (Hebrews 4:12).
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 5:10-11