Joel Chapter 2 (Sound the alarm)
Essentially this is a continuation from the close of the previous chapter in Joel. It is part of the generation-to-generation message…Sound the alarm [Joel 1:3]. The Day of the Lord approaches as does the morning sun from behind the mountains in the east. It is no longer a question of when will it happen but more like: Here It Is! We see the signs Joel told to us. Here they are right in front of us.
This is not a message to the church as defined in the Book of Acts but a message and a charge to sound the alarm to Israel…The Lord approaches. What generation it is when Christ returns to set up his kingdom in Jerusalem we do not know. We do know if one studies scripture, some of the signs as discussed in Joel 2:1b will be seen by the believers. Others are unique to Israelis.
Joel 2:1 How do we know this is about Israel and not the church. Where is the Lord’s mountain as Joel points out in chapter 2:1? We find this answer in Isaiah 2:2-5.
2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD’S house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow into it. 3 Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law. And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 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. 5 O house of Jacob, come and let us walk in the light of the LORD.”
For out of Zion… We know that Zion is an alternative name for Jerusalem is built on Mount Zion. Jerusalem itself is on a higher plateau than surrounding geography. My eldest brother-in-law once said about being in old Jerusalem, “everything is up hill. Even when one is walking down hill it still seems to be a climb.” (Eugene Whittum; his visit to Israel)
There are many references in scripture as to what will happen to the mountains of this world once the Day of the Lord means his Millennial reign. Simply put …Jerusalem will rise, water from under the Throne of God in Jerusalem will flow both toward the Mediterranean Sea and to the Jordan River filling the Dead Sea with fresh waters, and mountains will bow in recognition of the high point in the world, Jerusalem. The known environment and geographies will change.
To define or describe the world geography during the Millennial reign is like archeologists’ trying to find the original land of the Garden of Eden. The Noahtic flood erased all traces of it. When the Day of the Lord appears, known landmarks will change in such a way none can describe the event. We know is there are going to be significant land a sea change.
To better understand this passage and Joel 2:2, one needs to go to Joel 3:2 but that will be property of our next chapter commentary.
Joel 2:2 Some commentators and theologians wish to take the mention of “a great and strong people,“ out of context. Some suggest altering the colon to a comma so it fits the commentator’s opinion agenda. We mentioned earlier in article one of Joel that we defer to the most common sense and simplest explanation. There will be a strong and mighty people coming up against Jerusalem. One logical reason to default to this interpretation is the fact Joel is talking about the Day of the Lord: end time. He is talking about Israel, not the church. Thought? How can believers return to the earth with Jesus if they have not yet left earth?
Another consideration is Joel 3:2. He describes all nations of the world aligning against Israel. The church as bodies of believers is raptured. Such a global alignment against Jerusalem has never happened before 2021, and certainly will not happen again once Jesus is seated upon his throne in Jerusalem. Isn’t this what the verse explicitly states? Why complicate it with one’s personal preference instead of accepting what is written?
Joel 2:3 states in part…”The land is as the Garden of Eden before them.” Before who? The attacking enemy forces. Israel today has transformed their lands. They have planted millions of trees. They are recreating a land almost like the initial and same lands of the Canaanites, a land of milk and honey. The enemy forces *invading Israel, an army like never has been and never again will be, as defined in chapter 1 of Joel, the land of Israel will be totaled, stripped like the first, second and third levels of invading locusts who strip all green vegetation. The travesty brought upon Israel (Jerusalem) must be so drastic these chosen people of God will finally plead for God’s intercession and their redemption. This will end the seven-year Tribulation of Israel. It will come at a horrendous cost to them AND the invading nations.
Repentance is always the solution. This message to Israel from Joel, like all messages and warnings from the prophets of Israel, is destined to failure. Not the prophecy but the people will fail to pay heed. Some had temporary effects of repentance but backsliding soon followed.
Joel 2:13 “…and [tear apart] your hearts and not your garments.” What Joel is saying, demonstration of garment tearing looks good but that is not the solution. Render one’s heart instead. Weep before the Lord God with a broken heart, thus a broken will. Often self-deception creeps in, in times like this. When this happens does one think true repentance comes from demonstrative actions? We suggest this to be true of some who step forward by itself, when given an invitation to accept Christ, does not save anyone. It is the heart that must change.
Far too many alter calls are those seeking pacification, not salvation It is more fire insurance than salvation assurance. Similar is receiving a much-desired Christmas gift. Once it is in hand the desire may be lost. It never was the right motive. What about New Year resolutions? The true goal is to make one, not live it out.
Joel 2:17 is very revealing. Joel writes: “Spare your people, O LORD, and make not your heritage a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?'” Israel has fallen backwards so many times other nations ask this question. Where is their (Israel’s) God? In modern terms it is akin to a person saying loudly, there is victory in Jesus, but when others look at him or her, they counter with, “are you trying to convince me or yourself?” The person’s life is like a pendulum on a grandfather clock.
Joel 2:18 forward is subject to the time on the calendar and whether or not this is at the return of Jesus to Jerusalem. Is Joel speaking of an event that has yet to happen or is he speaking in past tense only because God’s judgements are preordained. Consider verse 19b. “I will no longer make you a reproach to other nations.” The next few verses speak of conditions that do not yet exist in Israel. Fruit trees give of their FULL POTENTIAL. Abundant rain in a land that demands irrigation today. Great pasture for the beasts of the wild. Conclusion? Joel is speaking of a time yet to happen. Joe 2:24 “The threshing floors shall be full of grain; the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.” This has not happened in history. It MUST BE end time prophecy.
Here is what some identify as “the taker.” Verse 26, 27 states: “You will praise the name of your God; God’s people will never again be put to shame.” This too has not yet happened in Israel or with the scattered Israelis. Verse 28…”and it shall come to pass AFTERWARD.” This helps us time stamp the events of Joel. It does not help us to identify Joel’s time on earth, but it does tell us Joel is discussing is a future yet to happen.
[LITV] Joel 2:28-31 “And it shall be afterward, I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. (29) And also I will pour out My Spirit on the slaves and on the slave-girls in those days. (30) And I will give signs in the heavens and in the earth: blood, and fire, and columns of smoke. (31) The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of Jehovah. (32) For it shall be, all who shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be saved. For salvation shall be in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, as Jehovah has said, and among the survivors whom Jehovah shall call.”