Bible Studies in the Book of Joel
Book of Joel Chapter 2 Lesson: The Day of the Lord
by I Gordon
God is a God of redemption and restoration. He can redeem and make use of any situation. We see it here with His promise to the nation of Israel and we see it in His faithfulness to believers today. Look at this wonderful promise of God: 'I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.' You may have had years of devastation... But He can redeem it! He can repay you for the years that the locusts have eaten. Can you think of a situation that devastated your life? Always trust and believe that God can turn a situation around and make something good come out of that which is bad.
In contrast to how things often work in this world, it is good to remember that God doesn't discriminate in pouring out His Holy Spirit. Our text says He gives His Spirit to the sons and daughters, young and the old, male and female. We all need His Spirit working through our life. We should also be encouraged that God is still working through dreams and visions. Yes, there is definitely the false 'fleshly' type that many have rightfully become weary of (Col 2:18) but I have been encouraged recently of what seems to be genuine reports of God using dreams and visions in the Muslim world especially to bring those in darkness to the truth. Chapter 2 of Joel has shown that God will use the nations to bring judgement upon Israel in the last days. But Joel chapter 3 shows that God will also use Israel as a means of judgement upon those nations! If that is so, and the day of this judgement is approaching, then it would be like God to give every opportunity for the people in these nations that have very little light to acknowledge the truth and repent before this judgement takes place.
 ↩ Other titles for the day of the Lord are given in William Frederick's book 'The coming Epiphany':
'This time of God's special intervention known primarily as The Day of the Lord has been referred to by other terms in scripture, such as the Time of Jacob's Trouble (Jer. 30:7); His Strange Work/Act (Isa. 28:21); the Day of Israel's Calamity (Deut. 32:35); the Indignation (Isa. 26:20; Dan. 11:36); the Overflowing Scourge (Isa. 28:15, 18); the Day of Vengeance (Isa. 34:8; 35:4; 61:2); the Day of Wrath/Distress/Wasting/ Desolation.( Zeph. 1:15);the day of darkness/thick darkness//Gloominess (Zeph. 1:15, Joel 2:2); the Day of Trumpet and Alarm (Zeph. 1:16); the hour of trial (Rev. 3:10); the Wrath to Come (1 Thess. 1:10); the Wrath (1 Thess. 5:9), and the Hour of His Judgment (Rev. 14:7). In some instances, the Day of the Lord, due to its unique nature and importance, has been referred to as simply 'that day' (Isa. 2:11, 17; 2:20; 4:2; Joel 3:18; Mark 13:32; Luke 21:34; 2 Tim. 1:12, 18; 4:8).'
 ↩ The blowing of the trumpet was very common in Israel's history. There were three main times when a trumpet was blown:
1) In assembling the nation in preparation to move/depart (especially as they moved through the wilderness).
2) In preparation for battle/war.
3) In times of rejoicing on their feasts and festival days. (Please read Num 10:1-10 for all three times)
So which was this? This is to prepare for battle. This, as Joel says, is to sound the alarm! An army is coming the likes of which has never been seen before. The literal locusts have been left behind and the final future fulfillment is in view.
 ↩ The Scofield study Bible has a useful outline of Joel 2 and 3 in comparison with the Armageddon battle. He writes:
'It is remarkable that Joel, coming at the very beginning of written prophecy (B.C. 836), gives the fullest view of the consummation of all written prophecy. The order of events is:
(1) The invasion of Palestine from the north by Gentile world-powers headed up under the Beast and false prophet (Joel 2:1-10) "Armageddon,"
(2) The Lord's army and destruction of the invaders (Joe 2:11); (Rev 19:11-21).
(3) The repentance of Judah in the land (Joe 2:12-17).
(4) The answer of Jehovah (Joel 2:18-27).
(5) The effusion of the Spirit in the (Jewish) "last days" (Joel 2:28); (Joel 2:29).
(6) The return of the Lord in glory and the setting up of the kingdom (Joel 2:30-32); (Act 15:15-17) by the regathering of the nation and judgment of the nations (Joel 3:1-16).
(7) The full and permanent kingdom blessing (Joel 3:17-21); (Zec.14:1-21).
 ↩ This invading army is of course under God's control. In fact, in the Isaiah 13 passage about the day of the Lord, it does specifically refer to the amassing of the armies of the nations at this time saying that He (the Lord) is mustering this army and that they are the weapons of His wrath! So I could well be wrong and verse 11 could still be talking about the invading army. Hard to know!
Isa 13:4-6 Listen, a noise on the mountains, like that of a great multitude! Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms, like nations massing together! The LORD Almighty is mustering an army for war. (5) They come from faraway lands, from the ends of the heavens-- the LORD and the weapons of his wrath-- to destroy the whole country. (6) Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.
What I will say is that Joel chapter 2 has been a favorite source for some whacky false teachings over the last 60 years or so, based around 'The latter rain' and 'Joel's army' themes. BEWARE of anyone who talks about these in the context of an elite group of Christians taking dominion on this earth before Jesus returns. This is a big topic and there is too much for a little footnote! But have a look at the links on the following page: http://www.letusreason.org/latradir.htm
 ↩ This is the same picture given in Rev 19 where the heavens are opened and the rider on the white horse (the Lord Jesus) descends to make war against the Antichrist and the armies of this world. And following him is pictured the Church, His bride, riding on white horses also. (Rev 19:11-21) Also Enoch spoke of this event as recorded in the book of Jude:
Jud 1:14-15 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones (15) to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him."
 ↩ I recently had an email from a man who asked the question - 'If the modern day state of Israel is a fulfilment of Bible prophecy, why is it that there has been no peace in the Middle East?' Behind his question is the assumption that if God is behind this re-gathering of Israel then there should also be His blessing and peace. I pointed out to him that the prophets who spoke of the re-gathering of Israel back into the land also spoke of them coming back in unbelief and also of the difficulty that would then come upon that nation (before their eventual salvation). Their re-gathering is for eventual blessing but there is the time of Jacob's trouble before that.
For example: Jer. 30:3-7 'for behold, days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah.' The LORD says, 'I will also bring them back to the land that I gave to their forefathers and they shall possess it. '" (4) Now these are the words which the LORD spoke concerning Israel and concerning Judah: (5) "For thus says the LORD, 'I have heard a sound of terror; of dread, and there is no peace. (6) 'Ask now, and see if a male can give birth. Why do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in childbirth? And why have all faces turned pale? (7) 'Alas! For that day is great, there is none like it; and it is the time of Jacob's distress, but he will be saved from it.
 ↩ We should remember the definition of a 'day'. The Bible says this period will be the 'day of the Lord'. The Biblical day, as recorded in Genesis 1 started with the evening and then morning - 'And there was evening and there was morning, one day.' (Gen 1:5) In other words it starts with darkness and ends in light. So shall it be with the day of the Lord. The prophets declared the darkness that would start the day of the Lord but they also spoke of the 'light' and 'blessing' that would come afterwards 'in that day'. Renald Showers writes in his book 'Maranatha: Our Lord, Come' concerning this:
'The future Day of the Lord will have at least a twofold nature. First, it will be characterized by darkness and a tremendous outpouring of divine wrath upon the world (Joel 2:1-2; Amos 5:18-20; Zeph 1:14-15; 1Thes 5:1-11). Amos 5:18-20 emphasizes that this will be the total nature of the Day of the Lord for God's enemies. It will bring no divine light or blessing to them. This will be the nature of the Day of the Lord during the 70th week of Daniel. Second, the Day of the Lord will also be characterized by light, an outpouring of divine blessing, and the administration of God's rule. The Prophet Joel, after talking about the darkening of the sun, moon, and stars and God's Day of the Lord judgment of the armies of the nations gathered in Israel (Joel 3:9-16), foretold great divine blessing 'in that day' (Joel 3:17-21). In addition, the Prophet Zechariah, after discussing the future Day of the Lord, when all nations will war against Jerusalem and the Messiah will come to the earth to fight against the nations (Zech 14:1-5), indicated that although the earlier part of 'that day' will be characterized by darkness, the latter part will be characterized by light (Zech 14:6-7), great blessing (Zech 14:8), and God's rule over the earth (Zech 14:9). this will be the nature of the Day of the Lord in the Millennium. . . . Just as each day of creation and the Jewish day consisted of two phases - a time of darkness ('evening') followed by a time of light ('day') [Gen 1:4-6] - so the future Day of the Lord will consist of two phases, a period of darkness (judgment) followed by a period of light (divine rule and blessing). . . . First, during the 70th week of Daniel it will be characterized by darkness and a tremendous outpouring of divine wrath upon the world. Second, during the Millennium it will be characterized by light, an outpouring of divine blessing, and the administration of God's rule over the whole world.'
 ↩ There is a lot of talk in the Jewish/Christian world about the coming 'blood moons' (lunar eclipse) that are due to fall on the feast days of Passover and Sukkot in 2014/15. The last two times that 4 blood moons have fallen on the feasts in consecutive years was in 1949/50 and 1967/68. With Israel becoming a nation again in 1948 (and still fighting the War of Independence on 1949) and fighting the 6-day war to regain Jerusalem in 1967 then these are significant dates. Certainly as I write (Jan 14) there is A LOT of pressure being placed upon Israel and the Palestinians for a peace deal by the US and the EU. Large parts of the Middle East (Egypt, Syria, Iraq esp.) are in or near civil war. Whether the blood moons come to be significant time will tell. Certainly 'blood moons' in the last days are significant, biblically speaking (as we have seen in Joel) but whether those in 2014/15 are, we shall wait and see. We aren't to set dates but we are to watch for signs... and there are plenty of signs for those with eyes to see!
 ↩ In a comment on Isa 44:3-5, the Bible Knowledge Commentary contrasts the physical blessing of the land in that time and the spiritual blessing of the people with the Holy Spirit saying: ' The Lord will revive Israel physically and spiritually. He will pour water on the... land, making it well watered (cf. Isa 35:6-7; Isa 41:18; Isa 43:19-20) and He will pour His Holy Spirit (cf. Isa 32:15) on their descendants. This outpouring of the Spirit will occur when the people have returned in belief to the land (cf. Ezek. 36:24, Ezek. 36:27; Joel 2:25-29) just after the Messiah's second coming to establish the Millennium. Redeemed Israel will prosper numerically like grass and poplar trees, and they will want to be known as righteous individuals (Isa 44:5), unashamed of Him and their nation.'