“Then, after doing all those things, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on servants—men and women alike. And I will cause wonders in the heavens and on the earth— blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and terrible day of the Lord arrives. But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, for some on Mount Zion in Jerusalem will escape, just as the Lord has said. These will be among the survivors whom the Lord has called. NLT
This passage stuck me. I loving hearing about God's provision for his people. I am forever mystified about godly visions and dreams. I eagerly wait for God's Kingdom.
So, in my everlasting quest to understand God, I thought it would be cool to read Joel and understand his message. Here are a few tidbits about Joel:
- "Joel" means "Jehovah is God"
- He was contemporaries with Amos
- Most likely this was a pre-excilic book written about 835 BC. However, there are not real clues to when or where this book was written.
- It was written to Judah
- Joel may have been a priest before God called him to be a prophet
- Themes of destruction, judgement and hope are prevalent
- The turning verse is 2:12-13 (IMHO)
- The Spirit of God is poured out on all of humanity! There does not seem to be a distinction between those who are faithful to God and those who are not. Hmmm.....
- Both sons and daughters will prophesy. Likewise, both male and female servants will be the recipients of the Spirit of God. Hmmm.....
This book talks about God being Israel's bulldog and I think it can thus be said that he is the church's and the believer's bulldog as well. So, when are Israel, the church and I going to "rend our hearts and not our clothes?" Because it is this act which precipitates the gracious compassion of God towards us.
How do we go about this?
What does this mean for me as an individual?
What needs to change?
Who would have thought 3 chapters of minor prophet lost in the Old Testament would provide wisdom for understanding repentance, confession and reform.
Then the Lord will pity his people and jealously guard the honor of his land- Joel 2:18